Students of Every Nation

The North Dakota State Parade of Nations, featuring students from around 35 different countries, took place Monday, Feb. 26 in the Memorial Union.

Every country that was featured was given a short time to introduce themselves, their country and their country’s flag. Following this, they walked in pairs and paraded out the doors to take photos on the MU stairs.

Alicia Kauffman, director of International Student and Study Abroad Services, said it is important that NDSU and the community understand how many countries are represented here.

“I think a lot of times people don’t understand how many countries we have represented in our student body,” Kauffman said. “This is a chance for people to come out to events and learn about individual students and their cultures.”

Kauffman said there are about 750 international students from nearly 80 countries.

“International Week has been around in different forms since the ’80s, but it has been more formalized in the ’90s, and this parade has always been a standard piece of the International Week for many years,” Kauffman said.

Other events of International Week include coffee of the day from a different country every day, all day trivia, “A Day in the Life” featuring the experiences of international students and many other activities in the Student and Study Abroad Services office.

“‘A Day in the Life,’ is a panel of international students and returning study abroad students who will answer questions from the audience about their experiences, either going abroad for a period of time or choosing NDSU as their place of study,” Kauffman said. “They will talk about the things that they experience in adjusting to a new culture, the interesting things they notice when they are first coming to a country and give the audience a chance to see from their perspective.”

Kauffman encourages that every student attends an event even if they are not sure what to expect.

“Our focus is to help students learn about others but also, if they haven’t thought about studying abroad, maybe learning about other cultures might interest them in doing a study abroad experience,” Kauffman said. “I think learning about other cultures makes us excited about going to other countries and learning more about ourselves.”

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