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International Festival celebrating 20th anniversary

March 13, 2009

KALAMAZOO--The music, dance, food and fashions of 15 countries on five continents will be spotlighted during Western Michigan University's 2009 International Festival from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 22, on campus in the Bernhard Center's East Ballroom.

The event features display tables, cultural performances and a fashion show. Admission is free, and for a nominal fee, attendees may sample traditional foods prepared by international students in campus kitchens under the supervision of employees of WMU Dining Services.

International Festival annually attracts about 3,000 students and community members. Attendees are able to "travel" around the world in a single evening while gaining an appreciation for the diversity of cultures prevalent at WMU.

The University enrolls more than 1,100 international students from more than 80 countries and hosts more than 20 international students groups, most of which participate in the festival. Among those participating this year are the Chinese Student Association, Dominican Republic Association, Malaysian Student Association, Muslim Student Association and Russian Club.

"An unbelievable level of cultural collaboration occurs over a period of several months to create and showcase many of the world's cultures in one ballroom," says Nick DiFranco, programming chair for the 2009 International Festival. "It's a remarkable day to learn more about our friends from around the globe."

The festival is organized by WMU's International Programs Council and Campus Activities Board and co-sponsored by the Haenicke Institute for Global Education, Division of Student Affairs, University Cultural Events Committee, Graduate Student Advisory Committee, Western Student Association and FedEx.

For more information, contact Nick DiFranco at nicholas.a.difranco@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5872 or Kimberly Ritter in the Haenicke Institute at kimberly.ritter@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5859.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400