ALBANY, Ga. -- Darton College students and local high school students were treated to a tour of the world Tuesday at the college during its "Taste of the World" international festival.
International Student Coordinator Diana Garner said more than 30 countries across the globe were represented at Tuesday's event.
Throughout the day, students were given the opportunity to taste different ethnic dishes from around the world from fried plantains to sushi. A flag ceremony and a fashion show also gave eventgoers an inside look into the traditional clothing of different cultures.
Darton international students and instructors also performed native dances and songs from their countries of origin.
Garner said the festival, which has been at Darton for years, has grown considerably within the past couple of years.
"Our population of international students has grown considerably, and so has the festival," said the native of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Michael White, director of the A.B.L.E. Center at Darton, said the college currently has 150 international students from around the world.
"The college has an initiative to become more global, and I think Darton students in particular are more local and many have not had the opportunity to travel. So this is a great way for them to see the world," he said.
White said the college is offering students and community members a chance to visit Kenya on an East Africa cultural immersion trip as a way to introduce students and citizens to different cultures.
Jasmine Jones, a Darton nursing student whose family is originally from Sierra Leone, said it was very important that people learn about and embrace diversity.
"It's very important to learn about different cultures because everyone is unique," she said. "I'm so happy to see everyone coming up (to her informational booth) and asking questions."
Amy Lincoln, a Darton student majoring in Spanish, said her trips to Peru were life-changing and that visiting other parts of the globe instills respect for others.
"The culture just comes alive," said the Darton student. "You don't learn about just their ethnicity --you learn who they are. Everyone is different and just as we (Americans) are proud of our heritage, beliefs and patriotism, we also have to respect others for their beliefs and culture."