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International Festival expected to draw 3,000 people

March 7, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Area residents will have a chance to learn about other countries as well as sample exotic cuisines during Western Michigan University's 19th annual International Festival from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 16, in the East Ballroom of WMU's Bernhard Center.

The free event is a global open house that attracts about 3,000 campus and community members each year. International Festival 2008 will feature 15 of the University's international student groups representing countries on five continents.

Members of the participating student groups will be staffing display tables and performing native dances as well as fashion shows. For a nominal fee, they also will be serving some of their favorite homeland foods, all of which are prepared in campus kitchens under the supervision of professional employees from WMU Dining Services.

"International Festival is a great chance to get out and experience a world of cultures in one place," says Jordan Hochstetler, the event's programming chair. "Hundreds of students have worked for months to prepare performances, food, fashion and displays that showcase the many cultures represented at WMU and in the Kalamazoo community."

WMU enrolls some 1,000 international students. This year's festival will spotlight Latino, Muslim and WMU Hillel students as well as those representing such areas as Africa, Central Asia, China, Egypt, India, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and Thailand.

The event is being organized by WMU's International Programs Council and Campus Activities Board and being sponsored by WMU's Haenicke Institute for Global Education, Division of Student Affairs, University Cultural Events Committee, Graduate Student Advisory Committee and Western Student Association.

For more information about International Festival 2008, go to www.wmich.edu/oiss/if or contact Jordan Hochstetler at jordan.w.hochstetler@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5872.

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

WMU News
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