Each summer, students from around the world experience American English language and culture on the Concordia campus.
During the months of July and August, Concordia Language Villages’ Collegetown plays host to international students intending to study at an American college or university. Students are introduced to American college life through classwork and interaction with American peers, residence hall living and opportunities to take in local culture.
For many Collegetown students, a dinner hosted by a local American family is a highlight of their experience. The evening is a highlight for the families, too.
The Clarke family hosted two students for dinner this July.
“When I brought them home, my son Wyatt immediately wanted to show them his Star Wars room – which they thought was very cool, even though neither of them had any clue about what 'Star Wars' was,” says Rachel Clarke ’00.
The Clarkes served their guests a very Midwestern meal: salad, tater tot hotdish, strawberries and M&M cookies for dessert. While the students were unfamiliar with tater tots, the dish was a hit.
After dinner, 6-year-old Wyatt showed off his art creations and Transformers collection to his guests. Then the students showed Wyatt how to write his name in their respective native languages, Mandarin and Cantonese.
The evening ended with photos together and a rousing game of UNO.
“We all learned something new and enjoyed making new friends thanks to this wonderful Collegetown opportunity,” Clarke says.