CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - The International Parade of Flags kicked things off on Monday.
The parade started at 10 a.m. at Woody Hall and SIU students and staff walked through campus to the Student Center, representing several different countries and the university's international community.
SIU students, like Laura Jimenez from Mexico and Banzai Abbas from Kuwait, say it's an opportunity to share where they're from, while also learning about others' cultures.
"There's so many people from so many countries I never knew existed so it's a really big learning experience," Jimenez said. "Most of my friends are from other countries and other parts of the world, so it's really cool."
"I'be always been at an international school, now I'm at an international college," Abbas said. "So I'be had my many exposure to international students. I love different cultures so, it's a really nice feeling."
"Embracing Diversity and Intercultural Communities" is the theme of Southern Illinois University Carbon dale's International Festival.
Jana Simon is, president of the International Student Council says it's always exciting to see people representing where they're from and coming together.
"Just walking across campus, just showing a little pride in where you're coming from, and your home. I think that's important because we're so far away from home," Simon is said. "I have found that all the international students are willing to engage in conversations and open the dialogue and I think that is one of the core things that I love about International Festival week.
On February 10, you can sample food from around the world at the International Food Fair in the Student Center Ballrooms.
Visitors can enjoy food prepared by students from a dozen different countries. You can sample baklava from Turkey, Nepalese mono, King Pa chicken from China, and much more.
Tickets are available from Monday, February 1 through February 9 at the business office ticket window on the second floor of the Student Center from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., or at the door the day of the food fair, beginning at 11 a.m.
Tickets are 50 cents each.
Food prices begin at one or two tickets and go up to eight to twelve tickets for a full meal.
For more information, you can click here or call 618-536-3393.