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Photos by Erik Cohen

International Student Association hosts first World Cup event

The International Student Association hosted their first World Cup event on April 18, which included music, free food and a competitive soccer tournament. 

The event, which was spearheaded by ISA, included cosponsors like the Black Student Union, African Student Association, Adelante and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

Students gathered to watch the tournament on Galleon Lawn, where the organizations offered international cuisines to represent all the clubs involved in the event.

President of ISA, Rayne Ryan, a junior finance and technology major, opened the tournament with her appreciation.

“We want to be an international family where everyone feels comfortable sharing their cultures and traditions,” Ryan said.


Joshua Guallpa, a junior business administration major and No. 6 on the field, said he joined to “win the whole tournament.” 

Guallpa, who is a member of Adelante, said he learned about the event through the organization.

He said events like these “bring everyone together to have a good time, even in the good and bad times” that students encounter on campus.

The first game was between ISA and ASA. Tight passes and clear communication made for an exciting match. Members of ASA commentated over a microphone while music played throughout the game. Students were seen dancing off and on the field during substitutions. 

Students stood along the sidewalk and the edge of Galleon Lawn, lying down picnic blankets to watch the game. 

Denzel Boateng, a junior information technology management and finance double major, said he heard about the event through one of his friends.

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He said he was drawn to the World Cup event because “it involved soccer and I grew up with that my whole life.” 

He said he was happy to see the opportunity allow more students to become involved on campus.


Ryan said she initially had doubts about whether the organizations could pull off the event during a short period of time.

She said she was faced with a choice: “either call it off and focus on our smaller general body meetings or believe in my team. It wasn't a difficult decision.”

“We are excited to see the engagement from different cultures and organizations being represented on one large stage,” Ryan said. “Given the turbulent times we are currently experiencing, both outside and within this campus as finals and other important events approach, we hope this event will be a positive highlight of everyone’s day.”

Ryan said she grew up watching the World Cup with her family.

“It is a time for everyone to spend together, even if we are yelling at the TV,” Ryan said. “The ISA plans to hold this event annually, with hopes of expanding participation from other multicultural organizations across the university.”

Ryan said ISA “aims to provide much needed, pre-professional resources to international students on campus, creating a network that empowers our diverse community.”


She said throughout her time with ISA, the club has changed. 

“When I joined the ISA my freshman year, it wasn’t much of a club,” Ryan said. She said when the president at the time asked her to “step up,” that is exactly what she did. 

“I felt as though I was thrown into the deep end,” Ryan said. “I didn't even know what Engage was.”

Ryan said she was hopeful that ISA would bring more opportunities to international students. 

“Being from London, England, I definitely empathize with the struggles that international students face: culture shock, isolation and being asked to repeat myself multiple times,” Ryan said. “Our overarching mission is to create an inclusive environment where not only international students feel at ease, but also to enlighten our non-international peers about the wonders of our various cultures.”

President of ASA, Deborah O Sosanya, a senior biochemistry major, described how she met Mathieu Brou, the recruitment chair of ISA. 

“We had a great time at the involvement fair, sharing and dancing to international songs,” Sosanya said. “So it was easy to plan an event with a sport the world loves most–soccer.” 


Sosanya said ISA and ASA share the vision of unity and celebrating culture. 

“I hope the students are able to make some new friends, and maybe get inspired to become more involved with all of the clubs that are participating,” Sosanya said. “This is truly a diverse crossover and a moment to remember.”

Adelante walked away with the win, but the organization’s collaboration and execution of a culturally rich and inclusive event can lay the foundations for more international bridges.

“The essence of the International Student Association lies in unity and collaboration,” Ryan said. “Without the unwavering support of my dedicated team and friends, none of our accomplishments would be possible.”

Rhyleigh Russell writes for the Campus Life section. She can be reached at


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