International Day Emphasizes Global Learning, Cultural Appreciation

International Day celebrations at Wasatch Academy actually span nearly a week each spring, anchored by two highlights: the International Day Showcase and the International Food Court.

Throughout the year, students from the nearly 40 countries represented on campus—including Liberia, France, Korea, Iran, Canada, and Ecuador—meld together as one community. Celebrating their differences is a way to reinforce their commonalities—such as singing “Happy Birthday” in a different language each week. International Day activities take things much further.

In the Showcase, students educate their peers—and faculty—about their history, culture, and religion. Presentations range from European folk songs to energetic African dancing, and include personal stories of students who have survived great trials, including refugee camps, on their journey to this coed 8-12 boarding school in Mt. Pleasant, Utah. They also design and choreograph a multicultural fashion show; some students and faculty wear their traditional clothing; others don the garb of countries they’ve visited during the school’s service learning trips.

At the Food Court, students and faculty offer a wide variety of foods representing their cultural heritage, guaranteeing that everybody leaves with both a full stomach and an expanded palate.

The celebrations underscore Wasatch Academy’s pervading “flat world” philosophy and the emphasis on global learning and cultural appreciation. Approximately half of the student population is international; and the school has nearly a dozen partnerships and exchange programs with schools in China, Japan, Ecuador, India, and Colombia.

Does your school do something similar?

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