Ohio University

International Student Union

International Student Organizations

International Student Union

The International Student Union (ISU) functions as the umbrella organization for internationally-focused student organizations at Ohio University. The members come from all corners of the world, representing the collective educational, cultural, and developmental interests of countries across the globe.

ISU is committed to assisting international students as they become part of the Ohio University and Athens communities. In addition, ISU strives to promote diversity and cultural exchange at Ohio University and aims to create a more global and inclusive campus.

International Student and Faculty Services serves as an adviser and support for ISU throughout the year.

International Student Union Mission

To represent international students by fostering an inclusive community through developing global awareness, promoting intercultural exchange and cultivating understanding.

International Student Union Vision

To promote unity, diversity and a global mindset

International Week

To learn more about International Student Union's annual week-long celebration, please visit: https://www.ohio.edu/international-week.

International Week 2020 will take place March 31st - April 7th. 

International Student Union Executives

Majed Zailaee - President

Majed Zailaee ISU exec pic

Country of Origin: Saudi Arabia
Program and year of study: PhD student in Mathematics
Why ISU: I Joined ISU in 2015 - “One aspect I love about being part of ISU is the range of networking opportunities. Also, learning about different cultures is one of most exciting the one might get from joining ISU. Joining ISU means there are many events to keep myself and my family from getting bored. We consider ISU as our big family here in Athens Ohio”

Fun Fact: "This is so challenging I couldn't think of any"



Viktoria Marinova - Vice President 

Marinova ISU Exec

Country of Origin: Bulgaria
Program and year of study: First Year PhD student in Media Arts and Studies
Why ISU: “ISU is a family and home away from home. Being the only Bulgarian-South African here, I was looking for a community to be a part of and ISU offered that to me. I fell in love with what ISU does and what it represents and worked my way up to be in the exec board. I really am passionate about ISU and respect and appreciate all of the hard work it puts into making sure that  International Students have a place away from home they can call home.”
Fun Fact: “I really love gardening and grow several vegetables and herbs which I use in my cooking. This really relaxes me.”



Isaac Owusu-Mensah - Secretary

Owuso-Mensah ISU Exec Pic

Program of Study: PhD (Candidate) Mathematics
Country of Origin: Ghana
Why ISU: “I wanted an opportunity to give something to Ohio University before I go back home, and ISU provided that. I have learnt a lot in the few months I have been part of the ISU team. It’s been a great experience to be part of the team.”

Fun Fact: “Get your mathematics right and all other things will fall in line”



Yeshan Withanage - Treasurer

Withanage ISU Exec Photo

Country of Origin: Sri Lanka
Program and year of study: 2nd year in the PhD Mathematics

Why ISU: “Because I've been benefited by ISU and want to give something back to ISU as well as my fellow Bobcats
Fun fact: “I love travelling and doing dishes at home.”




Peggy Sayo - Programming Director

Sayo ISU Exec

Country of Origin: Kenya
Program: International Development Studies 2nd year Graduate Program
Why ISU: “I first came to the USA in 2017 as a Fulbright Learning Teaching Assistant. Besides teaching Swahili at Bennett college in North Carolina, I was also a cultural ambassador of my country to the USA.
The zeal with which people were interested in learning about Kenya and our culture,ignited my desire to go beyond America and learn about other people and their cultures as well. I have since come to appreciate how united people are in their diversities. At Ohio University, the ISU family comprises of nationalities from all over the world. Students have made lifelong friendships and networks courtesy of this union.There is never a dull moment in ISU, as we have fun activities all year round!
I am glad to be a part of this amazing team.
Fun fact: Laugh your heart out all the time. It is so therapeutic



Temiloluwa Olubakinde - Programming Director

Olubakinde ISU exec

Country of Origin: Nigeria 

Program of Study: Accounting & MIS, Sophomore Ohio Business
Why ISU: “I wanted to be a part of an organization that represented my values and that of various countries.”
Fun fact: “I have 7 names”




Mandvi Malik - Programming Director 

Malik ISU Exec photo

Program: PhD Industrial Engineering

Country of Origin: India
Why ISU: “I joined ISU because it helps me to connect with different cultures and helps me to understand their beliefs. With the help of ISU events, I am getting the chance to know their festivals and celebrates them. ISU truly is ‘Many nations, one family’ to me.”
Fun Fact: “I am an animal lover.”



