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International Festival helps bring the world together

March 15, 2011

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Photo of WMU International Fest.KALAMAZOO--The music, dance, food and fashions of 13 cultures representing five continents will be spotlighted during Western Michigan University's 2011 International Festival from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 20, 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 more than 2,000 students and community members. Attendees are able to "travel" around the world in a single evening while gaining an appreciation for the diversity of student cultures prevalent at WMU.

The University enrolls more than 1,260 international students from 94 countries and hosts more than 15 international students organizations. Participating this year are the Saudi Arabian Students Association, Asian Pacific Islander Network, Association of Chinese Scholars and Students, Dominican Student Organization, Indian Student Association, Japan Club, Latino Student Alliance, Malaysian Student Association, Muslim Student Association, Society for Central Eurasian Studies, Taiwanese Student Association and the West Michigan Iranian Community.

"The festival comes together through a months-long collaboration between international students celebrating their homelands and domestic students representing their specific interests," says Craig VanGalder, programming chair. "It's a splendid opportunity for the campus and local community to experience international culture, food and fashions under one roof without leaving Kalamazoo."

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

For more information about the 2011 festival, contact Craig VanGalder at intl-rso@wmich.edu or (269) 387-3944 or Margaret von Steinen at margaret.vonsteinen@wmich.edu or (269) 387-3993.

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Media contact: Margaret von Steinen, (269) 387-3993, margaret.vonsteinen@wmich.edu

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