Internations Week to provide global feel, flavors and fashions
Oct. 28, 2016
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - With the 21st century's explosion of global connectivity and mobility, it truly is a small world after all.
This "downsizing" of our planet has bred a greater familiarity with our neighbors from all "four corners" of the globe. One result of this has been a greater influx of international students arriving at U.S. colleges and universities to fulfill dreams of achieving exceptional education.
In fact, statistics released by the U.S. State Department in 2015 show that nearly 1,000,000 foreign nationals are pursuing a degree in the U.S.
Slippery Rock University hasn't been left out of the equation either as it plays host to 114 international students who represent 30 countries from across five continents.
SRU's Office of Global Engagement and the Internations Club will pay homage to those students and their countries of origin during the Nov. 6-12 Internations Week. The weeklong celebration will offer a variety of cultural events and educational entertainment in an effort to focus attention on the diverse culture and heritage of SRU's international student population.
Among the planned events are:
- Sports Night, 5-9 p.m., Nov. 6, The ARC;
- Fashion Show, 8 p.m., Nov. 7, Smith Student Center Ballroom;
- Coffee House, 12:30-2 p.m., Nov. 8, Office for Global Engagement;
- Business Expo, 7 p.m., Nov. 9, Smith Student Center (Room 321);
- Round Table, 12:30-2 p.m., Nov. 10, ECB 111; and
- International Dinner, 7 p.m., Nov. 12, Smith Student Center Ballroom
"As our international population continues to grow, what we are accomplishing during this week becomes even more popular, to international and domestic students alike," said Nora Alie, international student advisor. "Our goal is to create awareness for our international students and to promote the missions of the Internations Club and Office for Global Engagement."
The Nov. 6 Sports Night will include popular national games played in a tournament style. Past year's events has included volleyball (Sri Lanka); cricket (England, Australia, Jamaica, various African nations); and the globally popular futbol, otherwise known as soccer in the U.S.
Students will hit the runway for one the week's more attractive affairs, the Nov. 8 International Fashion Show. The event will feature traditional, casual and "dress to impress" attire, while allowing the "models" to express their individuality and spirit for what is sure to be an admiring audience.
"This event is the most fun for me," said Dilmini Diyakelinawala, a sophomore communication digital media production major from Sri Lanka. "It lets me dress up and show off my native culture. I can dance and perform, and last year I received so many compliments on my sarong. There was so much support from faculty, staff and other students. It is really nice getting to be appreciated and recognized like that."
Coffee in any language is good and the Nov. 8 Open Coffee House will encourage attendees to sample "cups of joe" from around the world. Snacks will be provided.
The inaugural Business Expo makes its debut Nov. 9. An educationally based project, several booths will be available to showcase the distinctive importing and exporting methods of different companies.
During Common Hour Nov. 10, SRU's Business Department will be sponsoring an International Round Table. Complete with presentations and debates, international students will enlighten attendees with unique and cross-cultural commercial and industrial endeavors.
The week will close with the wildly popular International Dinner Nov. 11. Last year's capacity event boasted more than 350 guests as international students prepare and serve cuisines from their homelands.
"I think living in this particular area of western Pennsylvania, stumbling across cultural diversity can be a bit of a challenge," said Alie. "With this dinner, we are being intentional about educating our American students and guests about international cultures and foods in a general and relaxed setting."
The dinner also includes a flag ceremony, scholarship awards, speeches, native songs and a talent show.
Tickets for the dinner, priced at $25 for adults, $15 for students and $10 for children, ages 12 and under, can be purchased online at: https://sru.secure.force.com/ticket or at the Smith Student Center information desk.
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