UCO Opens 'Home Away From Home' For International Students

Alvin Teh

Oct. 24, 2012

Media Contact:  Courtney Bass, University Relations Staff Writer, University of Central Oklahoma, 405-974-2121, cbass4@uco.edu

UCO OPENS ‘HOME AWAY FROM HOME’ FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

University of Central Oklahoma senior Alvin Teh understands how it feels to be an international student living far away from home. That’s why the Malaysia native is a perfect fit for his new role welcoming fellow international students into a comfortable, multi-cultural atmosphere at the university’s new International House, opening at 1 p.m. Nov. 6 at 912 Chowning Ave. in Edmond.

Teh, an actuarial science major, will serve as the house manager, living there full time and booking events.  

“I am excited to see this house as a home away from home where students of all cultures can come socialize and learn about different parts of the world,” said Teh.

The house is conveniently located across the street from the Wantland Stadium, and will serve as gathering space for Central’s international and American students.  This will be a unique platform to engage in academic and community activities such as faculty lunch-and-learn sessions with a global focus, after-school kids programs focusing on children’s books in other languages, sushi rolling lessons, Venezuelan Salsa dance lessons, World Cup watch parties, and others.

"Central’s International House is the only one of its kind in Oklahoma.  Besides attracting international and American students seeking a university that focuses on globalism, creativity, and transformative learning, it will also connect Central and the Oklahoma City metropolitan community with an unmatched intercultural environment,” said Dennis Dunham, Ph.D., executive director of International Services.

Central’s international student population has continued to grow steadily, with more than 1,500 international students representing over 100 countries enrolled at the university.

“Our mission for the International House is to bring together Central’s students, staff, faculty, and community, creating opportunities for transformative learning to be lived out by nurturing an environment of discovery,” added Brandon Lehman, coordinator of international activities for UCO’s Centre for Global Competency.

A couple rooms in the house will be reserved for a “special guests.”  This program will eventually provide short-term lodging for visiting faculty, guests of the university, and international students with an emergency need for housing.  

The grand opening of the house will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony, tours of the house, light hors d'oeuvres, live music and comments from university officials including UCO President Don Betz, Ph.D.

For more information about the International House or the grand opening, contact Lehman at 405-974-2448 or blehman@uco.edu.

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Editor’s Note:  Download art to accompany this release at www.uco.edu/photo/InternationalHouse10.12.  

Cutline: University of Central Oklahoma student Alvin Teh stands ready to welcome students through the doors of the university’s new International House at 912 Chowning Ave., less than a mile from campus. Teh, an international student from Malaysia, will serves as manager of the house, which will serve as a venue for events intent on connecting international students with the campus community.