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Sep. 18, 2013

Audrey Mabiza: Homecoming and the international student

Sept. 18, 2013

Audrey Mabiza, originally from Harare, Zimbabwe, is a chemical engineering major and a member of the Honors College.

Audrey and Sparty

If you were to ask me what exactly MSU homecoming is and what it entails, I would deliver the most eloquent spiel that would blow both you and me away. The reason it would blow me away is that if you were to ask me about homecoming three years ago I would stare at you with a blank face and answer, “I… am … not …quite … sure.” This is a response that I think that most international students can identify with.

At this point you are probably wondering, “What is homecoming?”

Well I like to think of it this way: homecoming is a time when MSU alumni, current Spartans and future Spartans come together and celebrate being a Spartan. Some of the main events that surround homecoming are the football game, the parade, the Green and White Brunch and the college tailgates. This is a time to make connections! This is a time to celebrate achievements! This is a time to reminisce!

Ok, so you know my simplified version of what homecoming is but at this point you are probably wondering, “Why should I, as an international student, care about homecoming?”

Audrey on a boatThat’s a tough question but I want to think that the reason you chose to be an international student was that you saw the value in internationalizing your education experience. Part of internationalizing your experience is being involved in the traditions of other cultures especially the cultures of your host country. Homecoming is a time where you can learn so much about American culture and take this learning beyond what the media tells you. So as an international student you should care about homecoming because it makes your journey as a Spartan that much richer.

Now that I have convinced you that homecoming is important to you, you are probably wondering, “What could I do to be involved in homecoming events?”

The simple answer is: attend all the events you can! The more complicated answer is there is so much that you could do during homecoming such as taking a hayride and listen to someone tell you the history of MSU (this sounds like something out of a movie right?). Well you can also do something like participating in the “Glow Green” event where you can go pick up a green light bulb at the MSU Alumni Association, located on the third level of the Spartan Stadium tower. You could also participate in the homecoming parade with your student group! This is a good opportunity to showcase your country, culture interests and hobbies! These are just a few of the events you can be a part of you can find more on this website.

Ok, so you now know what homecoming is, why you should care about homecoming and how you can be involved in homecoming. Now you are probably wondering, “When is homecoming and what is this year’s theme?”

That’s an easy question to answer! Homecoming week is Oct. 7-12 and the theme is “Creating Spartan Super Heroes.”

By now you are probably taking out your calendars and counting the days ‘til Oct. 7. I know. I am excited too.

If you have any questions besides “Is it Oct. 7 yet?” visit the homecoming website.

Before I blog out let me leave you with this:

As an international student I came to MSU with very little knowledge of what homecoming was or what it meant to the Spartan population. All I knew about homecoming was that it was an American tradition that I was eager to partake in. From one Spartan to another, I encourage you to participate in homecoming or just find more information about it.

I hope to see you at some of the events!

Audrey on a hill in Edinburgh with rocks spelling it out


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