International students share their ‘Homecomings’

Bryson Keltner

WKU’s slogan is “a leading American university with international reach,” and the school tries to represent those ideas by including over 1,300 students from foreign countries in its community.

There are now over 70 countries around the world represented on The Hill, according to the international student office website. Students from those countries share their customs and ideas with American students on many important events on campus, including Homecoming.

While Homecoming is a known American college tradition, different nations around the globe have customs similar to homecoming events. Keunsik “Brody” Jung is a junior from South Korea. He related his perception of Homecoming to the sports aspect of the event.

“In my University, Yonsei University in South Korea, we have a special sporting event that is called Yonsei vs. Korea rivalry,” Jung said. He explained that Yonsei University and Korea University had been rival schools since 1956 and they play each other in a large event annually.

Saad Awad Alamri, a senior from Saudi Arabia, says there are not many celebrations like Homecoming where he is from, but there are two festivals called Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha that he enjoys.

“After we pray at that day, we gather with my family and have lunch. Then at night we go to the beach and enjoy the fireworks,” Alamri said.

Senior Kanyawee Skulsillapakorn shared her thoughts on Homecoming in Thailand.

“In Thailand, sports are not as big as here,” Skulsillapakorn said. “So our Homecoming is a little different. It’s more like a dinner party and dance. Everyone dresses up. All alumni are welcomed too. It’s similar to a school class reunion.”

However, Skulsillapakorn is familiar with American Homecoming. She was an exchange student at an American high school before she entered college.

“I was nominated as one of the Homecoming queen candidates, so I got to experience things I’ve never thought an international student could be able to before,” Skulsillapakorn said. “Friendships. Excitements. Fun. Experience. I have such a beautiful memory about Homecoming that I will never forget for the rest of my life.”

Reporter Bryson Keltner can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected]