The 18th Annual International Foods Night will be held on April 11 in the OJC Student Center Banquet Room. The program will start at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6:15 p.m. The annual event is the primary source of funding for scholarship awarded to international students. A limited number of tickets are still available by calling 384-6805.
This year’s international menu will feature foods from Europe, South America, Asia and Africa. A taster’s menu of appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts from each area will be served. Some of the dishes to tempt the palate include Lumpiang (pork and vegetable egg rolls) representing the Philippines; jicama and orange salad from Chile; Bier Brats & Sauerkraut from Germany; and Shuku Shuku (coconut balls) from Nigeria all prepared by the OJC Sodexo staff.
Members of the International Relations Organization (IRO) will provide service and entertainment throughout the evening. Entertainment will include the “Parade of International Fashions” featuring the traditional costumes of OJC’s international students, followed by an array of vocal, musical and dance performances by members of the IRO . This year, OJC has 26 international students representing 15 different countries.
During the evening’s program, there will be awards recognizing international students Tobias Koecher, Aleksei Semes, Arifa and Naseem Bibi.
Tobias Koecher, 19, from Werther, Germany came to OJC through the Cultural Vistas Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) for Young Professionals. Koecher is a graduate from Vocational College in Sondershausen, Germany with professional qualification as clerk in public administration and university of applied sciences entrance qualifications. Special recognition will also be given to Jean Hinkle at the County Commissioners Office with whom Koecher has been interning this semester.
Aleksei Semes, 19, is from Russia. He has come to OJC through the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (UGRAD) Eurasia/Central Asia program. Semes is currently pursuing his bachelor degree in business at Tomsk Polytechnic University. During spring semester at OJC he has been interning with Teri Erickson at the SCORE Center. Special recognition will also be given to Erickson for her support.
Naseem Bibi came to OJC through the UGRAD-Pakistan program. She is studying earth science and aspires to a career as a geologist with a specialization in petroleum geology. Outside of attending classes, Bibi has performed a variety of community service tasks, including volunteering with Child Development Services and serving as a student judge at the Arkansas Valley Regional Science Fair. At OJC, Naseem participates in the President’s Leadership Program and the International Relations Organization (IRO).
Also an exchange through the UGRAD-Pakistan program, Arifa is pursuing a degree in elementary education and plans to become a social worker. An award-winning artist in Pakistan, Arifa enjoys drawing and painting. She has also volunteered as a student judge for the Arkansas Valley Regional Science Fair and at Child Development Services. At OJC, Arifa is active with the OJC Art club and the IRO.
In an effort to raise money for the International Scholarship fund, more than 20 gift baskets will be on display and raffled at the end of the night. There will be something for everyone. The gift baskets have been made possible by donations of local businesses in support of the International Program.
Photo Caption: Suyoung Park, a sophomore at OJC from South Korea, models a traditional South Korean costume during last year’s International Foods Night fashion show. Park and other international students will take the stage again this year on April 11 to celebrate their cultures with a fashion show, entertainment and food. Tickets are still available for the 18th annual event by calling 384-6805.