LC Bulletin: International Festival brings the wide world to Las Cruces

March 20, 2015. Retrieved online March 23, 2015 from Zak Hansen, Las Cruces Bulletin

[Excerpts and photos reprinted with permission: Read the complete Las Cruces Bulletin article]

International students from New Mexico State University pose for a photo at the 2014 Las Cruces International Festival. This year, the festival returns to the Las Cruces Convention Center from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 21. (PHOTOS BY CORNELL MENKING)

International students from New Mexico State University pose for a photo at the 2014 Las Cruces International Festival. This year, the festival returns to the Las Cruces Convention Center from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 21. (PHOTOS BY CORNELL MENKING)

For almost 30 years, the New Mexico State University International Festival has been a unique opportunity for some of NMSU’s more than 1,300 international students from 75 countries to share their culture and experiences with their fellow academics. This year, thanks to a hefty dose of community support and involvement, the NMSU International Festival has become the Las Cruces International Festival, promising not only to bring the world to Las Cruces, but Las Cruces to the world.

Countries represented by international students attending NMSU at this year’s festival include Belize, Ecuador, India, Iran, Jordan, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Morocco, Libya, Vietnam, Mexico, Japan and Switzerland, along with booths from the International Club and the Confucius Institute.

While the International Festival has long been an NMSU event, last year, organizers decided they wanted to include a wider swath of the community, and this year, they’ve taken that idea a step further.

“One of the things I like most about the International Festival is that it really does bring the world to Las Cruces — and Las Cruces to the world,” Vanderhoof said. “At the festival, you’ll bump into people from Iran, from Saudi Arabia, from Japan, and you really get to put a face to these people on the other side of the planet and have conversations with them and learn about their culture. I think that’s one of the things missing in a small town – we don’t get out much – so bringing the world to Las Cruces like this really gives people a chance to interact with people from other cultures.”


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