RICHMOND, Va. – One of the most popular words used to describe VCU by the 270-plus student-athletes is "diverse." Students from 110 different countries attribute to that diversity and make VCU into the university it is today.

Some of those international students came together with the VCU tennis programs recently as Associate Head Coach of VCU Women's Tennis Yana Carollo spent time teaching the game to members of Chi Alpha International.

Chi Alpha International has been working with VCU international students for almost four years now, dedicating their efforts to bringing students from different nations, background and cultures together with Americans through English conversation opportunities, American cultural activities. It provides a network of support to help students adjust to life in America.

"My friends and I are obsessed with tennis now and play daily!," said Joseph Nalluri, a PhD student in VCU's Computer Science program. "We are all fortunate to have been instructed by a coach of Yana's caliber. She's very respectful, friendly and eager to help all of us. After the clinic, a lot of my friends have expressed their interest to learn tennis."

After one of the Chi Alpha students voiced their desire to play tennis, a connection was made with Head Coach Paul Kostin and soon thereafter Carollo was on the courts playing tennis with the students. She spent three weeks this summer teaching and interacting with the Chi Alpha students.

"Being an international myself, I know that these types of opportunities are great to help students adjust to their new lifestyle at VCU," Carollo said. "It really was a blessing to be able to spend time together and learn from each other."

The group will have another clinic beginning August 6. For more information, check out Chi Alpha's facebook page