For the 2013-14 academic year, Tiffin is home to more than international students from 36 nations. Thursday, more than half of them gathered with local community leaders and educators for an introduction to their new home.
Tiffin Welcomes the World was hosted by the International Cultural Center and sponsored by National Machinery. Those who officially welcomed the students during a meet-and-greet at the Community Civic Center had the same message for the students: Their experience in Tiffin will be mutually beneficial for them as well as the community.
“Isn’t it great that a city of 18,000 has representation from all of these countries,” said Mayor Aaron Montz. He encouraged the students to “reach out and do your part to make your stay in Tiffin great.”
“You have so many learning opportunities and so much to teach the citizens of Tiffin,” Montz said.
In all, students who are attending Heidelberg, Tiffin University, Tiffin Columbian High School and Calvert High School attended the event. They also heard from Andrew Kalnow, a ‘Berg trustee and CEO of National Machinery, who told them that the friendships they form while here will be what they remember most. State Rep. Rex Damschroder extended a welcome, as did Joe Moore of the International Cultural Center.
“We bill ourselves as the education community. We have a responsibility to support each other,” Moore said, adding that the international students are excited to learn about American culture. “The (international) students may have never been in an American classroom and our students may not have met anyone from these countries. We are looking for opportunities to share these mutual experiences.”
Heidelberg is home to about 35 international students; 16 of them, along with Julie Arnold and Jessica Fincham from the Office of International Affairs and Studies, attended the welcome event, along with a number of Heidelberg faculty and staff members attended the event.