Lynchburg, VA (PRWEB) March 29, 2012
International Week kicked off on Friday, March 23, with a full lineup of events to showcase the diversity of Liberty University’s international student body.
Liberty is home to more than 900 international students who represent 83 countries across the globe.
This is the first year the Office of International Student Services has hosted International Week. Students have participated in several events, including a Mosaic Mixer on Friday, March 23, featuring different ethnic groups that displayed their cultures through music, art, food samples and cultural games, as well as a fashion show that highlighted traditional clothing from around the world. A cultural talent show was held on Monday and a free coffee and tea tasting followed on Tuesday.
The “Taste of the Nations,” a popular Liberty tradition that has been held during Missions Emphasis Week in the past, took place Wednesday night in the Tolsma Indoor Track at Green Hall from 9-11:30 p.m. With food from more than 20 countries, students sampled a wide variety of traditional dishes made by international students.
Junior David Granda, a junior marketing student from Ecuador, has been involved in Taste of the Nations since his freshman year when his older brother helped manage it. This year he planned empanadas as the main dish and postres tres leches for dessert.
“I thought Taste of the Nations was an interesting way to show my culture and my country,” Granda said. “And I really like to cook.”
The week also includes an International Art Show on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Grand Lobby of Arthur S. DeMoss Learning Center. International students will display artwork they have created and brought from their country.
The Office of International Student Services not only holds more than 50 events annually through the C. Daniel Kim International Student Center, but also advocates for international students, aiding them in the admissions process and with scholarships, recruitment, student retention and health insurance.
Kristina Venable works closely with students as the operations assistant and health insurance representative at the center. She said she sees the international students’ passion for learning and how their diverse perspectives contribute to the student life at Liberty.
“They have a yearning to learn,” Venable said. “If you come to a different country, no matter where you are coming from, you want to learn, otherwise you wouldn’t travel so far.”
Venable also helps to keep the International Student Center running. Recently relocated to the second floor of Arthur S. DeMoss Learning Center, the lounge is a popular place for international students to spend time with each other.
Sophomore Travier Rolle, an Industrial Engineer major from the Bahamas, frequents the center.
“When I go there I feel closer to home because there are so many people from so many different places, because that’s how it is in the Bahamas,” Rolle said. “It’s easy to relax and connect to people.”
Liberty University, located in Lynchburg, Va., is the world’s largest Christian university . More than 12,000 students attend classes on its 6,500-acre residential campus and more than 70,000 study in its thriving online education program.