UOW students celebrate diversity

UOW student Chloe Williams, sporting a Vanuatuan flag on her face, celebrates Global Highway with Spanish senorita Ines Bilbao, Californian girl Lauren Cole and Jose Trillo of Spain.. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI Ross Knight represents the UOW’s indigenous Australian students and Cindy Guevara is in El Salvadorian dress. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

There were plenty of places to pull over on the Global Highway at the University of Wollongong yesterday.

Students used ‘‘passports’’ created for the event to check in at the 24 stalls which represented the countries of origin of students living in university accommodation around Wollongong.

They competed in a range of games and activities, from Chinese calligraphy, Vanuatuan sand-drawing and Thai napkin-folding through to the Aussie tradition of thong-throwing.

National costumes, music and dancing created a colourful, festive atmosphere which thousands of students revelled in throughout the day.

International House student and Global Highway co-ordinator James Walsh said the event was held each year to celebrate the diversity of students in UOW accommodation.

‘‘There are more countries than ever represented this year which shows the growing diversity of students living in our residences, as well as the students’ enthusiasm in sharing their cultural identities,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s a fun and informative day which gives all the university’s students the opportunity to connect with a wide variety of international students and their cultures. And it demonstrates how great this university is that it draws people from all over the world.’’

Spanish students Jose Trillo and Ines Bilbao were among the international students only too happy to don their national dress and teach some Spanish phrases to fellow students.

‘‘I chose Wollongong University because it was in Australia which was as far from Spain as I could get. I wanted to travel so far from home because I wanted to experience new things,’’ said Mr Trillo, an engineering student. ‘‘And it’s been an amazing experience.’’

African Students’ Association president Brenda Amoro, in Kenyan dress, said she had followed in her sister’s footsteps in coming to the university.

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