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ISCO Festival this Friday

A celebration of International Education this week will conclude with Troy’s 26th annual ISCO Festival Friday night.

Typically, Troy University’s International Student Cultural Organization Festival is held in the spring each year, but ISCO Advisor Richard Scott Nokes said the event will be permanently moved to the fall starting this year.

The festival will be held in the Trojan Center Ballrooms at 6 p.m. Tickets are available for the community for $15 and $10 for students.

Nokes said this year’s festival will offer entertainment and food from several different countries across the globe.

The theme this year is “World of Champions,” and Nokes said aside from singing and dancing, there will be some athletic performances, as well.

Nokes said the festival is one way the international students can give back to the local community in Pike County.

“While it still exists as a fundraiser for ISCO, the festival itself is kind of a focal point and a time when international students invites the community to come,” Nokes said.

The ISCO Festival is just one of the ways the university is celebrating its 737 international students this week.

The opening of Troy’s Confucius Institute will be held Friday, as well.

Dean of International Student Services Darlene Schmurr-Stewart said the international student population at Troy University is well on its way to meeting the goals laid out for the program in Vision 2010, the university’s five-year strategic plan implemented in 2005.

By 2010, the university plans to have 800 international students enrolled on campus, and Schmurr-Stewart said they are doing all they can to make that happen.

With oversees recruiting efforts underway, the program has already seen significant growth.

“About a decade ago, we had 65 international students,” Schmurr-Stewart said. “We’ve had radical and rapid growth in the last few years.”

Nokes said the growth of the international program has likewise been portrayed in ISCO.

“The festival over time has become really central to the university’s global identity,” Nokes said.

Schmurr-Stewart said she encourages everyone in the community to come out to the event Friday night.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for the students on this campus to showcase their culture, and for the community, I think it gives at the very simplest level a fun evening.”

Tickets can be purchased by calling 808-6146.