Wright State International Festival celebrates its 35th year

onathon Henderson, International Festival
Wright State International Festival celebrates its 35th year /Jonathon Henderson, International Festival


On April 27, Wright State’s University Center for International Education (UCIE) will hold its annual 35th International Festival in the Student Union atrium from 1-4 p.m. There will be food at this free event.

With a range of 500 to 2,000 people that usually show up, it is one of Wright State’s highlighted events.

“The International Festival is a really great part of our community. [It] showcases our international students and how proud they are of their culture. It’s a way to bring the world to Dayton because a lot of us will never travel. It’s become an important part of our community,” said Joy Wanderi, associate director of UCIE and coordinator of the International Festival.

“In the end, it’s like a really nice wedding celebration. It’s awesome; it’s so much fun,” said Michelle Streeter-Ferrari, Director of UCIE.

Not only will there be delicious food from around the world, there will also be great performances to enjoy.

“We have a variety of performances. It’s a mixture of community groups and Wright State student groups. There will be singing, dancing, cloggers and a fashion show. All of it will be cultural and from different parts of the world. There will also be a kid’s corner,” said Wanderi.

One of the many interesting things that the festival will include is a beer garden, full of international beers as well as an area that has international coffee.

“One of the biggest highlights for the event is not only the performances but we have tables all around the top floor and a few on the bottom floor representing different cultures. You can go and learn about different countries and areas of the world. The students will show you artifacts and tell you about their country. Our theme this year is travel the world. It’s all airport themed. [It will be] like you’re boarding a plane; you’re soaring around the world,” said Wanderi.

Attendees must arrive as the event begins to see the grand opening.

“The international flag parade kicks off the event and it’s always really moving to see the international students carrying their flag. You get a sense of what it means to be involved in international education; it’s very meaningful to see,” said Streeter-Ferrari.

Along with food and entertainment, awards will also be given out during the festival to deserving members of the international community.

“We will award two awards as part of the festival. One is an International Student Advocate Award and the other is a global citizen award. For the International Student Advocate Award, we want to recognize faculty, staff or community member that has really been engaged with international students or scholars on the Wright State campus. The Global Citizen Award is usually given to a student, domestic or international, that has been engaged in learning about other cultures and promoting their own traditions, history and culture,” said Streeter-Ferrari.

If you are not able to attend this event, UCIE also celebrates international education week. Make sure your schedules are free when the study abroad fair comes around. As their biggest fair during the year, it will include vendors and fun interactive games like suitcase packing races and going through security races.

If you are a U.S. citizen, you can even get your passport at UCIE.

If you are a student interested in studying abroad, learn more about UCIE and what programs they have to offer by keeping up with their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Engage pages.