Well, I think it’s time for a story… (Yayy!) I moved to Scotland when I was 18 and, although I immediately loved this wonderful country, I found myself quite lonely because I didn’t seem to “click” easily with other people my age, in my class. “If I just spoke the language really well things would be so different,” I thought.
Until one day, I found out about this thing called International Café – organised by Friends International. The first night was a ‘Scottish dance night’ and I couldn’t stop laughing all night! That same weekend we went to Arran and since then, International Café has become my favourite thing in my week.
Everybody was from a different country and was dealing with the same kind of things that I was: The language barrier, struggling to fit into the culture, missing home, missing your own food and finding it a bit awkward to make friends in your class.
"Everybody was from a different country and was dealing with the same kind of things that I was…"
Little by little I found myself more and more excited about International Café and I couldn’t wait till Wednesday night to meet my new, close friends again!
But… what exactly is International Café (iCafé)?:
It is a weekly event for international students, from any country and background! Their are International Cafe’s all over the UK!
iCafé is, of course, a café! As the very hard-working student you must be, there’s always a hot drink (hot chocolate, every different kind of tea, etc) waiting for you! Not only hot drinks but SNACKS and amazing FOOD! And the best of all… (drums) for FREE! Yep, amazing.
Every night there is a different theme, like: Pancake night; Chinese New Year night; Music night; Quiz night, etc. Whatever it is, be ready to find yourself laughing (believe me, you won’t be able to stop sometimes) and having so much fun with the different games, activities, quizzes, etc!
Every night you’ll find a similar dynamic, where there’s a “Question of the night” for discussion in groups. The questions are usually focused on “big life-issues”, this being a wonderful opportunity for people to practise their English and make friends through friendly and meaningful conversations!
You’ll love the team who organise International Café! From the moment I joined I felt so loved and accepted, no matter my background. The team will be so willing to meet up for coffee with you, have a social, offer a loving ear to listen to you and just offer you one of the most amazing gifts: FRIENDSHIP.
iCafé will take place normally either on your university campus or in a beautiful church in your city, so you get to know a bit more of the architecture of your city too!
iCafé is organised by the Christian Union of your university, or by other local Christians. We believe that God created every human being with different nationalities and that everyone is loved by God! That’s why we do International Café, in order to show God’s love for people and to offer a safe environment for you to feel free to ask and explore a bit more about the Christian faith, at the same time you practice your English and make new friends. Every person is very welcome, no matter their background or religion; it is always great fun and interesting environment no matter what your beliefs are!
"…a wonderful opportunity for people to practise their English and make friends."
Three years later and I love International Café more than ever! It was like my first “home” when I thought nobody would “get me”. They made me forget I was a foreigner, helped me to embrace and celebrate my culture and open my eyes to a whole new world of different nationalities, where people from all around the world become your best friends.
Not entirely convinced yet? Well, just look at the smile on my face (picture above)! See you soon in International Café!