Laurier’s International Education Week took place Nov. 13-17 and many clubs on campus – one in particular – took part in celebrating.
“As the Intercultural Student Association of Brantford (ISAB), we felt like we really needed to be involved and we wanted to make it fun,” said Julia Rajsigl, event planner for ISAB. “There’s a lot of panels going on, info sessions, that kind of stuff, but we wanted it to be more casual, but still learning about different cultures. And because we are such a diverse group we have access to different types or games and different types of art and all these different languages, so, we thought it would be best to put them all together on one night in RCW where people can just walk in and out.”
The three-hour event brought students and faculty to the Research and Academic Center lobby on Nov. 13. The event featured various stations that allowed individuals to wander around different aspects of several cultures.
“We had a little language booth where people rotated through teaching different languages like Korean, Arabic, Japanese, Mandarin, French,” said Rajsigl.
Games from other cultures, such as Chinese chess, were also taught and learned.
Both international students and exchange students helped throw the event, which made it even more fun, according to ISAB executives. Rajsigl explained that they sent two ISAB executives, who are from China, to an Asian supermarket to grab snacks for the event, to make it inclusive. Food ranged from hot to cold to desserts.
“We had a whole bunch of different international foods,” she said. “Canadian, we had pancakes and maple syrup and apple crisp.” All the food was gone at the end of the event, said Rajsigl.
One of the more popular stations was the photo booth. Flags of different countries made it a little homier for those from out of town.
ISAB and Laurier International do many events throughout the year to bring the Laurier community closer together.
The Multicultural Gala is thrown every year in the winter term. Even though purchasing tickets is required, the thought behind it remains the same – celebrate cultures and bring everyone closer together. The gala usually involves a fashion show where traditional dress is shown and everyone gets to be proud of where they came from.
“I think ISAB is important because it brings domestic students and international students together in a fun way,” said Rajsigl. ““If you’re thinking of doing anything international at Laurier, just poke your head in the door. It’s voluntary, it’s pretty low maintenance, but still a lot of fun and you get to know a lot of people.”
Wednesday’s event brought out approximately 75 people to the RCW lobby. 10 Volunteers helped run the events as people were sucked in by the excitement of learning about other cultures.
ISAB hopes to make this an annual event, as they saw it reached a lot of the Laurier Brantford community.
“This whole week is dedicated to multiculturalism and creating cultural awareness. We want everyone at this campus to feel included and to have fun. That’s what ISAB does, that’s what Laurier International does.