The African Students Association (ASA) and International Students Association (ISA) are joining forces to host the first International Students Day Festival.
Students in the ASA and ISA are representing their respective countries, with food provided. Students will have 15 minutes to explore different tables presented by a variety of countries. Toward the end of the event, students will perform an act that represents their country, such as dancing, singing or poetry.
Countries featured in the festival include Rwanda, Nigeria, Honduras, Zambia, the Congo and more.
Kali Banda, sophomore interior design and architecture major from Malawi, said it can be be difficult for international students to become comfortable in America, especially on a college campus, because it is a different culture from what they grew up in.
“Hopefully we can make international students who are attending ACU now and in the future more comfortable here on campus,” said Banda. “It can be hard for international students to be comfortable on campus at first.”
Banda said the festival’s purpose is to welcome new international students who might be struggling to adjust to American culture. She said it is important for international students to know that there is a supportive community they can be a part of when they arrive on campus.
The missions of the ASA and ISA are to ensure international students know ACU is a place for them.
Last year, the ASA hosted an African history event to showcase the cultures and customs of the countries in Africa. Banda said the ASA wanted to improve by joining with ISA to host an event showcasing more countries and backgrounds.
Isabella Maradiaga, sophomore graphic design and marketing major from Hondorus, said, “I thought the term ‘culture shock’ was a myth, but it is completely different once you get here, even with the way you say ‘hello’ to people.”
“The festival is important to bring awareness to campus about international students because there are students from absolutely everywhere,” Maradiaga said.