The World Showcase program highlights several countries each semester by planning a week of programs to celebrate that culture and its people. The first program is typically the Coffeehouse, and it could actually be any of the following events: film and discussion, lecture, craft-making, dance demonstration, etc. The Cooking Demonstrations are an opportunity for students to learn how to make a certain food from another culture. It’s a truly hands-on experience and you get to eat whatever you make! The Culture Night program is the “big event” of the week which includes a traditional meal from the country, presentations about the country, and music and dance as well. The World Showcase programs are presented by members of different International associations or clubs from UT and organized together with the International House. Past countries that we have featured include: Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, China, France, Brazil, Ethiopia, Japan, Thailand, Germany, India, South Korea, Russia, Mexico, and many more!
Each semester, the International House selects to two issues with global significance and provides programming to draw attention to that particular emphasis. Types of programs include films, debates, lectures, public awareness campaigns, dinners, etc. Some of our most recent issues were Global Hunger, American Foreign Policy, Human Trafficking, and Empowering Women through Education.
American Culture Experiences
The American Culture Experience is a semester long series of trips and experiences that introduce international students to aspects of American culture and opportunities to visit local areas of interest. U.S. students are welcome to attend as well. Past experiences include hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, visiting CNN and Coca-Cola in Atlanta, attending the Tennessee Valley Fair and Livestock Show, going to Six Flags amusement park, shopping at the local outlet malls in Pigeon Forge, visiting a local dairy, and attending a college football tailgate party and game!
International Dance Competition
The International Dance Competition is held each fall and is an opportunity for any UT students (as well as faculty, staff, and alumni) to showcase their dance skills. Groups select a culture that they want to represent and prepare a 5-7 minute dance number complete with costumes and choreography. Groups are judged and winners announced at the end. It’s a great celebration of dance from all over the world. The 2013 show included Irish Step Dance, American Breakdancing, Chinese Pop Dance, Ballroom, Indian Traditional Dance, and others.
The Festival is the biggest event hosted by the International House. Held each spring outside on the pedestrian walkway in the center of campus, this event brings together all of our international organizations who host booths with food and other artifacts representing their cultures. There are live performances all day long and it’s a great stress reliever just before finals begin!
International Photo Exhibit
The International Photo Exhibit allows UT’s international students an opportunity to submit photos that they believe represent their home country/culture. This is held each semester and prizes are given to the top 3 photos. The top 10 photos are on display in the International House>
The Friendship Program
This program pairs same-gender students, one from an international country and one or more from the U.S., in order to develop friendships and make everyone feel “at home” at UT. Though the International House hosts 2-3 gatherings throughout the semester, the students are encouraged to find opportunities to spend time together and share about their cultures.
This is a weekly program committed to facilitating the exchange of views within a relaxed setting, while engaging important issues that highlight global and human conditions. Students, staff, and faculty gather to discuss a current event. The discussion is open for anyone and has a facilitator to guide conversation.
These conversation groups allows students to practice their language skills in a relaxed and informal setting with a native speaker of the language. No grades here! The groups are led by our current international students and are very informal allowing for great discussion and excellent connections to others who enjoy languages.