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Students, faculty and staff enjoy the International Student Festival. (Photo courtesy of Houston Student Life)

TWU Houston hosts celebration of cultures

The International Student Festival is a highlight for all of TWU-Houston each year. It’s a celebration of cultures in which students, faculty and/or staff who are originally from or have spent time in another country share bits of that country’s culture with others. Well over 200 people attended this year’s festival.

The event, which takes place the first Monday in February, is open to the entire Houston campus. People are available at each table to paint a colorful cultural experience. A “TWU Passport” moves participants from table to table and is stamped as individuals take away nuggets of information about a country.

The tables feature flags of the countries represented as well as information about and a sample of food from each country.

This year’s festival also featured posters of international students that feature the student’s photo, an image of their home country and answers to questions such as their reason for studying in the United States, future dreams, favorite foods, and more. The posters are part of a campaign Student Life began in November in which participating international students’ posters are placed throughout the building and on digital display boards.

“Houston is very rich in its ethnic diversity, and our campus here is a reflection of that,” said Deborah Unruh, assistant director of Houston Student Life. “This festival is a gentle celebration of the fabric of our university, and those who participate are able to experience a bit of the beauty of so many of the countries around the world.”

Participants and the countries they represented include:

Jinlan (Iris) Du  (IT Solutions)
Kaishi Li (master's nursing student)
Wanyi Want (research)
Tuzhen Xu (doctoral nursing student)

Jose-Louis Quintero (Academic Resource Center)

Mona Khalil (doctoral nutrition student)

Chaitali Minama (MBA student)
Stuti Sharma (MBA student)
Srinivas Nadella (IT Solutions)

Joan Edwards (nursing)

Cezanne Clarke (master's student in occupational therapy)

Japan - Okinawa Prefecture
Deborah Unruh (Student Life)

Lubna Abushaikha (Visiting Fulbright Scholar)

Lilian Wanyoike (master's nursing student)

Zainab Olalere (master's nursing student)
Ayoola Onifade (undergraduate nursing student)

Saudi Arabia 
Saja Bukhari (recent master's nutrition student)

Marilyn Goff (Academic Resource Center)

Kilian Salgado Pasantes (DPT student)

Gabriela Cova (undergraduate nursing student)
Ernesto Rodriguez Molina (master's student in health care administration)

Quy Truong (undergraduate nursing student)
Vi Ho (nursing)

Center for Global Nursing Scholarship
Sandra Cesario
Joan Edwards

Vi Ho

Embracing Cultural Differences 
Julie Whitney (Counseling & Psychological Services)

International Affairs
Meghan Schapman (Education Abroad)