Many Colorado College students not only know how to ski, but admit that the appeal of Rocky Mountain skiing was actually a large component in the decision to attend school here. However, one student population seems to be somewhat exempt from this rule: international students.
The Outdoor Recreation Committee makes it a point to offer several international student-only trips throughout the year, ranging from introductory backpacking trips at the Sand Dunes to introductory skiing. In the past month, international students have had the opportunity to learn both Nordic and Alpine skiing through trips by partnerships between the ORC and groups such as the Office of Minority and International Students (OMIS) and Mosaic.
Mosaic is a group on campus for international students that provides a place to learn about new cultures, talk about international politics, and just hang out with students from all over the world. Mosaic also helps facilitate trips for international students to help integrate them into the outdoorsy CC community.
Last Sunday, a group of international students hit the slopes at Monarch Mountain, many for their first time. They spent the day progressing from frustrating, fall-ridden runs on the bunny hill to turning smoothly down from the chairlift.
Megan Masuret, a CC sophomore, helped teach the students to ski throughout the day.
“The trip was especially rewarding for me because I am not involved in Mosaic and I got to know an entirely new population of Colorado College students that I had never met before, and learn more about other cultures,” Masuret said.
Chloe Marek, an exchange student from France, skied for a year in the Alps and admitted that she did not need much instruction during the day at Monarch. She said that her high point was “skiing very fast downhill on blue runs, and it was also very fun to ski in the forest, on the side of the run.”
The weather was cold and windy, according to the participants, but the reviews of the trip were positive. Many expressed a desire to expand the outdoor experience of Mosaic, suggesting whitewater rafting or climbing as future Mosaic-sponsored ORC trips.
Freshman Chris Bull, a Texas native, learned how to snowboard on this trip, after attempting skiing once before. He said that the best part of the trip was not killing himself while learning a new sport. He said, more importantly, he also learned that CC “is right to want more diversity. My experience with the international students on this trip really opened me up to how differently people can see the world.”
Mosaic covered the price of lift tickets and transportation, making the trip possible for students who otherwise could not afford a day of downhill skiing, which is by no means cheap. Fellow CC students also helped out by lending gear to the participants.
The generosity of Mosaic and CC students allowed international students to experience an integral part of Colorado culture. Members of Mosaic hope that more outdoor trips will be offered in the future.