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LWC International Festival is September 20, 2008
By Duane Bonifer, LWC Director of Public Affairs
Dustin Harris experienced cultures from all over the world when he was a Lindsey Wilson College student. And he did it without leaving Adair County.
"Lindsey Wilson has such incredible ethnic and cultural diversity," said Harris, a 2006 LWC graduate and the college's coordinator of international student campus activities. "It's such an exciting experience because you get to meet students from all walks of life from all over the globe when you are at Lindsey Wilson."
This school year, Lindsey Wilson has its second largest international student population - a total of 109 students from 41 countries from five continents. That's also the second most number of countries represented on campus.
And on Saturday, September 20, 2008, the region will get a chance to experience some of those nations' cultures at Lindsey Wilson's 10th-annual International Student Festival. The festival will be held from 10 a.m.-noon in W.W. Slider Humanities Center. It is free and open to the public."The festival is a great way for the area's schoolchildren and their families to experience and learn about other cultures from all over the world," said Suzy McAlpine, LWC director of international student programs and festival founder.
From 10-11 a.m. CT the festival will feature cultural displays, including samples of various ethnic foods. Then from 11 a.m.-noon CT several international students will give presentations about their countries and cultures.
"The international students are proud of their countries and cultures, so it's good for them to show off their cultures' values and heritage," McAlpine said.
McAlpine shows off the plethora of countries and cultures represented in Adair County by decorating her office in the Cralle Student Union Building with flags, pennants, pictures and other mementoes from around the world. And every time the college enrolls a student from a new country, McAlpine and Harris become acquainted with the new nation, its cultures and its peoples.
This school year, Lindsey Wilson enrolled international students from three new countries: Austria, Latvia and Rwanda.
"Each time when we have a new country represented on campus I'm very excited," McAlpine said. "I like to learn as much as I can about that student's country and culture so they will feel more comfortable on campus."
Another way area residents can learn more about the international students' countries and cultures is to become a host family. Unlike on the high school level, there is no financial obligation to host a Lindsey Wilson international student. Rather, a host family agrees to meet with a student a couple times a semester and help them adjust to America."Being a host family is a good way for community people to get involved with the college," McAlpine said. "The only thing they need to provide the international student is emotional support. ... Our international students also like the host-family program because it gives them a chance to meet American families and learn more about America."
For more information about Lindsey Wilson's 10th-annual International Student Festival on Saturday, September 20, 2008, or for more information about becoming a host family, contact LWC Director of International Student Programs Suzy McAlpine at firstname.lastname@example.org or (270) 384-8236.
This story was posted on 2008-09-06 08:25:20
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