Cultures from across the globe were celebrated at Samford University’s annual Global Connections Fair on April 7. Samford’s Global Engagement Office team, along with students, organized, planned and hosted the event to promote various international education opportunities and share the benefits of studying abroad.
At the fair, students experienced food, activities and performances from four global regions: Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands, Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe and Canada. The performances included Mexican dancers and Taekwondo.
Many Samford students participated in the event as volunteers, like freshman Christiana Hewlett, who works in the Global Engagement Office and is a member of Samford’s International Club. Hewlett said, “I care about learning about other cultures and want others on campus to learn about other cultures represented on campus and raise awareness.”
Another Samford student, junior Avery Ketcherside, wanted to promote the benefits of studying abroad after she spent the fall semester in London at Samford’s Daniel House program.
“I think studying abroad is the best experience you can have in your college years. It’s so rewarding. It also allowed me to make connections on campus and meet people who I wouldn’t have met had we not been living in the house,” said Ketcherside.
The Global Connections Fair allowed students who have studied abroad to share how their international experiences benefitted them, while students who have yet to go abroad could explore the opportunities available. International students could also share their unique cultural heritages at the event, creating a blend of education that the Global Engagement Office hopes will enrich the lives of other students.
“Cultural exchange deepens learning to provide context for how structures, ideals, beliefs, and policies have come to be and how culture affects them. Students seeking to ‘go farther’ in their personhood and profession must engage in international education,” said Alexis Whiting, a Samford Abroad Advisor in the Global Engagement Office.
For more information about how Samford works with international students or study abroad opportunities, visit the Global Engagement Office website.