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Dining at DePaul is back! | News & Reports | About | Global engagement

Dining at DePaul is back!  |  News & Reports |  About |  Global engagement


TheITs official. After a long hibernation due to COVID, International Student and Scholar Services has brought back MEAL with DePaul! This spring, on April 22 and 23, fourteen families of DePaul faculty and staff hosted 60 international students from around the world in their homes for a meal. Associate Director of International Student and Scholar Services (ISS) Jennie von Drehle notes, when I returned to the office on Monday, my inbox was filled with emails from students and hosts sending pictures and telling me how much fun they had and how much grateful they were for the opportunity.

One student wrote to their host:
We had so much fun learning about different cultures and sharing some of our own cultures and experiences as well. The food and hospitality we received spoke volumes for your opinion. I enjoyed meeting your family and it was my first time visiting a non-Indian home. I will share all the good things I felt today with my family. I hope you will continue to host next year, and more students can have this wonderful experience. Indian university student Suchita Farkiwala

Meet Eat and American Life with DePaul (MEAL with DePaul) provides a chance for DePaul faculty and staff to engage locally with our global student community in a vital way. Through this program, our international students have an opportunity to experience the diversity of American food and culture by visiting a DePaul faculty or staff member’s home. For students, it is the beginning of a positive experience on the road to acculturation and integration in the US. For interested hosts and their families, it is an opportunity to explore and learn more about the diverse global cultures represented within our community. You don’t have to be a top chef or have a big house to be a host; students are simply looking for real personal connections to the DePaul community!

a group of people posing
Photo: Jennie von Drehle

Every year students from more than 100 countries of the world study at DePaul University. You will find these students on campus and in the classroom engaging with the DePaul community in many meaningful ways.

In anticipation of the spring program, one presenter wrote:

We look forward to this meal every year and have really missed it during the pandemic. The Afghan girls we hosted for Thanksgiving in 2021 truly left a mark on our family’s hearts. It is one way my family can tangibly live out our faith by showing kindness to strangers in our midst. Elizabeth Stock Host, adjunct faculty and IB advisor in the College of Education.

The ISS team could not host such a welcoming event without the gracious volunteering of DePaul faculty and staff to engage with students in this personal way. Jennie added, I am so grateful for their willingness to support our international students and help them feel welcome here on campus and in Chicago.




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