For the first year since COVID, the Caltech Y and the International Student Programs (ISP) successfully held World Fest 2023. With 22 different countries and regions represented, this year’s annual spring event was sure to brighten the days of the hundreds of community members that came to indulge in diverse foods and music.
World Fest has been a Caltech tradition for over 25 years. A team of staff from the Y and ISP began planning the event months in advance to brainstorm presentation ideas, coordinate finances and logistics, and recruit community members – including Caltech students, staff and community volunteers – to represent a region of their choice with a reimbursable budget of $325 for food handouts and booth decorations.
In regards to the International Food Fair section of World Fest, volunteers were asked to prepare or purchase foods and snacks that they felt would best represent their countries and cultures to share with the community. Some groups met and cooked their foods personally while others were able to source dishes from local restaurants to feed an attendance in the high 400s for a late lunch.
“It is always rewarding to see so many Caltech community members volunteer and share their foods and cultures at a campus-wide event,” recalled representatives of the Caltech Y and ISP. “It really speaks to the great community we have here at Caltech and how we value the important contributions our diverse international community brings to help build an inclusive campus.”
Aside from an abundance of delicious foods, this year’s Fest also featured an hour of live music and performances by undergraduate and graduate students and community members. “It’s always amazing to see the incredible talent at Caltech from Bollywood dancers to amazing musicians. We also had two presentations in Hameetman by students sharing their travel experiences and home country cultures with the Caltech Community,” replied representatives of the ISP.
In addition to this international food and culture fest, ASCIT also later held its inaugural Multicultural Fashion Show. Students and community members alike showcased the cultural attire, food, music, and dance unique to the various cultural groups that constitute the Caltech community to the Caltech community on Beckman Lawn accompanied by a variety of foods and drinks. Aside from a beautiful display of cultural attire, performances with cultural instruments and dance were featured, representing campus communities like the BSU.
The events that ISP and Caltech Y offer aren’t just limited to World Fest. Other campus-wide events such as the iBegin@Caltech international student orientation, International Women’s Day SPEAK OUT co-hosted with the CCID, and Fall term’s International Education Week are organized by the ISP. Similarly, the Caltech Y hosts extensive programming throughout the year like trips, volunteer opportunities, and events like Make a Difference Day on May 20th.