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International Festival going virtual, expanding to weeklong celebration

Feb 17, 2021
a student poses behind a row of flags sitting at a table
The traditional International Festival is a one-day event that fills up the Campus Center. 2021’s version will be all remote and a week long due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

While it might look a little different than past versions, the IUPUI International Festival is on for 2021 and has expanded on its global focus and instruction.

For the first time in its over 15-year history, one of IUPUI’s annual premier events from the Office of International Affairs will be online and expanded into a weeklong celebration.

“We are delighted that the International Festival continues to be a signature event at IUPUI, even now in the middle of a global pandemic,” said Hilary Kahn, associate vice chancellor for international affairs. “More than ever, it is vital to recognize how global we are as a campus, state and nation, and the International Festival embodies our unwavering commitment to our inclusive and global campus and community.”

Even though the Campus Center won’t be filled with people on Feb. 25, the Office of International Affairs is excited to offer a range of events and programming Feb. 22 through 26 that highlights IUPUI’s international community. Just like the in-person event, the goal is to educate, celebrate and connect the diverse and global IUPUI community as one – and to the world.

The virtual format means that more people than ever have the opportunity to join the festivities. Many favorite parts of the festival have been reimagined in a digital setting.

Events remain a large component of the International Festival, with over two dozen programs scheduled. From faculty-led research lectures, panel conversations on current world issues and IUPUI alumni-led discussions to traditional Punjabi dance tutorials, there’s a wide variety of events for everyone.

With presenters from Asia, Africa, Europe, Central America and more, the festival is truly international and intercultural, and it includes perspectives from local community groups and advocates. The Office of International Affairs is excited to partner with campus schools and units, local community groups, and others to showcase the international conversations Indianapolis has every day.

Foodies can find video recipes on the Learn Something New page to create their own in-home versions of international cuisine favorites. The page also features opportunities to explore IUPUI’s international history through the archives of IU Libraries.

The IUPUI community can discover how schools and other units are connected to the international community on the Explore IUPUI Global page, and students can find student organizations they might want to join. Staff and faculty can find working groups and departments to help them connect around the world.

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