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Annual International Reception this Friday

Music, dancing, hors d’oeuvres and study-abroad scholarships will all be available in one place Friday: the annual International Reception.
Hosted by International Services and funded in part by Student Government, the event helps all Florida Gulf Coast University students get to know each other and expand their world views. FGCU is home to 143 international students from 50 different countries. Sixty-four of those students just joined the University this fall. Jessica Russell, Program Assistant for International Services, said she would like to encourage any students who wish to better themselves to attend this event.
“It’s so important that as many people attend as possible because it is an opportunity to grow personally and broaden our horizons,” Russell said.
The evening is scheduled to begin with words from FGCU President Wilson Bradshaw, Provost Ronald Toll and student body President Juan Cubillo. Also speaking at the event will be U.S. Department of State Diplomat Edward Loo. Russell hopes he will “be able to steer students in the right direction,” if they are interested in developing a career with the U.S. government or internationally.
Community groups will also be attending the event be available to speak to students about studying abroad. Several of the groups will be accepting applications for study-abroad scholarships. The Saint Andrew’s Society, for example, will be handing out a $5,000 scholarship to a student interested in studying in Scotland. Above all else, the evening will be an entertaining, enlightening experience.
Performances will include a traditional Chinese love song and dances native to Montenegro and Mongolia. A DJ will be at the event to play a variety of international music throughout the night, and many international “finger foods” will be available, such as spanakopita, empanadas and teriyaki chicken potstickers. Sophomores Christina Garcia and Susan Lobo, both attended the event last year said they plan on going again.
“You get to mingle with other people and learn about other people,” Garcia said. “I sat with this guy from Norway and got to talk to him.” Lobo was impressed with the relaxed atmosphere of the event. “It was almost semi-formal, but it was a really comfortable environment,” she said. “You were comfortable approaching people and just talking.”
Russell hopes that students take advantage of the reception as a chance to network and that it gets them excited about international travel.
“I believe that travel is essential,” Russell said. “We’re all citizens of the world and you’re going to be so much smarter and more interesting. It makes you question your own thinking, and it’s the best way to grow.”
Students interested in studying abroad should visit International Services located in Reed Hall. Russell said, “We are friendly and receptive, and more than happy to answer any questions.”

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