Statesboro to discover the world through International Festival

Photo courtesy of: Angie TheatteThe Center for International Studies’ International Festival, which celebrates cultures and traditions from across the globe, will take place on Nov. 17 at Mill Creek Regional Park at 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

William Price

Belly dancing, reggae music and cuisine from every corner of the globe will be present at the seventh annual edition of the Center for International Studies’ International Festival.

“It’s an imaginative, involved way of teaching people in our community about the world,” Angie Threatte, executive director of the International Festival and administrative specialist at the Center for International Studies, said.

The festivities will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Bulloch County’s Mill Creek Regional Park and continue until 4 p.m. There is no price of admission.

Entertainment at the festival will come in the form of various international performers, international food sampling, a bazaar and the Global Village where middle and high school students learn about different countries from around the globe. There will also be “It’s a Small World” where younger children can make arts and crafts from numerous countries around the world.

“I think the International Festival is very beneficial, entertaining and educational for kids in the local schools, Georgia Southern students and Statesboro citizens,” Jo Zhou, volunteer at the festival and graduate assistant at the Center for International Studies, said.

“We bring cultures from all around the world to Statesboro and Bulloch County in a very approachable way,” Zhou said.

“I think the most exciting part to me is the Global Village because is educates the children and gets them excited to learn more about the world,” Threatte said.

The festival has grown exponentially since its conception in 2005, from 500 attendees then to nearly 3,000 attending now.

“It’s really grown quite considerably, and we couldn’t do it without the help of our volunteers,” Threatte said.

The event is run by over 100 volunteers from multiple departments on campus and off, where many students earn volunteer credit hours.

“The event is a collaborative effort between our campus, the Center for International Studies and the community. Without one of them the event would not be possible,” Jacek Lubecki, director of the Center for International Studies, said.

Over 20 local businesses and various departments at GSU sponsor the festival.

The festival is the culmination of International Education Week. All throughout the week there will be over 15 different programs aimed at educating students on what it means to be an international campus.

Lubecki said, “(The International Festival) gives a chance to show how much we as a community, not just the Center for International Studies, care about this educational goal of promoting knowledge of all things international.”