Exploring the World at TWC's Global Festival

October 30, 2017 Hélène Lerno

TWC Global Festival

One of my favorite program events. Here are a few tips on how to prepare for it!

One of the things I love the most about The Washington Center is that I get to meet people from all around the world. To give you a few numbers: there were 413 participants in the Fall 2017 internship program, with 21 countries represented. When you think about it, that means 20 potential future holiday destinations, not counting your own country! No, but seriously: you have the opportunity to learn so much about other cultures, habits, foods and so on by interacting with your fellow TWC participants - it doesn't get easier than that!

Every semester, TWC celebrates its diverse population of students through a Global Festival, a night of culture, delicious food and performances by the TWC participants. Every country has a chance to participate in this event by showcasing a cultural booth and/or performing at the talent show. This experience has been one of the highlights of my time here, and I would urge you to participate because, I promise you, it is worth it!

How does it work exactly?

In order to participate, simply gather a group of people from your home country and register through Schoology. After completing this step, you can start thinking about what you are going to display at your booth.

The Belgians and I made waffles (my mom was visiting so technically, she prepared the food, but we helped in spirit) and we also offered Belgian fries with homemade mayonnaise (thank you, Gwen - that was honestly very good mayo!). We weren’t sharing our food for free, though. Booth-visitors had to answer a question about our small, yet mighty country to eat our delicious Belgium food. If they responded to the question right, they received their reward! That way, we managed to teach students something about our country, while spoiling them with goodies.
There were a lot of amazing booths this semester, but the win went to Panama. They combined delicious food with homemade decorations and their colorful booth drew the attention. Congratulations, Panama!

In addition to holding a booth, you can also choose to perform at the talent show. This semester’s show was amazing, and I was impressed by all of the contestants! Participants included Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Puerto Rico, Panama and many others. The big winners of the Global Festival 2017 Fall talent show were, without a doubt, the Puerto Ricans.

Puerto Rico at the Global Festival
Puerto Rican students performing at the Global Festival

I can hear you thinking, “but doesn’t all this cost a lot of time and money?” Well, it does take some time to plan (especially, if you are also participating in the talent show) but again, it is so worth it. When it comes to money, TWC provides participants with a small budget that should cover your expenses (unless you are serving lobster or caviar). The Global Festival organizers also provide you with party supplies such as plates, cutlery, napkins, tape, tables and so on.

So, there you have it! Find your people, start brainstorming and have a great time!

About the Author

Hélène Lerno

Hélène majored in marketing at Vrije Universiteit in Brussels, Belgium. She participated in TWC’s Fall 2017 Academic Internship Program, where she interned at Adlumin Inc., a cybersecurity firm serving the financial, healthcare and government sectors.

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