– Co-written by Robert Wojtkiewicz (elDon Co-Editor-in-Chief) and Evelyn kielich (el Don Style Editor) –
The Santa Ana College International Student Program held its annual International Festival in the Quad on Thursday, showcasing the foods and cultures of several countries in an effort to raise money for the program.
Students flocked to the booths to try new delicacies and experience different backgrounds as a reggae band played while the crowd bobbed and weaved.
Booths competed for various awards, with the Japanese booth taking first place for both its cultural display and national dress at the event.
Awards were also given to Vietnam, which won the Counselor’s and the President’s award for their contributions.
SAC student Irene Pakpahan, who worked at the Indonesian booth, was awarded first place for her dance performance later in the event.
“I’m so happy that I won, I’m thrilled,” she said as her eyes welled up with tears of joy.
The Mexican booth by far had the largest turn out, with students lining up to buy an assortment of meaty tacos.
“We’ve had a huge line all day. Our beef definitely ran out the fastest,” said SAC student Oscar Iglesias, who was working the taco line at the booth.
The commotion even attracted the interest of a visiting kindergarten class from SAC’s Child Development Center.
“We had a really good turnout this year, as usual,” said International Students Program Specialist Junko Ishikawa.
“We usually have around 16 booths, but even with 10, it was still really good.”
The ISP offers international students a chance to come from around the world to study at SAC through a variety of services.
“Our division does outreach to bring in students from around the world,” Ishikawa said.
The program has over 300 students from 30 countries enrolled at SAC. The Festival was to help support these students and the services that SAC provides.
Those services go beyond just helping international students acclimate to life here in the states.
“We help these students with transferring, immigration, and housing,” said Ishikawa. “We even work directly with embassies and homeland security to get these kids here.”
Students can also find counseling and career planning services through the program.
The ISP’s office is located in room U-204D.
|Numbers game:10 – Booths set up cultural displays from countries around the world.30 – Number of nations that have sent students to SAC.
30 – The estimated number of international students enrolled at SAC.