International Student Festival

A tour of the world at Ybor Campus.


Pamela Tavarez

Student representatives involved in the International Student Festival gather with HCC President, Dr. Atwater in the plaza.

Pamela Tavarez, Staff Writer

  It is a time when faculty and students embrace the differences and appreciate the uniqueness everyone offers to the community of Hillsborough Community College.

  Each year, HCC takes time out of the spring semester to bring students together and celebrate diversity.

  The International Student Festival focuses on celebrating all the different countries and cultures, and students gather around to represent their cultural background with pride.

  The International Student Festival has been a tradition at HCC for nearly two decades.

  The first campus to begin the tradition was the Dale Mabry campus. On March 31, the Dale Mabry campus had its 19th annual festival at the main courtyard from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

  The Ybor Campus is second to tag along in the tradition and held its 18th annual festival on April 13 at the Ybor Plaza. The ceremony at Ybor lasted from 11 a.m . – 1 p.m.

  Recently, the Brandon campus joined in on the tradition marking April 12 as the fourth annual festival to celebrate diversity at the campus.

  All ceremonies throughout the different campuses gave students several opportunities to engage and become a part of the festival.

  The festivals included lively entertainment, a delicious variety of foods, fun raffles and exhibits. To add to the fun, the International Student Festival had writing and photography contests for students to participate in and win prizes.

  The Ybor campus ceremony began with students and representatives with their flag lining up together.

  One by one the representatives began by introducing the country’s name, their own name, and shared something unique about their country or spoke in their native language.

  Some of the participants dressed in traditional costumes and dresses. Others wore their flag colors and represented their fl ag in their attire and costumes. Also, the students and participants had the chance to see performances and taste delicious foods.

  All in all, the International Student Festival is a great celebration to unify the community as one. If you missed the event this year, have no worries as there is always next year to become part of the celebration.

  The International Student Festival did a great job at celebrating other cultures, as well as what makes everyone unique and special.