Flags being flown during International Week

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International Week to celebrate global culture

Sudanese hip-hop artist Emmanuel Jal to speak, perform on May 9

Ohio University's International Week is back and this year's theme encourages students to "take the first step" into world culture.

Starting Saturday, May 8, and closing on Sunday, May 16, this week-long celebration will showcase cultural diversity from across the world with speakers, crafts, music and food.

"We chose "Take the First Step" because we wanted to inspire people to broaden their horizons, try something new, and take the first step in making their world a better place," said Amanda Yusko, international student adviser and event planner with the university's International Student and Faculty Services office.

The week will kick off on Sunday with a screening of the documentary "War Child" at 7:30 p.m. in Baker University Center Theatre. This award-winning film tells the life story of hip-hop artist and keynote speaker Emmanuel Jal, who fought as a child soldier in the Sudanese civil war.

On Monday, Jal will speak about his experience at 7 p.m. in the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium, opening and closing his lecture with performance of his songs.

At "A Taste of Study Abroad," students can sample food from over 20 countries while learning about international opportunities through the Office of Education Abroad. The food fair will be held Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Grover Center Atrium.

International Week will culminate with the International Street Fair, which features more than 30 booths representing the cultures of international student groups and nonprofit community organizations. 

The fair will take place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Court
Street. There will be stage entertainment throughout the day including music and dancing, and street vendors will sell international cuisine and crafts, said Yusko.

International Week community service projects are new to this year's programming. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 3 and 5 p.m., international students and those who have spent at least one year abroad can share their experiences with local youth through Kids on Campus. Other service projects include assisting with the street fair set-up on Saturday and a tour and project at the Recycling Center at the Ridges from 1 to 3 p.m. on Thursday.

"We are trying to provide opportunities for everyone ... from talking with someone from a different country or culture, exploring study abroad options, getting involved in community service projects, even exploring different cuisines," Yusko said.

International Week is sponsored by the International Student Union, the Student Activities Commission, International Student and Faculty Services, and the International Week Committee.

Click here for a full schedule of International Week events. For information on volunteering, visit the Community Service office website.