International celebration fuels student community

International students came together Nov. 12-15 at California Baptist University to learn more about one another and display their cultures for International Celebration Week.

This event teaches students about different cultures so students can learn about one another.

The different days of the week are for different events.

Monday night was the Karaoke night, Tuesday foreign food affair, Wednesday world sports tournament and Thursday is the the finale carnival festival.

Leslie Shelton, director of international student services, said the event is open to all students although it is a celebration of international students.

“These are really fun ways to learn about different cultures,” Shelton said. “Whether it’s a festival (that) involves food, singing karaoke, that’s a great way to be able connect and to learn about a new culture in a way that is not super intimidating.”

Shelton said some students who are interested in different cultures but hesitant to start talking to people from different countries should attend these events so it is easier for them to connect with other students.

“This is an easier way for students to start that process if they want to experience culture and do not know much about it or do not know how to interact,” Shelton said. “This is one of those first steps that is easy. Come and learn something new but also have a good time doing that.”

This event brings international students and domestic students together to connect and teach each other different things about their cultures.

Dina Soliman, senior nutrition major originally from Egypt, said it is refreshing to see that CBU holds this festival for international students.

“This event makes me feel welcomed and some what close to home,” Soliman said. “Knowing that the school I go to acknowledges different ethnic backgrounds and going out of their way to host this warms my heart.”

Soliman said she enjoys the opportunity this event gives to learn and teach different students.

“I not only get to see my culture being discussed and (featured) but also I get to learn about other cultures and see similarities in each,” Soliman said.

Sarah Mettias, originally from Egypt, senior psychology major, said she feels CBU provides events like these so domestic and international students can engage with each other.

“The university is taking the time to understand my cultural background and also putting in the effort encouraging domestic students to learn more about my background as well,” Mettias said. “CBU has done a good job so far involving students like me. It giving gives me the opportunity to share my own cultural background as Middle Eastern.”

These events not only show appreciation for international students, but also encourage everyone to learn about the diversity of CBU and raises awareness about the different cultures while building relationships.

Other opportunities to attend cultural events are the upcoming Lunar New Year event Feb. 5 and The Festival of Color event March 29.

For more on International Celebration week be sure to look out for the Angelos Yearbook, which will come to print in April. It will be available for free to all undergraduate students at CBU.

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