SRU Internations Week to showcase flair and flavors of global community


Flags hanging

Oct. 25, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - When Partosadat Bahreini arrived in the United States in 2016, the native of Iran found refuge in the Internations Club at Slippery Rock University.

Bahreini, a sophomore chemistry major from the capital city of Tehran, described the club members, consisting primarily of fellow international students, as "warm and welcoming."

"We eat together, we travel together. We really have become like one big family," Bahreini said.

Now the president of the Internations Club, Bahreini will take the driver's seat as she and her new family join SRU's Office of Global Engagement to host SRU's annual Internations Week. The Nov. 5-11 event provides opportunities for international students such as Bahreini to pay homage to their home countries and share their unique cultures and traditions with the rest of the Slippery Rock community.

"We have a really important set of events planned that not only our club members and office can appreciate, but also the entire campus and community beyond," said Jenny Kawata, director for global exchanges and partnerships.

Among the planned activities are:
-International Sports Night, 6-8 p.m., Nov. 5, Morrow Field House.
-International Fashion Show, 8 p.m., Nov. 6, Smith Student Center Ballroom.
-International Showcase and Coffee House, 12:30-2 p.m., Nov. 7, Office for Global Engagement.
-International Roundtable, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Nov. 9, Eisenberg Building Auditorium.
-International Dinner, 7 p.m., Nov. 11, Smith Student Center Ballroom.

The Nov. 5 Sports Night will include popular national games played in tournament style including: volleyball (Sri Lanka); cricket (England, Australia, various African nations) and the globally popular fútbol, otherwise known as soccer in the U.S.

Students will strut the catwalk for one of the week's most popular events, the International Fashion Show, Nov. 6, as participants model culturally significant attire from their home countries.

"The fashion show is special to me because it allows us to show off our traditional dress," said Bahreini. "It's a big moment of pride for all of the international students to be able to share that with everyone else."

The Nov. 7 Open Coffee House will allow students to sample culturally unique brews and snacks from around the world.

The International Roundtable, Nov. 9, will serve as an opportunity for students to address current cross-cultural issues. Last year, participants addressed the global controversies of human trafficking while offering solutions to halt its practice.

"Each year, we collaborate with the business department to hold a round table where students will present on a particular topic," said Kawata. "Because of our goals to learn about other cultures and to develop a sense of openness and awareness, we try to approach that topic from multiple different perspectives."

The week's festivities will conclude with the wildly popular International Dinner Nov. 11. During the dinner, approximately 300 guests from the community will be treated to singing, dancing and various performances while partaking in more than three dozen ethnic dishes prepared and served by international students.

"Creating food from other countries can be challenging when trying to find the correct spices and ingredients, but the students work hard to make their recipes as closely to the original as possible because they really want to share that little taste of home to the community here," Kawata said.

The menu for the 43rd annual dinner will consist of various meats - chicken, beef and pork - and a variety of pastas, rice and vegetarian dishes. Desserts will also be served.

"I think the dinner is always my favorite event, because the food is just always so delicious. I've decided to prepare baklava for our guests this year," Bahreini said.

Baklava, a rich dessert pastry that consists of layers made of filo, is filled with chopped nuts and held together with syrup or honey. The dish originated from the imperial kitchens of Istanbul during the reign of the Ottoman Empire.

"By hosting these events, we want to show that you don't have to leave Slippery Rock to enjoy an international experience or to learn about other cultures," Kawata said. "This is just one small week, a snapshot of learning, but we really see this as a place where that peak of interest can begin."

Tickets for the dinner, priced at $24 for adults, $14 for students with I.D. and $9 for children under the age of 12, may be purchased at the Smith Student Center information desk.

MEDIA CONTACT: Maizee Zaccone | 724.738.2091 |