WMU to host 25th annual International Festival

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Photo of students from the Malaysia Club at the 2013 International Festival.

Students participate in the 2013 International Festival.

KALAMAZOO—The music, dance, food and fashions of 15 cultures will be showcased during Western Michigan University's 25th annual International Festival from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 23, on campus in the Bernhard Center's East Ballroom.

First hosted in 1989, the popular event features cultural display tables, performances and a fashion show. Admission is free, and for a nominal fee, attendees may sample traditional foods prepared by international students in campus kitchens under the supervision of WMU Dining Services employees.

The International Festival annually attracts about 4,000 students and community members. Attendees are able to "travel" around the world in a single evening while gaining an appreciation for the diversity of cultures prevalent on campus.

About the event hosts

The University enrolls some 1,800 international students from more than 100 countries and has many international student groups.

The groups hosting this year's event are the:

  • Association of Chinese Students and Scholars
  • Bronco African Student Association
  • Dominican Student Organization
  • German Club
  • Indian Student Association
  • Indonesian Overseas Association
  • Japan Club
  • Latino Student Alliance
  • Malaysian Student Association
  • Pakistani Student Association
  • Persian Student Association
  • Saudi Student Association
  • Taiwanese Student Association
  • TRiO Student Success Program
  • Vietnamese Student Association

About the event

Photo of students talking with Dr. Dunn at the 2013 International Festival.

President Dunn talks with students at the 2013 International Festival.

The festival is the result of several months of collaborative work between students and staff," notes Helder Pereira, chair of the festival planning committee and a junior majoring in aviation flight science from Cabo Verde, West Africa.

"We work very hard to showcase in a single room many of the cultures represented on campus," Pereira says. "This year, we celebrate the festival's 25th anniversary, and we are doing our best to make it the most memorable. It's a great opportunity to experience the diversity of the University community, and learn about the cultures of our fellow Broncos from around the world."

The festival is organized by WMU's International Programs Council and Campus Activities Board and co-sponsored by the Haenicke Institute for Global Education, University Cultural Events Committee, Graduate Student Advisory Committee and Western Student Association.

For more information, contact Helder Pereira at intl-rso@wmich.edu or (269) 387-3944.

For directions to campus or a WMU parking map, visit wmich.edu/maps/printables.php.