Providing Community for International Writers

Every year after New Year’s, I create goals that I set out to accomplish. For 2018, I want to help create a community for international writers who visit The UCWbL through the CMWR. Throughout my life, I have met international friends who have expressed the difficulty of making English speaking friends due to the language barrier. They seek out interactions and relationships with English speakers but struggle with loneliness and anxiety due to their language abilities. Generally, students find community with students who speak their language fluently; however, I want the CMWR to provide a sense of community for these writers at The UCWbL. I never truly understood how these students felt until I moved to South Korea.

While living abroad for 2 years, I did not speak fluent Korean, so making friends was difficult. Many of the teachers and students did not speak fluent English; thus, I struggled with loneliness and isolation during my first year there. Some days I went home angry and frustrated because I felt that no one understood me. Eventually, I established a community in Korea and have since stayed in touch with the friends I made. Some of these friends became like family. I realized that I needed to reach out to individuals here who struggle with the language barrier, as all of the people who made me feel connected in South Korea took it upon themselves to reach out to me. I want to continue this mission of providing a family-like community for international students who attend CMWR events, just as my friends did for me.

After I came back from South Korea last August, I became a Graduate Assistant (GA) for The UCWbL and chose to work with the Collaborative for Multilingual Writing and Research team. I wanted to help English Language Learners feel welcome here at The UCWbL. While tutors will not always be able to make every English Language Learner feel like they have a family abroad, a simple hello can bring joy to these students who are struggling with loneliness and anxiety. I love how the CMWR promotes weekly and quarterly events that help promote community for students who visit The UCWbL.

I am excited for this quarter because we have so many fantastic events planned for the CMWR!

  • The CMWR Winter Social is on Tuesday, January 16th from 3:30-5:00pm where students can come meet the CMWR, talk about Winter events and The Writing Center, and enjoy games and snacks.
  • On Tuesday, February 6th the CMWR will host a walk and talk to Garfield Park Conservatory where students can escape the cold weather and see plants from around the world. We’ll meet in the Loop Writing Center at 3pm and walk over together.
  • Finally, the CMWR will host the DePaul Global Women’s Collaborative on Friday, February 9th from 3-4:30pm where DePaul women from around the globe will explore ideas of self-care and self-love.
  • In addition, our weekly Game Club will meet on Wednesdays from 12:30-1:30pm, and Conversation and Culture will meet Fridays from 1-2pm.

It is my goal for the Winter and Spring quarter to help provide a community for all of the international students who visit The Writing Center and attend CMWR events. I hope to see you there!


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