As international students at BVU adapt to American culture through their studies and daily interactions, they still hold a piece of their home country which they can teach others about.
On Monday they got a chance to do just that during International Day at BVU, showcasing different parts of the world like Bosnia, Mexico and South Korea through the many different aspects that make up a culture - like fashion, dance and food.
"These students love sharing their different cultures," said Carol Williams, Director of International Studies at BVU. "As our international program continues to grow, our students continue to look for ways to share their culture and heritage."
Besides learning about different nationalities during the International Day, the day was also about embracing and celebrating different cultures.
"It's just (a time) to celebrate the diversity on campus and within the community," said Anadin Tokmic, chairman of the International Day's committee and a BVU student born in Bosnia.
"This school has a lot of diversity and sometimes we take that for granted and don't look at that," Luis Ramierez, a BVU student from Mexico and International Club secretary said.
The International Club, which is part of BVU's international education program, hosted the event. The club is open not only to students who come to Storm Lake from other parts of the world, but also students who may wish to study abroad or wish to learn more about international affairs.
In past years the event has just been an International Fair with displays put up outside the BVU library. Powerpoints, posters, flags, native food samples, art work and money were commonly shared. While this event included the displays it also offered a fashion show that displayed some of the different outfits worn in different countries.
Mayuko Yoshida, of Japan, shared a Yukata, a traditional summer Japanese garment. Lena Yoo of South Korea fashioned a Han Bok, a traditional Korean outfit often worn during traditional festivals and celebrations.
According to Williams, the fashion show was originally formed as part of a larger production that was sponsored by Women of Character, a group of students on campus who will host a fashion show next week.
Performances were also added to this year's event which included traditional songs and dances to enhance the cultural experience. Dances included a Nepalese dance from Nepal and a Hindi dance from India.
To diversify the Nepalese dance, only one student from Nepal participated in the dance, the other students were from other countries. Students like Ramirez tried his hand at learning the traditional dance for the dance performances.
Ramirez said that while he had about four days to learn the dance he had a lot of fun. "Some of the steps I could relate to, like the steps we do in Mexico," he said.
Those in attendance also got a taste of different ethnic flavors, like bugogi, a popular meat dish from Korea; Okonomiyaki, a Japanese dish with a fried batter cake and various ingredients and Dragon Well tea, a famous Chinese green tea which contains the tender bud of a tea plant and candy from Mexico.
The recipes, many of which were favorite recipes of the international students, were prepared by Sodexho Food Service.
"I think it would be a good experience to have International Day and try new foods," said Jessica Yang of South Korea and a member of the International Day committee.
While many students participating in the showcase were representing their home countries, some students chose to "adopt" a country, representing it in the showcase. Students research their chosen country to not only learn more about it themselves but also educate someone else about the culture and traditions.