The world at Western on display at 27th International Festival

Contact: Margaret von Steinen
Photo of dancers at the 2015 International Festival.

This year's festival is set for Sunday, April 3.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Take a trip around the world—without leaving Michigan—to enjoy some of the music, foods, fashions and traditional dances of 19 cultures by attending Western Michigan University's 27th annual International Festival from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, April 3, on the second floor of the Bernhard Center.

First held in 1989, the popular event is hosted by WMU international student organizations and includes cultural display tables, ethnic cuisine, dance and music performances, and a fashion show featuring costumes and apparel from the students' home countries.

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. Get a glimpse of the festival by watching the video "The World at Western."

Festival hosts for 2016

The University enrolls more than 1,850 international students from some 100 countries and has many international student groups.

In 2016, for the first time in the festival's history, WMU's Native American Student Organization will be a part of the festivities. The full roster of student groups hosting this year's event is:

  • Association of Chinese Students and Scholars
  • Brazilian Students Association
  • Bronco African Student Association
  • Fulbright Student Organization
  • German Club, Indian Student Association
  • Indonesian Overseas Association
  • Iraqi Student Union
  • Japan Club
  • Jamaican Association of Graduate and Undergraduate Students
  • Korean Student Association
  • Latino Student Alliance
  • Malaysian Student Association
  • Native American Student Organization
  • Pakistan Student Association
  • Persian Student Organization
  • Saudi Student Association
  • Taiwanese Student Association
  • Vietnamese Student Association

Huge annual event

Photo of attendees a tthe 2015 International Festival.

Attendees at the 2015 festival

The International Festival annually attracts about 6,000 students and community members, offering a view of the diversity of cultures prevalent on campus. More than 100 students volunteer to host the festival for members of the campus and local communities, and many international students have said it is the highlight of the academic year and their WMU experience.

"International Festival is a showcase of WMU's multicultural diversity, providing a rich opportunity for international students to share their culture with the local community, as well as to learn about other cultures," says Daniel Nunez, an undergraduate from Spain majoring in business and chair of the festival planning committee. "We welcome campus and the community to join us for this celebration of our cultures."

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

For more information, contact the international activities office at or (269) 387-3966.

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