International students celebrate International Education Week at the Beach

The Central Plaza at Cal State Long Beach transformed into a little journey around the world, with international students representing their home countries, at the International Village Wednesday.

As part of a series of events for International Education Week, international students were invited to set up booths showcasing their home countries and traditions. The International Village included student representatives from Qatar, Japan, Saudi Arabia, China, Germany, and more.

Tables were adorned with flags as members offered traditional foods, such as date cookies from Qatar.  Students also performed dances from Qatar, Bollywood and Saudi Arabia, and offered mini language lessons.

Mike Leinecke, an exchange student from Germany, dressed up in traditional German attire to represent his home country at their booth.

During the event, Leinecke said that students asked various questions about German culture, the capitol as well as personal stories about their experiences as exchange students.

Director of International Student Services Melissa Lyon, an organizer of this year’s event, said it is celebrated in several countries worldwide.

“The idea is that we get together to celebrate and promote the idea of international education and exchange,” Lyon said. “We want American students who study here at [CSULB] to get out and go abroad to visit other countries, and experience something beyond the border, and for international students to integrate on the campus and bring their culture, perspectives and world views.”

Chinese exchange student Skylar Bao, said they decorated their table with distinguishing elements of Chinese culture, such as chopsticks, paintings and crafts.

“We feel like our country’s culture is really interesting and we want to share this with students from around the world,” Bao said.

Exchange Student Adviser Jennifer Orem hosted a series of raffle prizes, such as packs of Monster Energy drinks and gift cards, throughout the event.

After the dance performances, Associate Dean and Executive Director of International Programs Terrance Graham stepped onstage to thank participants and attendees for coming to the International Village.

“This event has demonstrated for me, once again, what a vibrant, diverse, dynamic and welcoming campus [CSULB] is,” Graham said. “Even in this hot sun, we’re out here appreciating the diversity that our international students bring to campus.”

The International Education Week runs through Friday Nov. 15. For more information on upcoming events, including the African Cultural Extravaganza, visit the CSULB International Education website.

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