International students to take guests on “trip around the world” 

Aichatou Agbere, a chemistry major who came to Pittsburg State from the Ivory Coast, is hoping to take guests to Africa. Psychology majors Hannah Dahl and Frida Herrera would like to take them to Norway and Mexico City. They are among the dozens of international students preparing for Global Fest, with the goal of taking the campus and community around the world in one night.

The international night market kicks off at 6 p.m. on Sept. 29 in Lindburg Plaza just south of McCray Hall. 

“Global Fest is one of the most important event on campus that I take part in because it's an opportunity for me to share my culture with the different dishes that I cook,” Agbere said. “It's a free trip to Africa for most of the people who taste my food.”  

International three

Picture it 

Tents will be erected along the winding sidewalks, and twinkling lights strung overhead. Visitors who stand at the hub of it all will see signs pointing to China, Pakistan, India, and many other countries. They’ll be able to travel to those countries by taking a few steps in any direction.  

With cash in hand, they may visit as many tents as they like to sample tastes prepared by students who are part of the International Student Association, with the help of the Office of International Programs and Services at Pitt State. 

“It’s an event in which you don’t need to take a plane to try food from more than 10 different countries — you can do it in a single night,” said Herrera, who is the president of the ISA and coordinated Global Fest last year. “Around 700 people attended our event, and I hope this year we have even more!” 

From a stage, students will take turns performing music and dances that are part of their cultural heritage. Some students will offer cultural items for sale and offer attendees the chance to play games.  


Cultural connection  

Global Fest is one of numerous collaborative events at Pitt State that bring together the campus and the community, helping to bridge the gap between cultures and help international students feel at home. 

“It’s very satisfying to see a lot of people trying new food, asking questions about other cultures, and taking pictures with international students,” Herrera said. “We always enjoy sharing with the Pittsburg community and this is certainly one of my favorite events to do so.” 

This year for Global Fest, Agbere will prepare spinach sauce with rice, and rice with beans — both common dishes in his country eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

“I have been taking part in events like this since my first semester here and I still get the same feeling about it,” he said. “It's always beautiful and amazing to see all these cultures being represented by the international students.” 

Dahl, who is vice president of the International Student Association, said events like Global Fest in the fall and the International Food & Culture Fair in the early spring are important to her for similar reasons. 

“It allows me to share my culture in a very unique way,” she said. “I can always invite friends over and cook for them, but it would be a little odd to dress up in my very heavy and formal national dress for a dinner with friends.” 

“During Global Fest, I get to be more immersed in my culture by dressing up, educating others, meeting people with Norwegian ancestry, and serving food that is very important to my cultural identity.” 

This year, as she did last year, she will prepare a traditional Norwegian stew with pork and vegetables, as well as a dessert.  

“Last year's Global Fest was my favorite event that we arranged,” she said. “I think everyone felt very included and proud after the event was over — at least I did.” 

Attendance and entertainment is free; food samples will range from $2 to $6, cash only.  

Want to get involved? 

This year, the ISA and IPS also are looking for individuals or community groups to “adopt a country” and provide their home or a community kitchen to assist an international student in preparing food for this event in the days leading up to it.  

For more information, contact ISA Advisor Brenda Hawkins at or 620-235-4446. 

Learn more about international studies at Pitt State.

International group