Sunday, April 20, 2014

Parade tradition continues

International students will present their flags during the first Convocation of Global Focus Week

The International Student Center (ISC) will be kicking off Global Focus Week at Liberty University with its annual Parade of Nations event Monday, Feb. 10.

According to the ISC website, Parade of Nations is a chance for international students to showcase their heritage to their fellow classmates. The international students represent their country by wearing their native dress and carrying their country flag around the Vines Center during Monday’s Convocation.

The Parade of Nations has been held for the past 10 years, according to Kristina Bautista, operations assistant and insurance representative at ISC.

“The purpose is to celebrate the different nationalities represented at Liberty University and to show we are unified in Christ,” Bautista said. “This is a great way for students to represent their country and show their country pride.”

Bautista said that Liberty is currently home to students from more than 78 different countries.

The ISC, a place dedicated to helping students “learn, grow and belong,” hosts several events for international students and the general student body, according to Yuliya Shubina, international student and student worker for ISC.

“A lot of Liberty students are globally minded and interested in learning about other cultures,” Shubina said. “It is always better to learn about a culture or an ethnic group through a direct interaction with them. Parade of Nations is one of those opportunities.”

Shubina, who has participated in the event for three years, had only positive things to say in regard to what it meant as an international student to participate in the Parade of Nations.

“I am the only student from my country,” Shubina said. “…For me, it is an opportunity to introduce Uzbekistan and give a glimpse of its culture to the students at Liberty. There is something incredibly powerful about a student body … worshiping the same God despite the differences in our cultures, traditions and different languages.”

While the international students prepare for Global Focus Week, many other students are looking forward to the week, and more specifically to the Parade of Nations.

“I love the fact that I go to a university where diversity is celebrated and students can show off their cultures with pride,” junior Mallory Corpe said. “I have so many international friends and events like Parade of Nations allow them to showcase who they are. I think that’s an awesome thing.”

According to its website, ISC will also be hosting an event called Taste of Nations for Global Focus Week as another way for international students to showcase their native countries.

The Taste of Nations event allows international students to cook their favorite recipes and share the food from their home countries with their university, according to the ISC website. In the past, the event has fed more than 1,000 people.

For more information on Parade of Nations or the ISC, email isc@liberty.edu, call (434) 592-4118 or visit liberty.edu/international.

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