Free "International Students Festival" at University Oct. 21

The world will seem a whole lot closer as Texas A&M International University's Association of International Students (AIS) hosts the fifth annual "International Students Festival" Thursday, Oct. 21 from 4 - 8:30 p.m. on the University campus.

The event is free and open to the public. It will showcase the food, dance, and fashion of countries represented by the University's diverse student population including Benin, Brazil, Cyprus, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, Venezuela, and the United States.

The goal of the event is to promote understanding and appreciation of the different countries and cultures represented in the University community, explained Laxman Iyer, AIS publicity officer.

"The International Students Festival gives us a chance to welcome the community to our homelands, without leaving Laredo. We have worked closely with our embassies to offer displays, create some sample foods from our cultures, and provide an opportunity to expose others to our native lands," he explained.

A highlight of the Festival will be a performance of native dances from India, Morocco, and Mexico at 7:30 p.m. Performers will include AIS members and the University's Ballet Folklorico troupe.

A fashion show featuring authentic costumes from around the world will follow.

"AIS members have worked very hard to insure that the Festival will be an educational and exciting experience. We hope the community will come to campus Oct. 21 to travel the world through this event," he added.

The Association of International Students is an officially chartered student organization that promotes the exchange of international cultures, stimulates and encourages social and intellectual activities, and strives towards better appreciation among international and American students. The organization participates in a number of University-sponsored events and in events sponsored by the community.

AIS sponsors are David VerMilyea, director of Student Development at A&M International, and Lakshmana Viswanath, director of the University's Computer and Telecommunications Services department.

For more information, contact A&M International's Office of Public Affairs at 326-2180. University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at