Bakersfield College and the International Student Association will be celebrating world cultures and traditions in an event called “Global Connection” on March. 13 at the Renegade Crossroads and Fireside Room.
The event will provide BC students, faculty, and staff with an opportunity to meet international students who are eager to learn about American culture as well as share more about themselves, their countries, and their traditions.
Shohreh Rahman, organizer and international students’ counselor, said that the annual event will bring the world to Bakersfield College community. It will also help international students meet local students outside of the classroom.
According to Rahman, the purpose of this event is to encourage and promote goodwill among students and to increase awareness and appreciation of other cultures. “It is through education that we can promote cultural understanding and social development,” she added.
“Global Connection” will consist of two parts. The first part is the Cultural Group Exhibition, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Renegade Crossroads, Campus Center. Students will be representing their countries and share information with those who stop by.
Rahman encouraged students to attend what is expected to be a fun afternoon with trivia, games, dance, and international music. Students from different countries will be in charge of all the activities for the day.
As of 2018, “Bakersfield College’s international students served by the International Student Affairs Office represent 24 different countries and cultures,” Rahman said.
The second part of “Global Connection” will be dedicated to faculty and staff who have made a difference in the lives of international students. The annual International Faculty Appreciation Dinner celebrates faculty who students feel have been particularly supportive during their stay.
“All international students have the opportunity to invite a faculty of their choice to this dinner and present them with a ‘Word of Appreciation.’ During this event, students will also have a culture and country presentation,” Rahman shared.
Some students are excited for the opportunity to thank BC faculty, staff, and community for their support. Stephanie Silva, a student from Venezuela, shared that BC has given her the chance to be another student and not an outsider.
“As an international student, I have always had issues with people because I am different, but at BC it’s different. I get to be myself,” Silva said.
The dinner is by invitation only, and countries that will be represented include Vietnam, Jordan, Palestine, Venezuela, Japan, Italy, and Turkey. It will be held at the Fireside Room from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Both local and international students are welcomed to stop by the Renegade Crossroads to spend some time learning about the world on March. 13. Rahman also encouraged those who wish to connect and host an international student to contact the International Student Affairs Office.