TAU conducts cultural and wellness activities for int’l students
In this time of pandemic, many of our students are having a difficult time finding opportunities to be involved in activities that can help them improve not only their physical but also their mental health. This challenge is even more experienced by international students who are not only coping with homesickness but are also dealing with limitations in terms of resources, movement, and connections within the community.
International students play a vital role in building a diverse and more vibrant atmosphere in Tarlac Agricultural University as they bring cultural, political, and historical perspectives to students and faculty members in our campus community. In lieu of this, the Office of Student Services Development (OSSD), through its Student Welfare Unit and the Student Inclusion Services, conducted a series of workshops and activities for the entire month of February dedicated to the holistic development of our international students who are housed within the campus.
Orientation on Student Code of Conduct and Discipline
The month kicked off with an orientation on Student Code of Conduct and Discipline which was headed by Mr. John Paul Demapendan, the chair of student discipline in TAU. Through this session, international students were re-introduced to the policies and guidelines on the do’s and don’ts of student behavior. As residents of the university, they were also given a refresher on the house rules of both the ladies and men’s dormitories by the dorm manager, Ms. Ester C. Apostol.
Session on Conflict Resolution and Transformation
For the second week, a workshop was held to equip international student with the knowledge on how to handle possible conflicts they might face during their stay in TAU and in the Philippines. The session was meant to introduce them to a series of skills and techniques that they can apply in a situation in order to diffuse, alleviate or eliminate conflicts by showing them a variety of conflict resolution styles. With this learning activity, the OSSD hopes to empower our international students to strategically select a style on their own that best fits scenarios they may face in the future. The workshops were headed by the Student Welfare Unit of the OSSD through Ms. Czarina Aguilar and Ms. Maria Tabago.
Emotions Management Workshop
The last of the workshops held delved into the topic of emotions management. Confined in the limited spaces of the dorm and much affected by the restrictions brought on by the community quarantine, the OSSD staff decided that this session was pertinent in allowing the students housed in TAU to be more well-equipped in handling their emotions during crises and in everyday interactions with one another.
Cultural and Wellness Activity
To cap off a productive month, TAU international students, along with the staff members of the OSSD, were treated to a short trip to one of Tarlac’s famous destinations for sports and outdoor leisure– the Tarlac Recreational Park located in San Jose. A picnic and a live barbecue session were held to showcase both Philippine and Indian cuisine. Both the staff and students enjoyed an array of dishes comprised of samosas, kebabs, chicken curry, and some local snacks. In the afternoon, the staff taught the students a few Filipino games such as sack race and luksong tinik. On the other hand, the students were eager to teach the OSSD personnel some Indian dance moves. Taking advantage of their trip outside the university and of the venue, the international students kayaked around the man-made lake and played cricket, one of India’s most popular sports, on the wide greenery available at TRP.
Though the pandemic has significantly affected international students’ experience in school, we believe that we can continue to show our support through workshops that empower them and through activities that cater to their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. (CAS, EPrado)