The second annual International Food FestivalNov 10th, 2009 | Category: Lead Story
By Ashley Makowski
The festival featured international beers and authentic, homemade food from Ecuador, France, Greece, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Poland, Russia, Thailand and the South Pacific. A live dance performance by the Montana Western Polynesian Club will provide entertainment along with a selection of international music throughout the evening.
The festival is a celebration of food and diversity as well as a nod to Montana Western’s numerous travel abroad opportunities, which have taken students to Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, Italy and Ireland. In the spring of 2010, two honors classes will travel to Italy, Greece, Germany and the Czech Republic.
Bill Janus is the festival organizer and a Montana Western professor of history, philosophy and social sciences. He emphasizes the crucial role international travel plays in higher education as well as the role UMW’s block scheduling program, Experience One, plays in making travel available and affordable to students.
“Because of the block program, lots of professors started to incorporate travel abroad with their classes,” Janus explains. “The key to a good education is being exposed to as much diversity as possible. We live in a global society, economically, politically, socially and culturally.”
Janus will be leading the student trip to Germany and the Czech Republic as part of his UMW honors class, “The Other Europe: Life Across the Berlin Wall through Literature and Cinema.”
“Our students travel not just as tourists but in a critical way that puts travel in an academic and global context,” Janus adds.
The international influence is already more visible on campus, helped by clubs like the Montana Western Student International Club, which is also helping to organize the festival. The club has been in existence for one year and now includes 23 members.
“Our goal is to bring the culture of all of the different areas of the world to campus and give more people the opportunity to go on one of the international experience classes,” says club secretary Heather Rubey.
The festival was open to the public at the Elk’s Lodge located at 27 East Center Street in Dillon, Mont.