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John Galuska
Foster International LLC

Last modified: Thursday, September 18, 2008

IUís Foster Living Learning Center celebrates 25 years

Diverse student housing unit promotes cross-cultural learning, experiences

Sept. 18, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Foster International Living Learning Center, the second such center at IU and one of seven at Indiana University, will kick off its 25th anniversary celebration at 4 p.m. Friday (Sept. 19) at Foster-Shea (1000 N. Fee Lane).

The event will commence with comments from John Galuska, director of Foster International; Bruce Jacobs, IU's vice chancellor for auxiliary services and programs; Patrick Connor, executive director of IU's Residential Programs and Services; and Diana Jacobs, director of academic initiatives and services at IU.

At 4:30 p.m., attendees will move inside for an afternoon of "progressive floor meals," featuring dishes that reflect the many cultures of the community's residents.

"For 25 years, the Foster International Living Learning Center has provided international social, cultural and educational programs, services and experiences that has served to teach resident students about themselves, each other -- and the world that we all live in," said Bruce Jacobs.

IU's Living Learning Centers (LLCs) are one of four specialized community options within the university' residence halls (others include Academic Communities, Freshman Interest Groups and Thematic Communities). LLCs offer participating students social and recreational programs, a common first-year course and the opportunity to live with like-minded peers.

"Students who live in LLCs do better in the classroom, have higher graduation rates, and feel more of a sense of belonging and community at IU," said Galuska. "Our students get a great foundation for the rest of their college careers."

The celebration will continue throughout the school year with a poster session Oct. 23 featuring large posters created by residents that represent their individual personalities and academic interests; outdoor adventure trips that may include caving and canoeing; and cultural celebrations that reflect the diverse backgrounds of this year's residents.

A small group of Foster LLC students may also travel to Washington, D.C., to attend the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20. In the past, Foster LLC students have visited a rodeo, gone rafting and traveled to Chicago and other cities.

"For the past quarter century, Foster International Living Learning Center has been instrumental in transforming the lives of students who have sought a greater understanding of the global environment in which they live, study and work," said Diana Jacobs. "With the expanded international focus of Indiana University, Foster International will continue to play an integral part in helping students become even more knowledgeable about their role in the ever-changing world around them."

Foster's International LLC of nearly 200 students from all over the world encourages cultural expansion for both the American students and the international students who live there, with trips, activities and workshops throughout the year. It also offers an on-site computer lab and opportunities to interact with visiting artists and scholars from around the world who stay in the community's guest suite.

"We want our international students to learn more about American culture and our American students to learn more about the culture of our international residents," said Galuska. "We want to expose students to as many new experiences as possible."