Food and entertainment from cultures around the world will be offered during Troy University’s annual ISCO Festival just before the Thanksgiving break.
The sponsor is the International Student Cultural Organization, created in 1975 by faculty members Nolan Hatcher, James Sherry and Edward Merkel, according to Sherry, who is co-adviser of ISCO.
Troy University’s main campus has 707 international students from 69 countries according to Ashley King, international student adviser.
The 10 countries that give the university the most students, in descending order, are China, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Nepal, Germany and Kenya.
In the ISCO Festival, students from all over the world show their talents by singing, dancing and playing traditional instruments.
ISCO holds this event to show how important international students are for Troy University.
Nyari Chanakira, a junior hospitality and tourism major from Harare, Zimbabwe and president of ISCO, said the 2013 festival will be on Nov. 21 in the Trojan Center Ballroom. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m., and the festival will start at 6 p.m.
“At this festival we will have various performances from different international students as well as from domestic American students,” Chanakira said. “We also have a great menu with main meal, dessert and there will also be an exhibit of different international foods, little souvenirs that international students have brought.”
“The main highlight of ISCO Festival is to show the international and diverse body that we have in Troy. Even though we re internationals, we are still part of Troy, and we are still Trojans.”
ISCO currently has about 95 members. About 67 to 69 countries will be represented in ISCO Festival. The price for the tickets hasn’t been set yet, but it will be about $10 for ISCO members and $15 for faculty, staff and non-ISCO members, as it was last year. The capacity of the ballroom is 350 people.
“For me, ISCO has been a way to explore new cultures and not even have to leave the state of Alabama,” said Clinton Davis, a senior math major from Walnut Hill, Fla. “Granted, it would be nice to go, but since I can’t go, I am grateful that international students come here and give presentations about their countries at ISCO meetings, and I am also grateful for the existence of ISCO club that allows the international students the opportunity to educate us silly Americans.”
Sooran Choi, a graduate student in post-secondary education in English from Busan, South Korea, said ISCO allows her to interact with people from different countries.
“I can learn a lot of things from them, like beautiful cultures, traditional food and languages, which is great,” Choi said. “Also, ISCO gives us a bond because we are here as foreigners and we get lonely sometimes, and ISCO gives us friends who feel the same way.”
Caroline Samp, a senior exchange student in business and economics from Germany, said ISCO “gives me the opportunity to get to know about other countries and nations and their cultures. I can talk to people from all over the world and exchange ideas, opinions and cultures.”