WMU News

Tasty dishes served at International Festival

March 9, 2005

KALAMAZOO--Hundreds of international students who have traveled to Western Michigan University to study will be giving area residents a taste of their homelands during WMU's 16th annual International Festival Sunday, March 20.

The event, which spotlights more than 15 countries on five continents, will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. in the East Ballroom of the Bernhard Center on the main campus in Kalamazoo. Admission is free, and food will be sold for a nominal fee.

The International Festival is a large global open house that attracted some 4,000 students and community members last year. It allows participants to "travel" around the world in a single evening while gaining an appreciation for the diversity of cultures present on campus.

WMU enrolls more than 1,500 international students from more than 100 countries. The University ranks among the nation's top 70 universities in terms of international enrollment and supports a variety of international student groups.

Among the groups participating in this year's festival will be the Korean Student Association, Latino Student Association, Brazilian Club, Malaysian Student Organization, Russian Club and Indonesian Student Association.

"Students start planning the festival months ahead of time, and many will be up early on March 19 to help prepare their country's cuisine and set up cultural displays," says Kristen Morin, assistant director of Student Activities and Leadership Programs. "Scores of students will also dress in traditional costumes and be on hand during the event to provide entertainment and serve their ethnic dishes, drinks and desserts."

The International Programs Council and the Campus Activities Board are organizing International Festival 2005 with funding from the Student Assessment Fee. Sponsors include the Office of International Student and Scholar Services, Student Activities and Leadership Programs, the Division of Student Affairs, the University Cultural Events Committee, the Graduate Student Advisory Committee, and the Western Student Association.

For more information, contact Kristen Morin at (269) 387-2115 or <kristen.morin@wmich.edu> or contact Suraj Belani at <surajwmu@yahoo.com>.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
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