Winona State students work together to learn cultures


Shannon Galliart

Students and faculty interacted and played board games at the ELC Conversation Partners Event on Thursday, Oct. 26, in the Haake Hall conference rooms. This was an opportunity for International students to practice speaking English. It was also a chance for native English speakers to learn about other cultures.

Morgan Reddekopp, News Reporter

Tuesday, Oct. 26, the English Language Center (ELC) Conversation Partners Event took place in Haake Hall.

This event was an opportunity for English learning or international students to practice speaking with native English speaking students, as well as a learning experience for native Winona State University students to learn about the cultures of international students.

Mesho Almubarak is a junior international student who is studying to become a dentist. Almubarak is originally from Saudi Arabia and attended this event to work on speaking English more fluently.

Almubarak is currently living off campus with a host family and says that there are quite a few differences between his hometown and Winona.

“The weather is very different here and my original city is bigger than Winona,” Almubarak said.

Jared Lonergan, a senior global studies major and activities director for the ELC, had high hopes for this event, stating that all of the ELC students would be able to practice speaking in English with their peers in a friendly environment.

Many native English speaking students decided to attend the event as well.

Margaret Henning, a sophomore nursing and Spanish major and member of the International Club, attended the event because she enjoys meeting people from other cultures, as well as learning about the cultures themselves.

“I love meeting people from other cultures. I like learning our similarities and differences and bonding over them,” Henning said.

Bethany Karasek, a sophomore studying Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), is also involved with ELC. She enjoys getting to know the international students and has come to this event in the past.

Woody Kromar, a senior studying environmental geoscience, attended this event because a few of his friends asked him to attend with them. He thought it would be a good opportunity to learn about the various cultures of the many international students at Winona State.

The ELC Conversation Partners Event was an evening filled with many games and interesting conversations. However, it also served as a useful learning opportunity for all in attendance.

While Winona State’s international students had valuable time practicing speaking English, the native English speaking students were able to learn about different cultures from around the world.