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Phi Alpha Theta hosts lecture about Culture Shock


Williamsburg, Ky. – The University of the Cumberlands’ (UC) Phi Alpha Theta history society hosted a lecture called Culture Shock: Transition for International Students, which highlighted the experiences of three international students.

Franco Holguin, a native of Mexico, Robert Jones, a native of England, and Hanan Katrib, a native of Syria, were the featured speakers at the this event Feb. 18 in Gatliff Chapel. The students took turns to talk about their personal experiences with America and the cultural differences between America and their respective countries.

“It was much harder to communicate when I came over,” Jones said. Holguin spoke about his fresh start in America and all the opportunities he has been offered during his time at UC. Jones went over the most common questions he’s been asked during his three and a half years at UC. Katrib has been in America since she was 15, but she said she still has culture shock between Syria and America.

“We don’t study English in my country,” Katrib said. “And I came from a strict culture.”

These three students are just a few of the international students at UC, but they grasped most of the issues a person would have when placed in another culture. UC currently has 106 international students representing 34 countries registered for the spring 2014 semester.

The Upsilon-Upsilon chapter of Phi Alpha Theta was established at University of the Cumberlands in 1974. The group annually sponsors the oldest continuous lecture series on campus and publishes "The Upsilonian," a journal that has won the outstanding journal award for schools with less than 150 majors.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; 10 pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information visit

Article Provided by Amanda Kelly, UC Multimedia and Athletic Services Student Assistant