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The World Cup Unifies

This year’s 2014 World Cup wasn’t just fun to watch because of our surprisingly competitive United States team (thank you, Tim Howard), the unique hairstyles some players chose to debut, or even the Colombian team’s synchronized celebratory salsa routine. The World Cup was fun to watch because it’s such a unifying force that, at the same time, provides countries an outlet to display their individual identities. The teams play with pride and determination to represent their country to the best of their abilities.

This summer, the Cup may have been a unifying force on the global scale, but it was also a unifying force on the campus scale for ONU students. ONU International Services streamed many of the matches on a large screen on campus and, in addition to our faithful international student attendees, many American students, faculty, staff and even visiting summer campers showed up to cheer on various teams.

The games were especially significant for ONU and International Services this year because Brazil was the host country, and ONU currently has 42 Brazilian students enrolled. These students raised the level of enthusiasm and emotion in the room for each match. It was not easy for them to be in the U.S. while their families and communities were celebrating back home, but they experienced a great deal of pride in being able to share their country and culture with their peers at ONU.

With Saudi students donning Brazilian jerseys, Brazilians eagerly rooting for the U.S., and everyone making predictions on the final two teams – the matches were an awesome catalyst for group interaction and another way for our diverse student body to find common ground. Onward to the 2018 FIFA World Cup!

Read more about ONU’s World Cup Fever and our Brazilian students in a recent web feature story.