On September 19th, “ICC Tea Party” was held at the ICC (Intercultural Communication Center) lounge as the first event of the fall semester, and it was also my first event as a Student Staff Leader in the ICC.

When I was studying abroad in the UK, I quite enjoyed the English Breakfast tea and Earl Grey tea there and preferred to take it with milk. Also, when I did  volunteering in Nepal, I learned more about the tea culture there. Nepali tea has a spicy flavor, which I think is quite unique. After I came back to China, I did a part-time job in a tea shop, learned more about  tea culture, how to brew different kinds of tea, how to taste the tea, and got more interested . Based on these experiences, I came up with an idea  to provide a platform for students from all over the world to know more about tea culture in different countries, and also share my experiences.

ICC is an international place with staff from different countries. With the help of my colleagues, Thais, Ana, Minami, Eunwoo and Ms. Nakamura, we decided to arrange an event to let ICC staff introduce the tea culture in their own country. To create a lovely tea party atmosphere, we decorated the ICC lounge. We also prepared the tea that I  mentioned in the introduction, so that the participants could taste the tea by themselves.

Picture 1: The preparations before the start of the Tea Party

Picture 2: The special tea prepared for the Tea Party

At around 3 o’clock, there were many students arriving at the ICC lounge, sitting down and chatting with each other, and we also provided the special tea to them. Before the Tea Party started, the ICC lounge was so crowded with people that some people had to stand without chairs. It really surprised me because I never thought that there would be so many people for my event.

Picture 3: ICC Student staff introduces tea culture

For the main contents of the Tea Party, we briefly introduced the tea culture of Brazil, China, Romania, Japan, and Korea one by one, which included the basic information of different tea, its origins, taste, color, how to brew it, its function and so on. We were not professional instructors, but could let participants know more about tea from different viewpoints.

During the Café Free Talk session, the participants tried different kind of teas, and also asked me which for my recommendations. I also talked with an Indian student about the tea culture in India and Nepal. In addition, because it was the start of the fall semester, most of the participants were new students, who want to make more new friends. So I am really glad that I was able to provide a platform to let everyone have more friends here.

Lastly, thanks to all the staff in the ICC who supported me for the Tea Party, and the participants who encouraged me during the event. The fall semester has just begun and there are many more wonderful events and programs arranged by the ICC coming up. I am looking forward to seeing you all once again in the ICC. Hope you enjoy your life here at Waseda University.

Y.G (Student Staff Leader)