Chartwells Higher Education has announced that United Table, a new dining program focused on global flavors, has debuted at Northeastern University and the University of Illinois Chicago, providing students with a modern dining experience that celebrates the stories of cultures, cuisines and people around the world through authentic dishes, ingredients, and cooking techniques.
Research from the Institute of International Education (IIE) shows international student enrollment in higher education is on the rise, with IIE's Fall 2022 Snapshot on International Student Enrollment showing the number of new international students enrolled at U.S. institutions increased by 7% last year. That followed the 80% increase in new enrollments during the previous academic year brought on by the easing of COVID-related travel restrictions. With United Table, Chartwells is creating a tailored dining location that not only meets the needs and wants of international students but opens the door for all students to experience new cultures through food.
"There's something special about sharing a meal with friends, family, and even people you've never met before, which is why we're always looking to create food-forward initiatives that bring students together," remarks Chartwells Higher Education CEO Lisa McEuen. "We hope United Tables gives international students a taste of home while also encouraging others to engage with new cultures, people, and foods and ultimately create more meaningful interactions with one another."
Chartwells' culinarians conducted extensive market research and taste tests to create the United Table's special menu, which features a variety of concepts and recipes such as…
• Asian kitchens, featuring Korean fried chicken, pulled pork banh mi, and chicken biryani
• Mediterranean kitchens, featuring Turkish ezme salad, beef shawarma, and shatta chicken
• Latin kitchens, featuring birria tacos, Jamaican jerk chicken, and arepas
• Global breakfast options, featuring English breakfast, calentado, and Japanese fluffy pancakes
"As an international student, when you're away from home, food is something that you really miss because its flavors take you back to happy memories of where you grew up," says a third-year Northeastern student from Greece. "It's been a challenge to find traditional foods in the States so it's a very comforting feeling to be able to come to the dining hall and have something that takes you back to home and makes you feel comfortable."