Monday, September 13, 2010

33rd annual International Student Festival celebrates culture

The longest running student-led program in the history of the University of Illinois Springfield couldn’t be stopped by rain.

The 33rd annual International Student Festival was originally scheduled to take place outside on the quad, but got moved inside the Student Life Building on September 10, 2010. The festival celebrates the rich international and cultural diversity of the UIS campus.

“It gives the campus community and the community we live in, along with the students, a great opportunity to promote their culture and to educate the other students on campus about the country they’re from,” said Tracy Beard, office manager for International Student Services.

This year’s theme was “Fun and Games Around the Globe”. The festival featured games on the quad, cultural performances and exhibits, plus a variety of ethnic foods.

“People just get to walk around and enjoy a variety of different performances and try different food and meet people from other countries,” said Cassie Bernardi, graduate assistant for International Student Services.

The event showcased the cultures of several countries including China, Turkey, India, Poland and Scotland to just name a few. Organizers hope the event opens people’s minds to other cultures and beliefs.

“This gives you a great atmosphere to try something new, to step outside of the box to eat or watch something you wouldn’t typically do in your own comfort zone,” said Beard.

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