Festival of Cultures
& Cal Day, April 17

April 17 is a great day to return to International House and visit Cal! Enjoy international music, dance, crafts, storytelling, and food at the Edith Coliver Festival of Cultures at I-House and participate in Cal Day, the campus-wide open house. Call (510) 642-9461 for Festival information or visit the website. Learn more about Cal Day.







New Book Chronicles I-House Experiences:
Close Encounters of a Cross-Cultural Kind

A new book, Close Encounters Of A Cross-Cultural Kind: Seventy-Five Years at International House Berkeley, is a collection of reflections from alumni published in celebration of the upcoming 75 th Anniversary of International House in 2005-'06. Dedicated to the late Barbara Lynch who devoted much of her career in the Program Office to bringing people together, the book recognizes 75 years of diversity at International House. Contributions made in memory of Barbara Lynch supported publication along with the volunteer efforts of I-House alumni, Barbara Freeman, editor, and David Fleishhacker, publisher.

"Living at I-House was like a banquet table laden with countless dishes, each opening my senses to new tastes and textures. I still savor the flavors." - Phyllis Finkel Mattson, in Close Encounters Of A Cross-Cultural Kind.

"The powerful personal statements in this book show how encounters with someone who is in some way different can shape lives and have a profound impact on how one looks at the world," says Executive Director, Joe Lurie.

One of the authors, Phyllis Finkel Mattson, writes, "Living at I-House was like a banquet table laden with countless dishes, each opening my senses to new tastes and textures. I still savor the flavors." A history student at Cal, Tina Perng, wrote the following review:

Close Encounters of a Cross-Cultural Kind looks at the impact of International House over the last three-quarters of a century through the reflections of residents who lived its purposes. As a student of history, I appreciate this book as a veritable historical document. Through the essays gathered in this volume, I learned that International House stood as a pioneer against segregation in the 30s and spread its protective wing over Japanese-American residents victimized by the internment policy in the 40s. Even in our own time, it helped cut short the cycle of animosity by extending sympathy to those who lost loved ones on September 11 while promoting tolerance toward Middle Easterners indiscriminately ostracized because of their ethnicity and creed.

I was inspired by the personal accounts that testify to the critical role played by I-House in helping to forge unlikely friendships. Enemies met, strangers fell in love, and stereotypes disappeared. Sue Allen, an international student from South Africa, befriended a fellow South African, something that was unheard of in their home country at the time because of their different racial backgrounds.

Sean Cunningham describes the misleading assumptions he had about his roommate, Sergei, who was from what was then the USSR, "The ideological underpinnings of life with Sergei were quickly washed away by the daily routine of life . we became less like diplomats and more like roommates used to one another's small idiosyncrasies."

Living at International House is clearly a cross-cultural education. And, from the evidence in this book, it is one worth undertaking.

Close Encounters Of A Cross-Cultural Kind may be purchased through the Development Office for $11.95 plus $2 shipping. Proceeds go to the Annual Scholarship Fund in support of our 75 th Anniversary Campaign. To purchase a copy, there are several options:

  • By mail: send a check drawn on a U.S. bank payable to International House to International House Development Office, 2299 Piedmont Ave., Berkeley, CA 94720.
  • By e-mail: send your Visa, MasterCard or JCB account number and expiration date to ihalumni@berkeley.edu
  • By phone or fax: call (510) 642-4128 or fax (510) 643-8968 with the credit card info described above.

Be sure to include the address to which we should send the book!

Online edition of the alumnus newsletter of International House
© 2004 International House