International students celebrate cultural diversity at Kogan Plaza event

Media Credit: Jennifer Igbonoba | Photographer

Nora Bergström, a junior majoring in international affairs and politics and an exchange student originally from Sweden, said the event was a good opportunity for both international and domestic students to learn more about international cultures they may not know about.

Members of the GW community celebrated international cultures, nationalities and ethnicities in Kogan Plaza Friday.

The International Students Association and the International Services Office hosted the relaunched annual “World Tour” event that highlights ethnic and cultural organizations across GW for an afternoon that showcased traditional food, dances and forms of art. The event featured student organizations like the Chinese Cultural Association, the Philippine Cultural Society and the Azerbaijani Student Association.

Sare Arpacı, the vice president of the ISA and a sophomore international student from Turkey, said the focus of the event was to make international students feel at home through the celebration of their customs and traditions.

“This event is basically to showcase other performances, orgs, folklore and dances so that other international students can feel at home here,” Arpacı said.

Nora Bergström, a junior majoring in international affairs and politics and an exchange student originally from Sweden, said the event was a good opportunity for both international and domestic students to learn more about international cultures they may not know about.

“I’ve never seen this many international people gathered at GW in one place,” Bergström said. “I think it’s nice to see. And, obviously, for the Americans, it’s nice that they can go to the Turkish stand and you know, learn more about Turkey if they haven’t been and I think it is good to have for educational purposes.”

Bergström, a member of the International Students Association, said there were organizations representing countries and cultures she didn’t expect to be at the event, like the Azerbaijani Student Association.

“There’s definitely some countries that I didn’t expect to be here,” Bergström said. “I didn’t think that there would be such a big student population from Azerbaijan, for example. So, I’m intrigued by that.”

Brielle Boyd, a freshman studying international affairs, said while she is not an international student, she lived overseas in the past and the event gave her a chance to connect with people.

“I’ve lived in those countries during my developmental years, so those are like home to me,” Boyd said. “So, it’s kind of nice to make connections with people.”

Boyd also said the event provided students with exposure to countries and cultures some community members may not know about.

“There’s so many different countries being represented that some people probably haven’t heard of before, which is kind of sad,” Boyd said. “But it’s cool to see a little bit of exposure, but a little bit is better than nothing.”

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