Archive | April 2016

Ending the semester with burgers and baseball

The Cultural Exchange Network celebrated the end of a busy spring semester with a Durham Bulls game and a cookout.

There were 473 students involved in CENet activities throughout the semester, and 18 students received a certificate of completion for participating in 10 or more hours of activities during the semester. There were at least 35 various social, service, and academic activities offered during the last three months including the Carolina Ballet performance of Macbeth, a Native American Pow Wow, and sprucing up the Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve for Service Raleigh.

CENet students were engaged in more than 1290 hours of activities throughout the semester:

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Service Raleigh 2016

Despite the chilly temperatures and super windy conditions, thousands of students turned out at 8:00 AM on Saturday, April 9 to volunteer at more than 70 partner sites around Raleigh. Sixteen of these Service Raleigh volunteers worked on the GTI’s Cultural Exchange Network project at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve in Cary, NC.

Each volunteer logged more than 4 miles of nature trail pushing wheelbarrows back and forth between a high-trafficked area of the Bluffs trail and a fresh pile of mulch near the road in the 2 hours they worked on-site. Manual labor in the cold Saturday morning was rewarded with local pizza pies and a sense of community contribution.

“Because of groups like yours we can continue to keep Hemlock Bluffs safe and beautiful for years to come”

-Beth Wilson, Volunteer Coordinator at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve

Home for the Spring Holiday

Thanks to all our American host families and international student guests who chose to use the Easter holiday weekend as a chance for cultural exchange! GTI set up homestays with North Carolina families for 25 visiting international students. In an attempt to keep the experience as genuine and comfortable as possible, both hosts and students could decide the duration of the homestay–anywhere from a 3-day weekend together or just a Sunday brunch.

“The family was really lovely and interesting, and I think that I really discovered the way of life of an American family; they were really friendly and make everything for us…” – SKEMA student

“I would definitely remember this experience as one of the most concrete and relevant during this semester in Raleigh.” – SKEMA student

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“My host was interested in learning more about my country, wanted to eat the food we eat in the Brazilian Easter and showed me some American Easter traditions…she made me feel very comfortable in spending the weekend in her house. It was her first time hosting a foreigh student and I can tell that she enjoyed it! I hope more families want to host in the future, because this is an amazing opportunity for us, students. And the families I’ve known are my friends now!” – Luiza, Brazil