The International Student Association (ISA) works hand-in-hand with the Kearney International Center to help international students adjust to their new environment and oversee various international events on campus. The ISA is a diverse community established to provide programs, offer various services, and create a friendly atmosphere for international students to interact with one another. The ISA constantly engages with the wider MNSU community as several international Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs) fall under it, enabling it to connect more with students of different origins.
The ISA oversees several international RSOs like the African Student Association, the Middle Eastern Student Association, and the Eurasian Student Association, to mention a few. Their large outreach through these various international RSOs enables them to engage with students regarding international issues, workshops, and ISA café’s, all to enhance cultural diversity on campus.
Khuzaima Shahid, the current vice president of the ISA, is truly honored to be in that position as it allows him to interact with people from all over the world every day. Shahid, an Information Technology major, originates from Pakistan but was raised in Saudi Arabia.
“Leadership was always something I felt drawn to, and being in this position has enabled me to achieve one of my goals,” Shahid said.
Shahid previously held the position of International Festival Coordinator and going on to become VP of the ISA was a step in the right direction.
“Motivating students to be part of the ISA community is part of my typical day at the office along with ensuring things run smoothly,” Shahid says. “Plus being part of the ISA has its benefits as the connections one is able to create with different students will definitely be helpful in the future.”
Shahid strongly believes in hard work; he says that one can accomplish anything if they set their mind to it and work toward achieving it.
Shahid’s language skills are impeccable as he is fluent in four different languages, including Arabic, English, Hindi and Urdu. This is just one of the many qualities that he brings to the table.
The ISA office is located on the second floor of the Centennial Student Union. International students can walk in anytime to have their questions answered or to acquire more information about the campus. The ISA hopes that prospective international students interact first with their own RSOs before becoming familiar with the ISA, as it acts as a binder for all the international RSOs.
The ISA is a part of the Kearney International Center and has close ties with the Minnesota State Student Association, which is the students’ governing body. The ISA is presented to all students, both domestic and international, during orientation to expose them to the diverse campus of Minnesota State University, Mankato. This also creates a bond of trust between students from different origins, enabling them to exchange ideas or mix and mingle.
The ISA has become a large part of the MNSU community as it has grown over the years. Through various events like Asian Night, the ISA can capture the interest of the general community, both internal and external, and educate people on various cultures overseas using exhilarating avenues. The ISA spreads diversity, informing people about different nations, cultures and traditions while also sharing the various lifestyles of people across the world. The world is becoming a village today; therefore, educating people about exotic places is the perfect way to broaden their global perspective.