Global becomes local on World Languages Day

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On March 25, the Business College Complex at Michigan State University became a cultural mecca for World Languages Day. The event, hosted by the university, is an annual all-day conference for high school students and teachers all over Michigan to experience cultures and countries from all over the world.

As a university with more than 7,250 international students, MSU was the ideal place to facilitate the event. “It was a lot of work getting this all together but it’s so nice to see it today,” said Leea Fellows, a student volunteer.

This was the university’s 10th World Languages Day and Amber Cordell, educational programs manager, could not be happier of the event. “It’s an incredible opportunity for us to reach out to students all over Michigan,” she said.

With over 75 cultural sessions — from Thai spices to writing Hangul even to yoga — held throughout the day, the event had busloads of students engaged. “The energy and atmosphere here is really, really exciting because there’s so much to do,” said Fellows.

It was a year long excitement for some participants. Timothy Cuthrell and Mitchell Thompson are two students from Oakland who came bright and early. Cuthrell fell in love with World Languages Day when he came last year and told Thompson to come with him again.

Thompson was inspired. “It’s so important to me that people learn a second language,” said Thompson. “People in other countries pick up English as a second language while here…that’s only all most of us here know,” Thompson finds that MSU is the best place to give young Michiganders an opportunity to learn about other cultures and countries as they usually don’t get the chance to.

Cordell hopes that the event will reach even more high schools around Michigan next year.

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