International Festival of Cultures

Bringing cultural awareness to the Ferris community

The Office of International Education is deep in preparations for the 27th annual International Festival of Cultures, a free event that celebrates the varied cultures of the university’s international students.

This year’s festival is coordinated by senior nursing major K.lee Barnes.

“I went to it last year and I thought it was really cool,” Barnes said, “so when the opportunity arose to help coordinate it this year, I was really excited about it. You get to meet a lot of new people. One of the really exciting things about the festival is [that] I’ve met a bunch of different people from many different cultures and had them explain to me what they wanted to do or what recipes they’re doing. It’s pretty cool.”

The International Festival of Cultures features a variety of tables from different countries around the world so that students can learn about different cultures and taste popular cuisine from those countries. There will also be live entertainment throughout the event, including music and dances performed by various groups and RSOs around campus. A children’s room will be available with crafts and face painting for younger attendees.

To collect food from different tables, attendees will need to use food tickets. Students will be given 3 free tickets when they arrive. Additional tickets for students and community members can be purchased for 50 cents each.

Jordan House, junior public relations major, is coordinating much of the publicity for the event.

“I am the Public Relations Intern for the Office of International Education, so I am working on some of the promotions and social media for the event,”
House said. “This experience has allowed me to have a firsthand look of the planning and promotions for such a large event. I have enjoyed the parts I have been able to participate in, and I look forward to the event itself to see everything come together.”

The art promoting this year’s festival features several handprints representing different cultures. The Office of International Education is hoping to have a banner at the event for students to decorate making handprints to form a tree. This will be the first time such an activity has been featured at the festival.

“I think the Festival of Cultures is important for Ferris and the community, because it allows students, faculty, and community members to unite and enjoy festivities from around the world,” House said. “This may be a form of education and entertainment for most, but it’s a way for people to see things they wouldn’t think to see on any regular day.”

“This event is very important for campus just to kind of bring a sense of awareness to the community and to the students on campus about the different cultures that we are home to,” Barnes said. “I think a lot of times we kind of lose sight of that, that we have so much diversity going on at Ferris and if you take a look, it’s kind of neat. You can ask a bunch of different people questions about where they’re from, what is it like and how is it different from here, and they’re willing to answer that for you. This event really brings that aspect of Ferris to a better light.”
This year’s International Festival of Cultures will take place on April 12th from 1pm to 5pm in room 202 of the University Center.