International Festival celebrates cultural diversity

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students will celebrate the first International Festival at the San Jacinto College Central Campus.

Members from the ESOL program will join together Monday, Feb. 24 in the atrium of the Student Center beginning at 11 a.m. to mix and mingle between classes.

“There will be music, crafts, displays, food, traditional clothing, and demonstrations,” said event coordinator Rayna Shaunfield.

Among the festivities, participants plan to showcase several ethnic traditions from different heritages.

“I believe that as we learn more about other cultures, we enhance our view of the world, appreciate the diversity, and recognize the commonalities of all humankind,” Shaunfield said.

According to the Office of Enrollment Services, thousands of international students have already made San Jac their school of choice for pursuing higher education while focusing on everyday vocal and college preparatory needs.

“I’m pretty surprised to hear that our college is so widely known by international students,” student Ashley Trevino said.

The competitive platform is offered to both resident and non-resident students who want to improve their English language skills.

“I think the program is good because it gives students the opportunity to feel more confident and acknowledged,” Trevino said.

The organization plans on representing a multitude of countries around the globe this year including, “Viet Nam, China, Thailand, Palestine, Colombia, El Salvador, Bolivia, the Philippines, Mexico, and Czechoslovakia,” said Shaunfield. “Let’s celebrate our cultural diversity! Our ESOL students are excited about sharing their heritage and customs.”