The International Student Services and the International Friendship Club cosponsored the Halloween festival this past Friday at the Multicultural Center.
International students gathered dressed in costumes for magic, costume contests, food and
Assistant director in the center for international studies, Dana Vizdal, was hopeful that this event would help bring
“We are hosting this party for our international students because it is something that is very American that they may have never experienced before,” Vizdal said. “We encourage them to come and carve a pumpkin, which some have never done before. We will have a costume contest; we will have a magician here shortly. We are just trying to get them to experience what we all do growing up.”
For most international students, when they come to America they have to adapt to American culture. The goal of the International Student Services and International Friendship Club is to help integrate the international students’ cultures with those of American students so they feel welcomed and comfortable here.
Assistant director in the center for international studies, Dana Vizdal, strives for international students to feel more than welcomed and comfortable here at Western.
“The cultures are very different,” Vizdal said. “I think just being open and offering to explain something to an international student who may not understand things, or just being patient with something they have not experienced before will help them feel comfortable here.”
Volunteers from the International Friendship Club, who were dressed up as cats and even a beer bottle, helped the international students carve faces into their pumpkins.
IFC President, Kadidia Samassekou, a chemistry major at Western is from Mali, West Africa, where they do not celebrate Halloween at all.
“(I came here) so we can actually learn about Halloween, because we do not celebrate this back home,” Samassekou said. “(Pumpkin carving) is just fun and it is original.”
For most of the international students who attended the Halloween festival, they would want to take pumpkin carving and the Halloween costumes back with them to their countries.
Anthony Ginn, a graduate assistant who is majoring in political science, is the treasurer for the International Friendship Club. Ginn, who helped put the event together was excited to enjoy a good time with good friends.
“I’m here (at the Halloween festival) to have a good time with friends,” Ginn said. “Basically we are just promoting safe festivities for Halloween.”
Rino Masuta just came from Japan and is taking English as a second language here at Western. Masuta, who was dressed up as a caped vampire, enjoyed taking time to learn more about American culture and Halloween.
“I want to do Halloween events in American style,” Masuta said. “It was a little weird (carving pumpkins,) but we cannot do that in Japan. (My favorite thing) would be the costumes, it is very fun.”