Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

International Food and Cultures Extravaganza brings together students, orgs


With the International Food and Cultures Extravaganza in full swing, organizers stood behind piles of various cultural delicacies such as delicious pastries, specialty candies and warm, homemade dumplings, sambusas and tamales.

On Tuesday, Texas Global and the McCombs Center for Global Business organized the International Food and Cultures Extravaganza. The event featured food, cultural displays from multiple organizations and more to encourage students to study abroad and take international business classes at McCombs. 

For students like Nina Butera and Kelsey Nyandusi, both senior members of the newly-founded SEA, food serves as a cornerstone for their community. 

“The kitchen is the heart of the home, so food naturally becomes an integral part of your own culture,” said Nyandusi, SEA event coordinator and marketing junior. “Being able to share your food with someone outside of your own culture is special.”

According to Deirdre Mendez, the director of the Center for Global Business, the extravaganza is a part of Global Readiness Week, which consists of a series of events created to encourage students to apply to international business and cultural programs. 

“We want to find ways to engage students in the idea that everything is now global,” Mendez said. “We want them to think about coursework that will prepare them to work in a global environment.” 

Throughout the week, the series included other events, such as a keynote presentation by UT alum Arham Junaid and an international trivia night, which Hanna Llanca, the Vice President of Outreach and Alumni Relations at IBSA hosted. Llanca said the event saw 40 to 50 attendees.

“That (turnout) is really huge for us because when I started my freshman year, there would be 5, 10 people maximum at our events,” said Llanca, an international business junior. “I felt happy and encouraged to see the growth.”

The extravaganza also helped highlight new programs and student organizations like SEA. 

“It’s very important for small and large organizations to expand their reach,” said Butera, SEA founder and president and health and society senior.

In addition to highlighting student organizations, the International Food and Cultures Extravaganza discussed the benefits of studying abroad and studying international business at UT. 

“Any experience that you have understanding the way people think in other geographies, developing strategies and so on is also useful,” Mendez said. “Even if you’re only dealing with people in your own region, at the very (least), it’s good for you as a person.”

Nyandusi and Butera said events that bring cultural organizations together, like the extravaganza, make an important impact on UT’s community.

“When we’re able to go into these groups, celebrate each other and celebrate all our differences, it makes for a better community,” Butera said. “That is why UT has thrived.”

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