The International Student Association (ISA) hosted Chatham Hall’s inaugural “I-Fest” on Feb. 10 & 11 with a variety of activities designed to bring all students on a trip around the world.
“Our international students designed fun, educational, and interactive experiences to share their cultures, languages, and traditions with the Chatham Hall community,” said Charlotte Williams, international student coordinator.
“International students are important members of our community, serving in many leadership roles on campus and contributing everyday to our school. A need for a space to truly take time to celebrate and share their cultural backgrounds was a goal of ours when planning I-Fest.”
All 35 of the School’s international students took part in the event. The opening ceremony, which took place on Friday night in the Gym, included dances by Noir, poetry recitations including “Palabras para Julia” from José Agusrín Goytisolo and “The Sun of Arles” by Haizi, and a guitar performance of Под небом голубым (“Under Blue Skies”) by Vladimir Vavilov.
On Saturday, all students participated in workshops on topics ranging from Chinese tea and calligraphy traditions, Chinese art and clothing, the Day of the Dead, and various languages and cultures. Prior to the workshops, some students prepared traditional foods from their home countries to add to their presentations, including homemade pierogi, pancakes, and soup. Several groups also danced, played music, and explored other facets of different cultures.
“I was thrilled with our first-ever I-Fest,” said Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Deborah Glymph. “It was student-run and student-focused, and the ideas for each aspect were authentic from student thought leadership. In the shortest month of the year, we're exposing students to so many different things and that really works to our advantage. It offers so many opportunities for our students to just get out and try something new to them."