At the 2019 international fair, students walked around Fulkerson Center asking international students about their culture, country and even tried traditional foods. The event included a flag parade where each country walked on stage and then around the room showing off their countries flag, many booths with facts about the country and traditional foods that students got to try, songs and dances were performed and there was a short fashion show.
Many of the booths were decorated in the countries colors and had lots of pictures of places in that country. Mexico’s booth had lots of day of the dead decorations, sombreros and had music and videos playing, while France’s booth had a human sized Eifel Tower with snacks and treats that are served in France. The international fair had a big turnout of students and community members.
Q: Where are you from?
A: Nicole Donnelly: Cape Town, South Africa.
Allycia Gan: I’m from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia which is the capital.
Q: How did you end up coming here to Missouri Western?
A: Nicole: I’ve always wanted to come play college tennis since I was a young girl. I was recruited to come here and I did research and got my CVN and that’s how I got here.
Allycia: I came here because I play golf and I got recommended from a senior that graduated from this school and I found connections, so that’s why I came here.
Q: What do you think this international fair means to the students?
A: Nicole: I think it means bringing everyone together, learning a little more about everyone’s country.
Allycia: I think it gets people here to learn more about other cultures and that’s why they hold this fair.
Bailey Gilbert (American): I feel like they can actually be themselves here, they actually get to show people where they’re from, bring unity, show their culture and show that they’re not that different from us they just have different qualities.
Cindy Herrera (American): I think it’s a great opportunity to really represent different cultures and really see how different cultures are and also how similar we can be.
Q: How do you feel about the international fair being an international student?
A: Nicole: I was super excited for it, I was so happy to share things from South Africa and show the students a little more about my country.
Allycia: I think its really fun and really cool because I get to explain and talk to the people here who really want to know about my culture and country, and I’m very happy to explain more about Malaysia.
Nicole: I think its really cool to represent my country and being an international student.
Q: What do you think the international fair bring to Missouri Western?
A: Nicole: I think it brings unity, a lot of joy and love to everyone.
Allycia: It allows the students or anyone who attends to learn more about other cultures and countries and get to know the students that are from other countries and allows you to make a lot of friends.
Bailey: I just think it’s a really unique event and I feel like more international students will come to this event and our school because we have this event and its just another way for students to connect with different cultures.
Cindy: I think it allows international students to represent themselves and it also shows how open this community is.
Q: What do you think is so important about this event?
A: Nicole: What I think is important is learning about everyone’s culture, religions and traditions we do outside of America, so I think it’s important that everyone gets to know something about the world.
Allycia: I think it’s just getting to learn more about other cultures and the people from those cultures and their traditions.
Q: What are your favorite traditions?
A: Nicole: I love Christmas, I think it is the best time of the year, back at home it’s just a really wonderful time where you just gather with your family and have a good time.
Allycia: Celebrating Chinese New Year.
Nicole: I also really love Easter, that’s a great time of year.
Q: What are some traditions you do in your culture that the U.S. does not?
A: Nicole: In South Africa we don’t necessarily do traditions different than the U.S., but we do celebrate Guy Fawkes Day, where there’s a bunch of fireworks from the beach and then Christmas and Easter are the two biggest holidays.
Allycia: We celebrate Chinese New Year, we don’t celebrate Halloween but we do celebrate Christmas, so I know about Christmas but Thanksgiving is new to me.
Q: How many languages can you speak?
A: Nicole: I can only speak two languages, I can speak Afrikaans and English.
Allycia: I can speak like five different languages, I can speak Chinese, English, Malay, Corrine and Cantonese.
Q: What is something from your culture that you would like to bring to Missouri Western?
A: Nicole: I would say being a Christian and being brought up as a Christian and bringing that type of joy to people around me and making a difference within Christianity.
Allycia: I think I want to bring how people talk more here, I want to bring that back to Malaysia.