NewsOnline exclusive

Global Expo offers snapshot of cultural wonders, world culture, and travel tips

The Stand Grad Centre transformed into a hub of global culture with live dancing and information booths for Global Expo on Nov. 13 as part of International Education Week (IEW).

One way SAIT students explore the world is through international education, which also allows people from abroad to come to Canada and experience life in Alberta.  

 

Global Expo fun. From left to right: Jonathon Looi, Helen Ong, Jason Bong, Lorie Tran, and Brianna Duong show off traditional apparel and artworks at the Asia booth during Global Expo.
Photo by Connie Bong

Nov. 12 to 16 was International Education Week (IEW) at SAIT, a collaboration between Study Abroad, and the International Centre, featured events for students to connect with people and cultures from around the world. 

One event during IEW was Global Expo, held on Nov. 13 in the Stan Grad Centre, was a chance for SAIT students to meet some experienced travelers to recount (mis)adventures, get advice, and hear new perspectives.

Proceed with caution when dealing with paperwork – and the local cuisine – advised Isabel Cancino, a SAIT Radio, Television, and Broadcasting News student from Mexico who attended the ‘Americas’ booth at the event.

Mexican food can be alarmingly spicy to the uninitiated, warned Cancino. 

Even green sauce is spicy, so those sensitive to Scovilles should ask for the non-spicy or mild option when trying the cuisine, she advised.

But don’t be concerned with the chilis – delving into true Mexican cuisine is a worthy pursuit, Cancino said.

“If you go to Mexico for any reason, don’t be afraid to try the food.”

For students to try and gain new cultural experiences, tolerance and openness is key, said Banan Yousif, SAIT student and president of the African and Caribbean Student Association.

“Be very open minded, embrace the change, and embrace the culture.”

Being in a new environment often leads people out of their comfort zone, he said.

“People are willing to also try new things when you give them an exciting reason to try it.”

It’s important to share cultural roots with others because others will take an interest and be “amazed of the little things that you embrace as your culture,” said Yousif.

Students shouldn’t be afraid to study abroad, but first find the right institution and program in which to study, said Jessica Ray, a SAIT student from Australia. 

“Find a good school and spend time finding people from your country,” said Ray.

Some people at the event were showcasing traditional Vietnamese clothing including an Aodai, a long dress, and Nonla, a hat, which are worn together.

Students also had the opportunity to practice origami to make a paper crane or star – which if done a thousand times is said to grant a wish, explained Brianna Duong, a SAIT architectural technologies student.

“It [origami] is really meaningful in Vietnam that’s why I picked it to be something special for our booth,” she said. 

Students who study abroad should focus more on their school courses and atmosphere rather than a part time job, she advised.

“Try to get more involved, go to clubs, volunteer and make some connections [at school].”

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