Harry Morgan Insaidoo - Graphic Designer

Morgan ISU Exec Pic

Country of Origin: Ghana
Program and year of study: 2nd Year, Communication and Development Studies Master Student
Why ISU: “I joined ISU to expand my knowledge on event organization and enrich my skills in design through practice.”
Fun Fact: “I love to dance at the sound of music.”




Mary-Magdalene Ngum Chumbow - Marketing and Public Relations Director

Chumbow ISU Exec Photo

Country of Origin: Cameron. “I’ve also got a lot of Kenya flowing in my veins"
Why ISU: “By being an active Ohio University African Student Union member and frequently interacting with people from all around the world on campus when I first got here, I was able to expand my interests and grow my appreciation of different cultures. It only made more sense therefore, that I join ISU and get to contribute in giving similar great experiences to other international Bobcats, while sharing my own culture with everyone I get to interact with through my current position.”
Fun Fact: “I do a pretty good job (I like to think) in juggling all my different life to-do lists, while raising another human being - my super-talented preteen son.”



Habiba Abdelaal - Photographer

Abdelaal ISU exec photo

Country of Origin: Egypt

Program and year of study: First year MPA Student
Why ISU: “I joined ISU to be a part of this organization work in supporting International Students”
Fun fact: “The in fact is that, I don't have a fun fact 😄... just kidding! I prefer animal companions more than human ones”





The current member organizations include:

African Students' Union (ASU)

The African Students' Union is a network of African and non-African Students interested in building a community that represents the beauty and diversity of the continent.


AIESEC is a global platform for young people to explore and develop their leadership potential. 

Arabic Language Student Association (ALSA)

The purpose of ALSA is for its members to practice their conversational skills, host presentations, and have general discussions regarding the Arab World and the Arabic language

Chinese Cultural Exchange Association (CCEA)

As an organization CCEA hopes to create a better environment for Chinese students at Ohio University and make them feel like OU is their home away from home.

Chinese Language Student Association (CLSA)

CLSA is an Ohio University organization that focuses on students who want to improve these Chinese language skills

Chinese Learners Association (OHIO-CLA)

The purpose of CLA shall be to serve the needs of the Chinese students pursuing academic studies at Ohio University, while enriching their extracurricular life

Communication and Development Studies Association (CommDev)

The Communication and Development Studies Association s a student organization at Ohio University that aims to inspire social change by bringing together communication for development practitioners from around the world

Fulbright Scholars Association (FSA)

The Fulbright Scholars Association is a student organization which aims at increasing cultural, social, academic, and professional exchanges and networking among Fulbright awardees and other like-minded parties at Ohio University

Indian Students Association (ISA)

ISA’s goal is to expose community members to India’s cultural and regional diversity by celebrating Indian festivals


PERMIAS seeks to promote Indonesian culture, endorse a good relationship, encourage Indonesian students' participation and representation, and develop activities to increase multicultural exchange and awareness

Iranian (Persian) Students Society (ISS)

The Iranian Student Society's goal is to promote the appreciation and celebration of the Iranian culture at Ohio University; to build strong social and educational ties and foster excellence, leadership and team work among its members

Japanese Language and Culture Association (JLCA)

The Japanese Language and Culture Association is welcoming to anyone interested in Japanese language, culture and activities

Latino Student Union (LSU)

LSU promotes the identity and unity of Latino students at Ohio University through intellectual, cultural and social growth

Muslim Student Association (MSA)

The Ohio University Muslim Students Association engages students of different origins, nationalities, and cultures who are passionate about Islam

Nepalese Student Association (NEPSA)

NEPSA's main objectives are to share Nepalese culture, traditions, lifestyle, and identity with the Athens community and foster an international cultural understanding

Omani Students Association (OSA)

OSA's goal is to introduce Oman to Ohio University, share their culture and connect all Omanis together

Southeast Asian Student Association (SEASA)

SEASA's goal is to share the many cultures of Southeast Asia through educational and social activities at Ohio University

Salaam: Student Union of Ethiopian and Eritrean Heritage (SSU)

SSU's goal is to foster Ethiopian and Eritrean solidarity and friendship, as well as to promote the history, cultures, and traditions of their people to the Ohio University community