INTERNATIONAL WEEK – Celebrating Diversity, HBU Brings the World Together

When Shruti Sahasrabudhe entered her first classroom at HBU this fall, she didn’t know a single other student. She had come to the U.S. from India with her family for her husband’s job and decided to pursue a MBA to further her own education. A few days later at the International Student Welcome Coffee, she met Yue Hao from China and Komal Punjani from Pakistan. All three students realized they were in the same class and made plans to study together. A friendship blossomed and from there, the students volunteered to represent their home countries during HBU’s first annual International Week held in November. This week-long celebration, sponsored by the International Student Organization and the Student Programming Board, celebrated HBU’s incredible diversity on campus. During International Week, food trucks from different regions of the world were on campus each day providing an opportunity for students to experience the vast array of culinary choices the world has to offer. The International Culture Fair was also held in November with students showcasing items from their home countries and giving attendees a tour of the world without setting foot off campus. Shruti and the Indian delegation exhibited Indian culinary delicacies, beautifully woven fabrics, and pictures depicting the beauty of the other side of the world. Mexicans proffered tastes of their homeland while testifying about recent indigenous holidays. Vietnamese students gave samples of their famous coffee and spoke with students about the hallmarks of their hometowns. The highlight of the week was the International Fashion Show. During this event, HBU cultural organizations such as the Filipino Student Association, Vietnamese Student Association, and African Student Association, as well as delegations from other countries, performed traditional dances and exhibited clothing from their home countries. The event raised funds to bring clean water to communities around the world through donations to Living Water International. These events brought the world to HBU and united the students together into a community. The feeling has changed from campus being just a place to come to class to a place that is a home away from home. Charlotte Hartshorn, president of the International Student Organization and from England, said that International Week “makes me feel part of a family away from home.” Alejandra Rivero, from Mexico and the ISO social chair, reported that planning for and participating in International Week “has given me the space and time to share the love and pride I feel for my country with other students who feel the same passion for their own countries. For students like me, who have home so far away, talking about our country makes us feel at home, especially because we feel listened by others who feel the same way.” The purpose of International Week is to glorify God at HBU by highlighting the incredible people and cultures He has made. International and domestic students bonded together to showcase the uniqueness of the cultures represented on the HBU campus, while emphasizing that we are here together as Huskies. “Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples.” 1 Chronicles 16:24 (NIV)