At least 150 international students from Northern State University participated in a downtown walking tour on Tuesday to familiarize themselves with Aberdeen.
Members of the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commence, Absolutely! Aberdeen and the Aberdeen Downtown Association assisted students as tour guides. Downtown businesses also participated in the tour.
"It takes a lot for students to travel halfway across the world to attend college in a new area," said Holly Wall, a marketing associate for the Chamber. "This event is very exciting for them - and also for me, because I want to be able to show them different things to do in the downtown area."
For many of the students, it is their first time not only in Aberdeen, but in the United States as well.
"It's really nice to be able to show students how our downtown area is in Aberdeen," said Rosa Jundt, an intern for the downtown association, "because for many of them, they have never been outside their country."
Students toured seven downtown businesses, then ended the tour at Alonzo's Italian American Cuisine, 104 S. Main St., where restaurant manager Randy Grismer provided hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and chips.
"I gave the students a formal welcome to Aberdeen and told them a little bit about what to expect," Grismer said.
International student Yeong-Ung Noh of South Korea was among those taking in the tour.
"It is cool that they do this for us, because otherwise we will not know how to get around," Yeong-Ung said.
Yeong-Ung has been in Aberdeen for a year and is a senior at NSU.
"I've got an opportunity to meet students from all over China, Germany, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and many more places," she said.
The downtown association helped organized the walk by reaching out to local businesses.
"Downtown businesses are excited to see the international students and look forward to them visiting their business to learn what they have to offer," said Abby Kroupa, the marketing and events manager for association.
"They had many questions and they were laughing at the finger foods that we enjoy here," she said.