The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) International Executive Committee (IEC) hosted its annual International Day on the university’s Academic Quad showcasing the diversity and culture of its international students and their families with the local community, April 27. The celebration opened the doors of NPS to the public, offering food, entertainment and cultural information of 22 different nations from around the world.
NPS’ Root Hall breezeway bustled with activity and enjoyment Saturday afternoon, with food and information booths representing countries from all hemispheres, such as Germany, Singapore, Israel, Finland, South Korea, Indonesia and Romania, just to name a few.
“International Day is very important and beneficial because it allows international students at NPS the opportunity to showcase their country's culture in an engaging and fun way,” said IEC Chair Lt. Ryan Goldsmith. “I think a lot of people in the community aren't aware that the NPS student body represents [so many] different countries.
“It's important to interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures to expand your world view,” continued Goldsmith. “At International Day, community members can do just that – and taste delicious food!”
Juan Manuel Calderón Jaimes, Consul General of Mexico, attended supporting his native Mexico and all who helped make the festivities possible. He was one of an estimated 3,000 visitors from across the Monterey Peninsula visiting the celebration, enjoying dancing, singing, martial arts and authentic food prepared by the students and their families.
“I think coming in and seeing different cultures, trying different foods, and meeting different people broadens your mind and gives you another perspective,” noted Thomas Sundby, an international student from Denmark. “The support we have received from the school and the Monterey community has been amazing and I couldn’t have pictured a better experience.”
Countries big and small had their equal share in the interaction during the celebration.
“While I enjoyed sharing my culture with everyone, my favorite part of the day was actually pointing out on a map where we are from,” claimed Krishnakumar Rajaram, an international student from Mauritius. “There are only two of us, but we wanted to contribute to this special day.
“I wanted to give a big bravo to everyone that organized and attended the event for making it such an amazing experience for us,” continued Rajaram.
The IEC is a non-profit organization with the sole purpose of promoting good relationships between the U.S. and international students and their families. Goldsmith encourages non-international students to get involved with IEC, whether through volunteering or taking on an official position, for a rare opportunity to build relationships with students from all over the globe.
“The IEC helps students adapt to life in the U.S. and supports them and their families during their time at NPS,” explained Goldsmith. “All international students attending NPS, along with their spouses and any sponsors of international students, are IEC members.”