International Festival parade of flags

March 24, 2022

All welcome to join SIU in the 2022 “One Voice, One People” International Festival April 4-8

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s International Festival 2022, set for April 4-8, celebrates “One Voice, One People.” It’s a time to highlight the diversity, inclusivity and multicultural impact and influence of SIU and its people.

The popular weeklong festival, a tradition for 60 years, was postponed from February this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which also forced the 2021 festival to move online. The event typically draws large, appreciative crowds from across campus and the surrounding community.

International students have found their college home at SIU since 1947, and currently about 1,000 students and scholars from about 100 nations, along with their families, are Salukis. The international students, faculty and staff are valued and their impact is obvious, SIU officials say.

“International students add to the campus and local community by showing us how we view the world through different lenses while sharing many of the same beliefs and customs. This fusion of cultures is what makes SIU and Carbondale unique and an example of an international community of the 21st century,” said Sam Bandy, interim director of the Center for International Education. “We are a campus that is so intertwined with the world that it is hard to imagine what our campus and the Carbondale area would be like without our international students, faculty, staff and community members.”

The International Festival is a time to celebrate SIU’s community and form connections with them.

Kick-off is April 4

The beautiful and impressive International Parade of Flags at 10 a.m. April 4 serves as the launch for the festival. The parade begins at Woody Hall with students, faculty, staff and community members, many wearing attire from their native countries, assembling and walking across campus while carrying flags representing their homelands.

Upon arrival at the Student Center after the trek across campus, the festivities move indoors to the International Lounge for the official proclamation and welcome ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Meera Komarraju, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, and Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry will lead the festivities.

Try worldwide cuisine

The International Food Festival returns at 11 a.m. April 6 in the Student Center Ballrooms. This event provides a unique opportunity to sample culinary delights from around the world, as students prepare and serve foods from their homelands. The various booths offer assorted ala carte options as well as some meal combinations. The festival wraps up at 1 p.m. or when the food is gone. Sellouts are common, so organizers recommend coming early for the best selection.

Tickets are $1 each and the number of tickets required for the samples varies.

Tickets will be available at the door, but those planning to attend can save time by buying tickets early. Advance tickets go on sale March 28 at the Student Center business office windows and are available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The menu will be posted online prior to the feast.

Enjoy performances from around the world

International Festival 2022 wraps up with the Cultural Show, a night of special entertainment featuring a variety of global performances. During this unique evening, students showcase their diverse cultures and countries through song and dance. The show is set for 6:30 p.m. April 8 in the Student Center Ballrooms.

There is no cost to attend and tickets aren’t required.

Everyone welcome

All “One Voice, One People” International Festival 2022 events are free and open to everyone. The International Student Council, a registered student organization, coordinates the festival with support from the Center for International Education, the Office of Student Engagement and the Student Center.

For more information, including the complete schedule of events and the menu for the food festival, visit Call 618-453-5714 or email with questions.