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International Student Life

Bennet highlights his experience participating in International Fest, an event aimed at celebrating the cultural identities of students at Carleton.

Bennet highlights his experience participating in International Fest, an event aimed at celebrating the cultural identities of students at Carleton.

On Saturday, April 23, the International Student Life Office (ISL) hosted International Fest, which is an event aimed at celebrating the different cultural identities of students at Carleton. It is the biggest cultural event on campus because it involves the participation of cultural organizations, language departments, and other individuals in the Carleton community. For me, it is a reminder of home and one of the moments when I get to express various facets of my cultural identity.

This year, the event took place at the Weitz Center for Creativity and was divided into three major sections: art performances, food, and games. As an International Peer Leader (IPL) for ISL, I assisted with logistics prior to the event and also served food at the occasion. Additionally, I also did an Instagram takeover for Carleton’s Instagram account to showcase the event. Due to my duties, I was not able to attend the art performances, which took place at the Weitz Cinema. With that said, there are a few things I want to highlight about the event based on my experience.


The food section of the event took place at the Weitz Artrium with different cultural organizations and individuals serving food at their respective tables. Food was dished out right after the art performances ended. I served jollof rice (a West African specialty) and suya (well-seasoned Cameroonian beef) as a means of representing my home country, Cameroon. My table also represented the Men of Color (MOC+) because I’m a board member of the group.

International Fest 2023
Various campus organizations and some individuals serve food to students at International Fest. I’m the guy in a blue shirt dishing out food.

There were long lines in front of each food table because people wanted a taste of the food that was available. I couldn’t serve food alone on my table given the long lines and my other duty of documenting the event on Carleton’s Instagram story. So I often had friends help out.


Games took place after the food was served. The tables were for other cultural organizations and language departments that were interested in increasing participation in the occasion through fun activities unique to the group’s background. Some students grabbed food and sat together at different spots at the Weitz Atrium while others went directly to the tables to secure a spot to participate when the games commenced. I took some photos of a few of the tables for Carleton’s Instagram story.

International Fest 2023
Students gather at tables to participate in games organized by language departments and some cultural organizations.

Instagram Takeover

If you follow Carleton’s Instagram page, you have definitely seen some Carls documenting a day in their life through photos and videos. As an admissions blogger, I had the privilege of also documenting a day in my life. The reason why I picked the day of International Fest was that I wanted to highlight the cultural diversity of Carleton’s community and also show people a little bit of what I do as an IPL. I also wanted to give advice to international students about ways of adjusting to and navigating Carleton. Thus, I included other Carls in my story to speak about their experience and also give advice because my experience is different and won’t help everybody who followed along. The topics I covered were (and not limited to) academics, athletics, community, and campus organizations.

International Fest 2023
When I was serving food, Markus’25 helped me a lot in taking pictures and videos for Carleton’s Instagram.

By organizing and also participating in International Fest, I interacted with lots of people and met new people as well. I deeply appreciated everyone’s willingness to show up and celebrate the event with ISL. I’m particularly grateful to my ISL supervisors and co-workers for the great work they did in organizing and coordinating the event and also to campus organizations and individuals who made the event happen through their participation.



Bennet is from the town of Bamenda, Cameroon. He is currently undecided but looking forward to a double major in Computer Science and CAMS (Cinema and Media Studies). Aside from blogging, Bennet also works for the Office of International Student Life as a Peer Mentor. On campus, he is part of the African and Caribbean Association (ACA), Men’s Club Soccer, and serves as the Public Relations Officer for Men of Color (MOC). He likes spending his free time reading nonfiction books, working out, watching movies, and hanging out with friends.