An interview with UConn Coffee Hour: The Philippines’ organizer 


The Center for International Students and Scholars, which helps international students through services and programs to support them, will host the Coffee Hour: The Philippines on Fri, Nov. 11 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., according to the CISS website

“The CISS is going to hold the Coffee Hour event that highlights Philippines cultures and gives students, including faculties and staff, opportunities to get to know each other and be closer,” Nadine Boudissa, international advisor and organizer of the event, said. 

According to the CISS website, this event gives domestic students and international students opportunities to share their network and get to know each other. Usually at coffee hours, students highlight their home countries and present through presentations or PowerPoint. 

Coffee Hour is a monthly event organized by the International Student and Scholar Services. During the event, each country and culture are introduced through informal, fun presentations and exciting games. Participants also can enjoy the country’s own food and refreshments at no cost, according to the CISS website

According to Boudissa, the event does not only introduce foreign countries but domestic areas like Puerto Rico, where many international students are interested in travel to and want hands-on experience. American students also provide a presentation about where they are from, intriguing international students to their area. Therefore, the Coffee Hour event is a good opportunity not only for domestic students but also for international students. 

Over several years, Coffee Hour events have been held to introduce a wide variety of countries such as Peru, Uzbekistan, China, Pakistan, Brazil, Australia and more. As a result, domestic students get to know various international students and understand their cultures by meeting them in person. They also coming across the rules and regulations that should be abided by more closely, Boudissa said. 

Q: May I ask about your position in this department? 

A:  I am Nadine Boudissa, and I am an international advisor. I assist F and J student visa holders with rules and regulations pertaining to their immigration status and anything pertaining to I-20 and authorization and academic inquiries that may actually affect their immigration so that sometimes that plays a role in getting connected with academic advisors to ensure that these students would be okay. 

Q: Is there any reason that you take charge of the Coffee Hour amongst lots of events in the ISS office? 

A:  I enjoy putting on Coffee Hour events because it helps me connect with students on another level not just for immigration. I like to see students in other environments that do not have a serious type. Most students link international advisors to immigration. But international advisors are not the face of immigration but we are the face of cultural adjustment and networking, helping students grow. 

Q: Do you have any words that you want to leave? 

A: I would say, you know, always have an open mind no matter where you come from. And always accept each other’s cultures and respect them. Also, always connect with your academic advisors and international advisors and join an organization and club activity. It helps with networking and getting to know other students and staff members on campus and it is a great way to be involved and not isolate yourself. 

Leave a Reply