Ferris to Host 24th Annual International Festival of Cultures

InternationalFerris State University students, faculty and staff from 23 countries will gather together for the 24th annual International Festival of Cultures on Sunday, April 15 in a new location, the Interdisciplinary Resource Center.

A Taste of the Worlds in Big Rapids, a celebration of cultures, runs from 1 to 5 p.m. on campus.

“Ferris has committed significant resources to prepare our students and community for a diverse and globalized world. Our revised general education, our new hirings, our new Center for Global Studies and Engagement reflect the institutional commitment for the future,” said Piram Prakasam, director of the Office of International Education. “The 24th International Festival of Cultures showcases the richness and fellowship that the world offers for us to embrace and cherish.”

This year’s event features several new countries, including Afghanistan, Hungary, Madagascar and Nepal.

“The International Festival of Cultures is a great opportunity to meet and learn about cultures that are present in our community, said Luzia Tartari, international enrollment manager. “It brings other cultures to life and allows you to make them part of your own world.”

The festival now includes interactive workshops and an international short-film/performance showcase. The festival has been expanded to a weeklong event that includes participation from groups such as the International Student Organization and the Asian Student Organization.

“The International Festival of Cultures is a great event that showcases the international community at Ferris. It offers the opportunity to witness the culture, tastes and activities from around the world,” said Tara Braun, Study Abroad manager. “Not only have the students, faculty and staff enjoyed the festival for years, but it also has become a community event that is anticipated throughout the year.”

The Center for Global Studies and Engagement is involved with two new events. The first Annual Intercollege Quiz Bowl Competition, hosted in conjunction with the World Affairs Council of West Michigan, and the Wines Around the World Event, hosted in conjunction with the Blue Cow Café.

Festival organizers believe that the growth of Ferris’ international student population is consistent with the growth in popularity of the international festival.

“Our international students are always very excited to participate in this event and this year is no exception,” said Kathleen Bolter, research analyst and coordinator of the International Festival of Cultures. “With our highest international enrollment on campus in more than a decade, this festival is on track to be the largest we have ever produced.”

The engagement aspect of this year’s festival is important to event organizers.

“The International Festival gives the Intensive English Program students an exciting opportunity to showcase their cultures and engage with the Ferris and Big Rapids community,” said Lisa vonReichbauer, academic coordinator, Intensive English Program

For complete information about the International Festival of Cultures, visit: http://www.ferris.edu/international

Last updated: 04-06-2015