The International Student Culture Organization has been part of Troy University’s history for 40 years, and the long-standing culturally diverse organization celebrated this legacy with the ISCO Festival last Thursday night, bringing students from around the world together over food and fun.
ISCO and its members shared cuisines from each of their countries as well as songs, dances and fashion in what could be considered one of TROY’s largest parties.
Anh Nguyen, a senior accounting major from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and an organizer of this year’s festival, said TROY’s diverse student body is what makes ISCO Festival fun, educational and a celebration of culture.
“I love ISCO because I met my best friends here, and I have learned many great things about their countries,” Nguyen said.
Troy Dining Services has helped provide the unique dishes from countries like Vietnam, Nigeria and India, and other cultures represented by the students on TROY’s campus, according to Ibrahim Yildirim, the general manager for Troy Dining.
“We provide the food for the ISCO festival, around 14 or 15 different kind of dishes, and we try to make it as authentic as possible,” he said.
American students enjoy getting to visit their friends’ countries for the night as they learn dances and taste foods that may not be as common around Alabama.
“I absolutely love ISCO Festival,” Phoenix Wilson, a senior from Geneva, said. “Being part of ISCO Festival is like being part of a family. It brings people from around the world together with a common goal to enjoy entertainment from other countries.”
The friendships American students have with the international population on TROY’s campus are special and encourage awareness of other cultures.
“I’m thankful to have many friends that performed and to get to experience some of their culture through song, dance and food,” Wilson said.
Education at TROY does not begin and end in the classroom; students learn from each other through their commonalities as well as embracing their differences.
“I think it’s important to learn and be friends with people who are different from you, and that’s the main reason behind the festival,” Nguyen said.