Event honors international student community

Jayleen De La Cruz
Staff Writer 

The Office of International Services and Engagement celebrated its 23rd annual International Education Week with the International Education Festival on Citrus Lawn Wednesday.

International Education Week is a nationwide event to help students elevate their understanding and global awareness of diverse cultures and backgrounds.

“Although our International Education Week is only hosted once a year, our office hosts cultural events every month and students can look at Campus Labs or social media to find out what events are happening,” Nancy Newman, director of the Office of International Services and Engagement, said.

The International Education Festival was hosted as an opportunity for students to learn about different cultures, listen to live music and taste international foods. 

This event was also an opportunity for international students to learn more about the La Verne experience and for students to learn about study abroad opportunities.

Current students, as well as international students, attended the event to learn more about international travel and what the University has to offer.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to connect local to global and to deepen global engagement and help build bridges across cultures,” said University President Pardis Mahdavi who attended the event along with more than 80 community members. 

During the celebration, students enjoyed delicious food representing various cultures around the world, including pasta, enchiladas, salad, fajitas, rice and agua de sandia. 

Students enjoyed their food at tables set up at Citrus Lawn, which was surrounded by flags from around the world.

The flags displayed represented most of the international student population.

“You get to see many different people from many different cultures that you get to interact with,” Zaira April Salgado, senior criminology major said. “You get to know them, have different interactions, compare what you like and dislike and ultimately make new friendships.”

The Greek life organizations,  as well as many campus clubs. displayed booths to show international students what University life is all about. Student resource booths, such as the office of international services and engagement and the academic and career services, were also present to provide students with information about study abroad programs.

Students and faculty were also able to vote on photos submitted prior to the event, showcasing various landscapes from around the world, leading up to the photo exhibit event the next day.

Throughout the whole event, cultural music from around the world played. On one occasion, the song “Payaso de Rodeo,” a traditional Latin line dance, came on. During this time, a few students started dancing while everyone else applauded.

Naif Faisal, a Saudi Arabian international student said that events like these are very helpful to international students because they provide resources about the campus and community, which help them get more acclimated to the environment. 

For more information about international services, go to laverne.edu/oise

Jayleen De La Cruz can be reached at jayleen.delacruz@laverne.edu.

Jayleen De La Cruz is a sophomore communication major with a concentration in public relations and a staff writer at the Campus Times for Fall 2023.

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