By Damon Reyes, Correspondent
Image Credit: Hunter Hourany
On November 16, the Center for International Programs & Services (CIPS) at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Prescott hosted their Japan themed International Week Tea and Coffee Hour (ITCH) event at the CIPS office.
International Education Week is a joint initiative between the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education with efforts to promote various international cultures.
As part of International Education Week, CIPS hosted this event among other Tea and Coffee Hours that focused on different global regions, such as the Middle East, Kenya/Sierra/Leone, and Ukraine.
CIPS is Embry-Riddle’s international outreach center tasked with providing opportunities for students who want to participate in international activities, as well as building on-campus communities for international students.
“We try and highlight study abroad opportunities, we also want to highlight the value and diversity that international students bring when they decide to come and study here in the US,” stated Pauline Filemoni, the Director of CIPS.
Students who attended the ITCH event could make Japanese matcha tea to enjoy alongside small snacks provided by CIPS. In the office, CIPS had a table with matcha tea packets, a kettle filled with hot water, and many plates with the various snacks.
The snacks consisted of large, circular graham crackers and small cube-shaped baklavas to complement the matcha tea.
To prepare the tea, students would grab a cup and sprinkle in matcha tea powder. Then, using the kettle, poured hot water into their cups and stirred the powder till their drink turned green.
Instead of sprinkling in matcha tea powder, most students dipped their tea packets into their filled cups and let the tea soak in the water to make their beverage.
During ITCH, many students talked among themselves. Some students sat on the office’s lounge chairs relaxing while sipping their tea. CIPS staff walked around and spoke with each student to introduce themselves and talk about Japanese culture.
At the start of the event, the CIPS office was filled with students wanting to try the Japanese tea and snacks. Many of the students who attended took the hour to relax in between their classes while learning new facts about Japanese culture.
CIPS aimed to broaden student’s experiences to new cultures and about the world.
“Our goal for this program is to highlight how people prepare these beverages and what some of the traditions are,” stated Filemoni, “We’re trying to encourage people to step out of their comfort zone, to learn about a different culture, or to appreciate their own culture.”