Florida State University’s Center for Global Engagement (CGE) has transitioned its most popular in-person weekly event –International Coffee Hour — to a virtual space during this period of remote learning in order to provide the FSU community with an opportunity to engage, learn and support each other.
International Coffee Hour, which usually draws crowds of 250 to 300 members of the FSU community during fall and spring semesters, has always provided a way for domestic and international students, scholars, faculty and staff to learn about a featured country or culture each week, while trying an international snack and engaging in conversation with people from around the world.
“We feel that it’s important to keep International Coffee Hour going as many FSU students, faculty, and staff have adopted it as part of their regular routine,” said CGE Programs Coordinator Laura Dean. “We did not want our virtual circumstances to change that in any way. We wanted to especially reach out and provide support to our students who feel most isolated, drawing them into a virtual space where they can feel reconnected and uplifted.”
Virtual International Coffee Hour is held every Friday from 5 – 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. Participants can visit cge.fsu.edu/vch to sign-up for the Zoom link and view video recipes from past weeks.
Every Friday at 5 p.m., Virtual International Coffee Hour starts with co-hosting students presenting about their home country and culture, then Chef Jesse provides a live cooking demonstration for the selected recipe. Following the demonstration, participants are divided into smaller groups for conversation and discussion by using “breakout rooms” in Zoom.
Each week, CGE shares information about the featured culture and posts the recipe online here, as well as on its Facebook page. The ingredients are all available from Publix to allow participants to opt for home delivery.
Since going virtual, International Coffee Hour has highlighted the culture and recipes of the United Kingdom, Eritrea, Colombia and Botswana.
Last Friday, participants learned about Botswana from Moletedi O Ntseme (Mo), an MFA Theatre Management Candidate majoring in marketing and communications. Chef Jesse demonstrated how to prepare Pap, Seswaa, and Morogo, a traditional Botswanan meal. The FSU Career Center also joined and provided a virtual orientation on their virtual resources and services for students.