ISCO Festival puts spotlight on international culture

November 4, 2016

Troy University is home to nearly 1,200 international students whose talents and cultures were put on display Thursday night.

The International Student Cultural Organization, ISCO, hosted its 33rd annual festival featuring musical and dance performances from students from South Korea, Nigeria, China, Vietnam, the Philippines and even the United States.

“The ISCO Festival is all about displaying the unique opportunity TROY students possess,” Joel Hedden, a senior history major from Crestview, Florida, said. “Personally, I was struck by the Chinese dance group.”

After the festival ended, guests and performers were treated to cuisines from 10 different countries including India, France, Germany and Spain.

ISCO Festival TC Ballrooms Troy University 2016 Bui Thi Minh Chau (Vietnam) during her performance of "Toi Thay Hoa Vang Tren Co Xanh"

Bui Thi Minh Chau during her performance of “Toi Thay Hoa Vang Tren Co Xanh.”

“The ISCO festival was a great occasion to enjoy the finest international food and musical entertainment,” Hedden said. “I was excited to get to share the experience with my girlfriend and we appreciated a nice date night opportunity.”

ISCO’s purpose is to “Create an environment for international and American students that will allow ones to share their culture and ideas, and promote all social and cultural events that give an opportunity to explore other cultures” through events such as the festival, the Tea for Troy special event branch and nights dedicated to learning about and celebrating a specific country.

“ISCO offers opportunities for our Troy University faculty to learn about other cultures and customs that make them better teachers in the classroom,” Margaret Gnoinska, an associate professor of history from Poland, said. “So, ISCO not only promotes tolerance and understanding, but serves as a venue to bring people together so they can create amazing experiences that they take beyond Troy University.”

The ISCO Festival was one of the final events of International Education week, the result of a partnership between the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to encourage American students to learn about international education and cultures other than their own.

“This organization offers opportunities for international students to deepen their knowledge of their own culture by presenting it to American students at Troy,” Gnoinska said. “At the same time, ISCO is an incredible way for American students to learn about the world by getting to know students from all over the globe.”

The next ISCO event will be on Nov. 17 when “ISCO goes to the Football Game.” Meetings are held every Thursday in Room 214 of Patterson at 6 p.m., and all students are welcome to attend.