– UMSL’s iHouse hosted Mediterranean night on Oct. 17, 2014 –
PHOTO by Cate Marquis for The Current ©

By Lotte Jonsson, Staff Writer for The Current

The residents of The International House (iHouse) here at the University of Missouri-St. Louis opened their doors on Friday night, October 17, from 7 pm until 11 pm to give students a taste of Mediterranean cuisine at their home located on Natural Bridge Road.

The event “Friday Night Flight: A Taste of Mediterranean Cuisine” attracted about 30 to 35 people, mostly international students, to either talk with other students, make new friends, or try out some of the many Mediterranean dishes made by iHouse residents.

Among the many dishes from the Mediterranean were French ratatouille, Greek salad and Tzatziki, Spanish omelets, and Italian pasta carbonara. Guests could also enjoy a piece of coconut cake, a piece of pie, and a soda while one of the residents living at iHouse painted henna tattoos from Morocco. Many of the girls took this opportunity to get henna tattoos while many of the guys played soccer on the TV in the living room. There was music played the entire night and, in general, people were laughing, talking to each other, and having fun.

This event was one of many iHouse events hosted this semester. Before the semester started UMSL hosted many welcoming events for the international students. But the students have also hosted many events themselves during the semester including the Splash Party and the Open House. They were all events that were supposed to bring American and international students closer and help people learn about different cultures.

“The purpose of this was to encourage an international community and encourage international relations and get those two communities together,” Bethany Wagenmaker, a junior in interdisciplinary studies who planned the event, said.

Many of the students who showed up to the event were from places all over the world including China, South Korea, Germany and France. However some American students also showed up.

“I know a lot of international students,” Jessica Young, a junior, English, who is an American student, said. “I’m interested in knowing about other cultures and meeting other international students.”

According to the students from the international house a lot of planning had been done for the event prior to opening the doors at 7 pm. Two of the residents had been in the kitchen cooking for six hours while the others made sure that nothing was missing for the guests who showed up throughout the night. The food kept coming, and people left later than expected – 2 hours after the planned ending at 9 pm. But for the iHouse, students this was a good thing. They considered the event to be a success noting that a lot of people turned out and seemed to have a good time. And the guest who came also seemed to agree.

“We met new friends and we are looking forward to the next event to meet them again!” Melanie Lipp, first year master student in physic from Germany, said.

The next International House event will be in two weeks when they host a Halloween party at the iHouse.

© The Current 2014