Ferris will be holding the 25th annual International Festival of Cultures as an opportunity for students to learn more about those around them.
The festival is set to take place on Sunday, April 14, with the The Big Event scheduled for the previous day. The International Festival of Cultures will offer another opportunity in this weekend of outreach for students and community members alike to expand their horizons, following a day of embracing the community with an afternoon of actively learning about the many cultures with which they share a campus.
The festival will run from 1 – 5 p.m. Sunday afternoon in the Interdisciplinary Resource Center (IRC). Tables will be set up throughout the building, each one being monitored by students eager to share different aspects of their cultures. Activities and displays will vary from table to table, but often include music, dance and food.
Ferris junior in pre-optometry Jocelyn Aigdodawa has participated in the festival for three years now. When asked what she most looked forward to doing at the festival, she talked about the food she would have at her table—Nigeria—and said she wanted “to create an awareness to student at Ferris about other cultures.”
The international roster at Ferris has multiplied over the last few years, and with it, so has the festival. Three years ago, Ferris had 125 international students. That number is now up to 360, and the growth has been paralleled by the festival. Almost 1,500 people attended last year, with the Office of International Education estimating that over 1,000 students and members of the community should attend this year.
More international students also means a larger and more diverse number of students who will be sharing with the community. Ferris freshman in business administration Thong Cran is one of those new students. He’ll be sharing a dish called pho from his home country of Vietnam.
When asked what he would be doing at the festival, Cran said, “I’m having a good time. I’m going to cook for them and tell them about Vietnam.”
With a student roster that continues to expand and evolve, many faculty and students consider the International Festival of Cultures an important event for the bonding of students and community. Another year older and bigger than ever, the afternoon of food, music and activities looks to further cement its place as an important event at Ferris.