February 22, 2024

59th International Fair Coming Soon!

Guest Columnist: Brian White

Greetings, LC Students!

I am Brian White, Associate Dean of Students and Director of L&C’s International Students and Scholars (ISS) Office. Each year it seems that more and more of the world is represented on our campus. This spring, 151 L&C international and 126 Third Culture Kid (TCK) students from 89 countries are studying on campus, across the undergraduate, graduate, and law campuses.

Our ISS team strives to make our campus a home-away-from-home for these students. Among many other things, we help international students get visas, social security numbers, and work permits so they can have the same learning and extracurricular experiences as domestic students. We help American TCKs navigate the sometimes confusing transition from growing up outside the US with their families to living here on their own and being seen and understood as locals.

International students and TCKs bring many different cultures and perspectives to our community, and I have found that almost all of them are curious to learn about the “real life” America that exists beyond the version on TV and the movies. The best way for them to get to know real American culture is by getting to know you. If you have international students and TCKs in your classes or residence halls, ask them about their home countries and places they have lived overseas. Share your favorite American snack food. Be curious! This kind of exchange is (of course) two-way, so be ready to share what you know.

One great opportunity to do so is coming up this week: the 59th Annual International Fair. On Saturday March 2nd, the International Students of Lewis & Clark (ISLC) will host displays (learn how to play Bagh Chal), share snacks (Beng Beng Chocolate anyone?) from their countries, and stage a performance of music and dances that include many of the cultures represented on campus right now. Check out songs from Madagascar, Bollywood dancing from South Asia, poetry from Hungary, and much more! Plus, during the event they’ll be raffling off some great prizes! The fair is free and you are welcome for whatever time you can spare.

In other news, L&C’s TCK Intern Tessa Forth and the TCK Board recently completed its 12th Annual TCK Symposium, entitled “Concealed: The Hidden Identity of TCKs-Enduring a Clash of Personal and Societal Standards and Expectations,” which featured a keynote address by renowned TCK speaker and expert Chris O’Shaughnessy, as well as a panel of current TCK students and staff. Their next event will be (still waiting for this part….)



Brian White

Associate Dean and Director of International Students & Scholars