Going into my third month living at ISH, I now feel more apart of the community than ever. A really memorable event that solidified this feeling was the Global Leadership Awards Dinner (GLAD). It was a special occasion for my fellow residents and I to act as hosts to highly regarded political figures and guests from across the globe who came to support the International Student House. The evening consisted of a lovely reception followed by a dinner in the garden. It was wonderful to see how much people care about international students and cross-cultural exchanges in Washington.
I am right there!
The highlight of the evening was witnessing former Vice President Joe Biden receive the Global Leadership Award. The address he gave after being honored for the award was inspiring and encouraging. His humor and kind hearted demeanor was something I’ll never forget. After he spoke in front of all of the dinner guests he stepped away to take a photo with the group of residents in attendance. Before he left, he gave us a pep talk about the future of international affairs and our important role in it. It was a night I will always remember.
Several weeks after GLAD, classes ramped up in the lead up to midterm exams. Although a challenging time, it was reassuring to experience the solidarity of residents from all different schools going through a similar experience. Papers, exams and projects had many of us up later than usual but it was really nice to regroup at breakfast or dinner and encouraging each other until we made it through.
My housemates Meghna and Hayato also work at the front desk.
At the start of October I took on a new role at the ISH front desk. Working at the desk has been a way for me to talk to residents I hadn’t met yet and get to know ISH administrators and staff. The desk is located in the lobby of the house so I get to see people come and go and learn more about the day-to-day happenings of ISH. All residents pick up packages at the desk which has been a great way to reinforce people’s names and where they’re from. During one of my shifts I got to welcome a new resident moving in from Japan. Because of each resident’s unique timeline in DC residents are always coming and leaving. The transitory nature of the ISH makes it all the more friendly and open as we wish people well as they head off to their next destination and welcome new additions to the community.