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Terms like touchdown and shotgun are foreign to many of Texas A&M's international students, but as part of the university's Year of the International Student, some Aggies organized a refresher course on the importance of football at A&M complete with Aggie players and coaches.
"I think that they realize, but I don't think they understand it," Katy Lane, a study abroad advisor. "A lot of them haven't been to games. They're really expensive tickets, so that's part of what we want to do here tonight is to help them realize what a big part it is, and how much it defines A&M."
For those students, their recent time at A&M has been defined by August's explosion at the University Apartments complex. Through an investigation, the university took a stronger look on the international student experience provided, talking to students like Rahul Riberio, who heads up the complex's community council.
"There were many residents after the fire who felt that they were neglected in general, and even the maintenance was neglected," Riberio said. "The university's been trying since then to make them feel part of the Aggie family."
"It gave us a renewed understanding of some of the concerns and some of the issues international students face here as they came to the US, specifically Texas A&M," said Wynn Rosser, the university's assistant vice president for student affairs. "It's given us an opportunity to address some of those and work proactively and positively to respond to the issues and concerns they raised."
And through events like Friday night's, the university hopes to make their farthest travelled students more part of the family.
"This is a caring university, and it's not only just the students, but it carries over into the students, the athletic department, all the educational aspects," said assistant football coach Charley North. "We want people to know and understand that we are all one."
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