Campus mirrors cultural melting pot of Miami

Photo Illustration by Marlena Skrobe//Co-Photoeditor

The city of Miami is a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities, so it is no surprise that UM models this mix. According to the Princeton Review, UM was No. 1 in race/class interaction in 2010.

In the undergraduate program, 46 percent of the student body identifies themselves as non-white. At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, more than 1,500 international students attend the University of Miami.

These statistics are not surprising to many students.

“I feel like UM is really diverse just by looking at it,” sophomore Nikita Gurudas said. “Everyone in my suite is from a different country.”

However, other students feel the diversity at UM is merely at the surface.

“I feel that there are all kinds of people from all over the world,” freshman Yu Qi said.  “However, most of the Chinese students stick together.”

For those who want to experience more diversity, clubs like the Council of International Students and Organizations (COISO) exist to give students of various ethnicities the opportunity to interact.

“I’ve been involved in COISO for three years,” junior Alex Kurtz said. “I’ve met people from all across the world and formed some really good friendships with them.”

Students like sophomore Tiara Morrison struggle to find diversity in their classes.

“I see diversity, but I don’t see it mixed a lot,” Morrison said.

Morrison found her own way to meet people from various cultures through the Intensive English Program’s Conversation Program. Through this program, students fluent in English partner up with international students and converse with them.

“It’s just talking to people in a regular one-on-one situation. It’s about immersing yourself in their culture,” Morrison said.

Though clubs with international focuses can help, sometimes just making a conscious effort to meet those from other countries is all it takes.

“Since I’m an international studies major, I’m trying to branch out,” sophomore Caroline Quill said.  “One of my best friends is Chinese. I try to get a different perspective on her take on America.”

Though UM can provide a similar experience to the one students had in high school, students can choose to meet types of people they never would have known from their hometown.

“For those who seek it out, UM really can be the most diverse college in the country,” Kurtz said.