KAMLOOPS — It’s an opportunity for the students who come to Thomspon Rivers University from abroad to show off their culture to the community. IDays is a celebration of the diversity of cultures that exist at the post-secondary institution which officially kicked off with an opening ceremony this afternoon at Old Main.
It’s an event meant to highlight the international flavour of Thompson Rivers University. The theme for this years event is Food for Thought, Food for Life, Food for Fun.
“We just thought [food] was a really powerful metaphor to help us drill down into some of these international connections that we have,” TRU International Director Tony Rogge explained.
IDays is meant to showcase the wide scope of international influences that exist on campus by giving international students and faculty a place to put their culture on display; with more than 2,500 international students who attend TRU, there are students from a wide range of cultural backgrounds who contribute to that diversity.
“To be able to experience culture first hand in an event like IDays where we’re being intentional about highlighting different cultures… it really provides a fresh perspective on life,” Vince Watson told CFJC Today.
Watson is a TRU Grad from Jamaica. He says as an international student, coming to a new campus in a new country can be daunting, but sharing that new experience with others can help ease that anxiety.
“You’re able to connect with people who may be from a different part of the world, but essentially they’re experiencing the same thing,” Watson explained. “When you’re able to connect with many people that [are] in the same situation as you, you’re able to build this bond. You don’t really have words to put it into perspective, it’s just a natural connection because you’re feeling, experiencing the same things.”
For Rogge, the event benefits not only the international students at TRU but the Kamloops community as a whole.
“What happens on this campus really profoundly changes how Kamloops can be connected to the rest of the world,” Rogge said. “There are so many different avenues for these connections at a university.”
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