45th Annual International Festival

Poster for 45th Annual UIS International Festival with information also in text form on the page.

The International Festival will be held on Saturday, October 21, 2023 from 2-5pm at TRAC.

For over 40 years the University of Illinois Springfield family has celebrated its rich international and cultural diversity with the annual International Festival. The longest running student-led program in the history of the University, the festival features fun and games from around the globe, cultural performances and exhibits, plus a variety of ethnic foods. We hope you and your family can join us this year!

Hosted by International Student Services and the International Student Association.

Program of the Festival

Program for the 45th Annual UIS International Festival

About the Festival

Students attending the 1st International Festival in 1977
1977, 1st International Festival. From left: Memunatu Jarrett, Almina Sardiaz Patterson, Maha Salaymeh, Gerlinde Coates

The longest running student-led program in the history of the University, the International Festival features fun and games from around the globe, cultural performances and exhibits, plus a variety of ethnic foods.

Erika Suzuki

With our increasingly interconnected world, developing a better understanding of different cultures has never been more important than it is today

Erika Suzuki, ISS Program Coordinator

Each year, hundreds of campus and community members have met for an international meal, programs, and exhibits. The event is made possible through the work of volunteers, who spent hours working as masters of ceremony, setting up the stage, greeting guests at the door, and cleaning up afterward. Each year, a theme for the festival is selected.

collage of ISS photos from the 70s

The festival gives international students a chance to share their cultures with fellow students and members of the Springfield community. The festival has featured food and entertainment from several African nations, China, India, Ireland, Peru, Scotland and Middle Eastern countries.

Sid Modali came to UIS from India to study Management Information Systems. He says events, such as the International Festival, are important because they allow him to share his culture.

“It is very important that people from different backgrounds, different cultures and different countries come forward,” said Modali. “Everything about this is so diverse.”

Videos from past International Festivals

Previous Festivals

  • 44th Annual International Festival - "Ticket to Diversity" - October 22nd, 2022
  • 43rd Annual International Festival – “Global Groove”- October 23rd, 2021
  • 42nd Annual International Festival – “Worldwide Snapshots”- November 1st, 2019
  • 41st Annual International Festival – “One World, Different Face” – November 2nd 2018
  • 40th Int’l Student Festival – “Anniversaries” – November 3th, 2017
  • 39th Int’l Student Festival – “World as One” – November 4th, 2016
  • 38th Int’l Student Festival – “World at a Glance” – November 14th, 2015
  • 37th Int’l Student Festival – “One World, One Beat” – October 24th, 2014
  • 36th Int’l Student Festival – “Passport to the World” – November 15th, 2013
  • 35th Int’l Student Festival – “Spice it up” – November 9th, 2012
  • 34th Int’l Student Festival – “Explore Folklore” – November 11th, 2011
  • 33rd Int’l Student Festival – “Fun and Games Around the Globe” – September 10th, 2010
  • 32nd Int’l Student Festival – “Dancing Under the Stars” – October 25th, 2009
  • 31st Int’l Student Festival – “Harvest Celebrations around the World” – Nov 16th, 2008
  • 30th Anniversary Int’l Student Festival – Jan 27th, 2008
  • 29th Int’l Student Festival – “Global Face Book” – Jan 28th, 2007
  • 28th Int’l Student Festival – “The Spirit of Diversity ” – 2005
  • 27th Int’l Student Festival – “Erasing Borders” – 2004
  • 26th Int’l Student Festival – “A taste of Cultures” – 2003
  • 25th Silver Jubilee Festival of Global Unity – 2002
  • 24th Int’l Student Festival – “Rhythm of nations” – 2001
  • 23rd Int’l Student Festival – “Uniting the world in the new millennium” – 2000
  • 22nd Int’l Student Festival – “A cultural moment in time” – 1999
  • 21st Int’l Student Festival – “A global coming of age” – 1998
  • 20th Int’l Student Festival – “Touching the continent – embracing the world” – 1997
  • 19th Int’l Student Festival – “Windows to the world” – 1996
  • 18th Int’l Student Festival – “Friendship rings around the world” – 1995
  • 17th Int’l Student Festival – “Toys and tales around the world” – 1994
  • 16th Int’l Student Festival – “Arts and crafts around the world” – 1993
  • 15th Int’l Student Festival – “Fabrics and fashions around the world” – 1992
  • 14th Int’l Student Festival – “Peace around the World” – 1991
  • 13th Int’l Student Festival – “Languages around the World” – 1990
  • 12th Int’l Student Festival – “Folk festivals around the World” – 1988
  • 11th Int’l Student Festival – “Games played around the World” – 1987
  • 10th Int’l Student Festival – “Song & Dance around the World” – 1986
  • 9th Int’l Student Festival – 1985
  • 8th Int’l Student Festival – “Celebrations around the World” – 1984
  • 7th Int’l Student Festival – “Weddings around the World” – 1983
  • 6th Annual Int’l Celebration – 1982
  • 5th Annual Int’l Celebration – 1981
  • 4th Annual Int’l Celebration – 1980
  • 3rd Annual Int’l Celebration – 1979
  • 2nd Annual Int’l Celebration – 1978
  • 1st Annual Int’l Celebration – 1977