International Welcome Party attracts diverse group of MU students

Cultural presentations, food and music filled Brewer Court on Saturday night.

MU welcomed over 1,000 students, faculty and alumni at the annual International Welcome Party from 7 to 10 p.m. on Sept. 12.

The event was sponsored by Mizzou After Dark, The Department of Student Life, the MSA/GPC International Programming Committee and the Missouri International Student Council.

“I think it’s really amazing that so many people came out,” said Amber Cheek, Disability Inclusion and ADA Compliance Manager. “As a university, we are trying to be more inclusive with international students. Considering the line to get in is around the building, I think that’s a good sign.”

Tables lined the room with student and alumni representatives from 15 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and South America. Students wore cultural attire and shared a variety of authentic foods, traditions and activities from their respective countries. There was also a dance floor and cultural music.

International Business major and freshman Jelena Wang taught Chinese calligraphy and Mahjong, a game.

“I love seeing the diversity and learning about the different cultures as well as introducing Chinese culture to other students,” Wang said.

International students contribute to approximately 21 percent of graduate student enrollment, and 6.4 percent of the total MU student enrollment, according to the MU International Center’s website.

Also at the event were the faculty that encourage and support the growing international student population every day.

“I have been an English as a second language teacher for almost twenty years,” ESL teacher, Clare Melick said. “It is like traveling around the world without going anywhere. It’s been a neat adventure.”

The overwhelming majority of students, alumni and faculty said they enjoyed learning about the multiple cultures represented on campus, meeting new people and trying new foods from all over the world.

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