International event encourages student diversity
Liberty students from all across the world gathered in front of DeMoss Hall Thursday night, Aug. 28, to celebrate cultures from around the world. This Worldwide Welcome was designed to help new and returning international students connect with others from their native land and from around the globe.
International Student Services plans between 25 and 30 cultural events during the year. Many of the workers are volunteers, students completing CSER hours and even internationals themselves.
There are just less than 1,000 international students from across the globe who have come to Liberty University to pursue their education. Sharon Bloomfield, associate director of admissions, attributed the large number to Liberty’s recruiting methods and students spreading the word through friends and social media. A Canadian herself, Bloomfield has worked with the department for 12 years.
“I have such a love for international students and helping them,” Bloomfield said.
Albania, Korea, Thailand and many more countries were represented at the event. Guests were treated to food, games, music and other activities. Various tables were set up offering information about the different organizations that they represented. Ntibonera Foundation was accepting donations toward their mission trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in June 2015. Family Life Church and Pentacost Students and Associates (PENSA) Ministry, both of which have many international students in attendance, were also handing out information.
Liberty University organizations also had tables, including the Chinese Student Christian Association, the Association of Students of African Decent and the Spanish Club. Alvaro Jaramillo, the vice president of the Spanish Club and a junior majoring in industrial engineering, is originally from Columbia. Jaramillo came to Liberty because of the Christian college atmosphere and the university being located close to his family.
“I really liked CFAW,” Jaramillo said. “And it is a really good environment for studying. The sports are great too.”
Those in attendance were serenaded by The Latino Group from the School of Music. The children in attendance gathered around the games set up for them while others had their name written in Korean. Henna paintings, portraits and face painting were all popular activities. The master of ceremonies, named TK, kept the party going with crowd games, such as saying “Hello” in as many languages as they could.
Another junior who joined the festivities, Esther Hewitt, comes from Northern Ireland. Hewitt’s brother attended Liberty University, and she came to visit during College for a Weekend and wanted to come as well. She is majoring in nursing.
“Liberty has such a unique, Christian atmosphere,” Hewitt said. “There’s a unique style of teaching and the teachers are personal. You can’t get that anywhere else.”