CSUB celebrates International Education Week by keeping up with our students overseas

Janelle Calderon, Mulitmedia Editor

CSU Bakersfield Programming and Associated Students Inc. held a brown bag discussion via Zoom on Nov. 19 in light of International Education Week. 

Runners digitally gathered to celebrate campus diversity and hear from CSUB students currently studying in their home countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“I can’t wait to be at CSUB,” Anjolaoluwa Agboola, a freshman Biology major, said.  

The discussion highlighted some challenges international Runners face, like time difference and sleep schedules, but also the home country and culture of four international students.  

The presenters each created a slideshow to share with attendees. The slides included the views from their homes, local hometown sightings, traditional dishes, and their school workspace.  

The first presenter was Agboola, who is currently studying from her home in Lagos, Nigeria. Although she misses campus, she said there are perks to being home. 

“Some of the benefits of being home is getting to be with family and the food,” Agboola said. 

Shubham Chouhan, a second-year math major, was the second presenter. Chouhan joined the meeting from his home in Indore, India.  

Chouhan said his hometown has done well at handling the spread of COVID-19. There aren’t many cases locally, allowing him to stay busy by going to the gyms that are currently open there.  

“I miss all the fun at CSUB and in the dorms. I have a lot of friends, and I miss them a lot,” Chouhan said when talking about the disadvantages of studying from home.  

The third presenter was Sydney Barrera, a freshman pre-nursing student, who is currently studying from her home in Agoo La Union, Philippines.  

“I always go out for walks to keep myself relaxed for school…I’ve only been [in the Philippines] for six years, but this is what I consider very peaceful to me,” Barrera said.  

Originally raised in California, Barrera’s parents decided to move back to the Philippines prior to her high school education. As a family, they decided Barrera would attend college in the United States. 

The last presenter was 17 hours ahead of our time during the meeting. Kosuke Matsui, sophomore and business major, is currently studying in his hometown of Yokohama, Japan.  

Matsui said because of the large time difference, he takes his classes at three in the morning every day. 

“I have enough time to study and do other things. I don’t have to cook every day or be in an actual classroom. So, I have enough time to play sports or work to make money, and see my friends,” Matsui said about one of the advantages of being home. 

Yuri Sakamaki, Director of the Study Abroad Program, led the conversation with the international students and said that time change has to be one of the main difficulties that these students have had to get used to in their home countries.  

Emily Callahan, sophomore advisor, moderated the Q&A from students and faculty. Runners asked the speakers about traveling to their country as a tourist, and why they chose CSUB for their higher education. 

“I came to CSUB to play soccer, but chose Bakersfield because there aren’t too many Japanese people and I could practice my English,” Matsui said when answering a question.  

CSUB has been holding brown bag discussions for International Student Week for eight years, intending to bring our campus together and highlight diverse perspectives.