ISSO to offer students a ‘Taste of Culture’



As part of International Education Week, the International Students and Scholars Office will host a “Taste of Culture” fair in Rod Library on Monday, Nov. 12 from 4 to 6 p.m.


The International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) will be hosting a “Taste of Culture” fair in Rod Library on Monday, Nov. 12 from 4 to 6 p.m. It is one of several events organized to celebrate International Education Week.

Several tables will be set up, each dedicated to a different country featuring traditional food, clothing and other items from its culture. There will also be live performances throughout the afternoon.

Students will have the opportunity to receive a mock passport and “travel” to each table learning about what they have to offer, all while enjoying a variety of free food.

“It is a really great opportunity to explore different cultures,” said Valeria Ayala Garces, an ISSO graduate assistant. “It’s definitely unique [opportunity] to be open-minded and be welcoming to different aspects of each country and also because international students have a big role at UNI and overall. I think we can learn from them and that goes both ways.”

Taste of Culture has been held annually during International Education Week for several years. During the week, all programs related to international students come together to highlight the students and their variety of cultures.

Other International Education Week events include a film screening and “Tales from Abroad,” hosted by the Study Abroad Center on Tuesday, and “Islam 101” by the Muslim Students Association on Wednesday.

Monday’s event will represent about 22 different counties, including Peru, Austria, Brazil, Chile, China and Columbia, to name a few.

Students in attendance will not only increase their awareness of what different cultures have to offer, but also learn more about places to which they could potentially travel. The event gives students considering studying abroad the opportunity to learn how to make the most of their experience.

“UNI is rich in many ways, starting from their students,” Garces said. “Each student has a different background, so I think those two hours led by our international students just to spread that awareness, to say, ‘Hey, this is where I am from, but we still have something in common, which is we go to the same school. We are both learning, seeking a degree, but this is what I bring to the table.’ So, in a way I think it is a really cool awareness experience, like self-awareness, spreading awareness and also just a learning experience.”

For students who visit each table and get all the countries on their passport stamped, there will be prizes distributed.