A Club for Everyone


Hannah Lynch

Maria Balzer, Olivia Hammond, and Jill Calvani are the officers of International Club this year.

Maria Balzer, Olivia Hammond, and Jill Calvani are the officers of International Club this year.
Maria Balzer, Olivia Hammond, and Jill Calvani are the officers of International Club this year.

This year at Ipswich High School there is a new club that everyone is encouraged to join. The club is known as International Club. The club was started by Ms. Merullo and Ms. Leo, two teachers who were both new last year and shared an interest in international cultures. The club was technically started in the spring of 2013, but they only had one meeting. Therefore the official start to the club began this year. The goal of the club was to help students to learn about and experience, other cultures from around the world. Last year, the one thing they were able to do was host a guest. A man from India who taught members of the club an Indian dance. The hope for this year is to have guests just like that but several different ones from different cultures.

Even though the club was originally aimed at IHS students themselves, this year Ipswich High gained a large number of international students. The international students are turning out to be an awesome addition to the club. Ms. Leo believes that the international students will have a positive impact on the club, “Our first event this year was a meet-and-greet with the international students and they’re adding so much life to the club by sharing their impressions of the U.S with us and telling us about their experiences in their home countries.” The first meeting was American themed; everyone brought American food such as Boston Cream Pie, peanut butter and jelly, and bagels. The goal of the club is to have a different culture as the theme for each meeting. The hope is to have each international student share a little about their own cultures so that we can learn from them, rather than always bringing in outside guests to speak.

The clubs officers are Maria Balzer (President), Olivia Hammond (Vice President), and Jill Calvani (Secretary). All of the current officers are seniors, so hopefully they will get the club up and running for those who follow in their footsteps next year. President, Maria Balzer first heard about the club in her Spanish Class last year when they were trying to think of ways to travel to Spain as a class. Ms. Merullo told them it may be possible through the new club she was creating. Maria joined the club after going to the first meeting, “The club seemed to be based off of all things international; food, culture, people, etc. I am very interested in International relations as a career so I thought this would be interesting for me.” Even though she had a specific interest in International studies, you do not have to have a specific reason to join the club; it’s open to anyone. Maria thinks anyone would be happy joining this club; “It’s a fun way to learn about different countries and maybe plan future vacations and study-abroad locations”.

Ms. Leo is excited to get the club up and running this year, “This year, we’d like to host more events, recruit some new members and work with our new officers to get the club up and running”. Maria, on the other hand, has some more specific plans for the club this year. “I plan on having a big food festival! Since we have international students from Germany, France, Switzerland, South Africa, and more, I thought that it would be cool if they gave each person in the club a recipe for a food dish that is native to their home country. We could all then bake it and bring it in on different days! I also thought that we could learn cultural dances form some of the international students”.

International club is welcoming to everyone. It’s not all about commitment and raising money like some clubs, in fact, they don’t even have a treasurer because they don’t have any money. The point of international club is to learn about other cultures and have fun while doing it. Attend a meeting and see if you like it!