International Week has always been one of those campus activities that heralded spring at George Mason University. It began in the 1970s as International Night. Held in the Lecture Hall, the evening included dance performances much like the current celebrations.
Starting in 1981, one night became a week of activities, which took on the nickname of iWeek and at times included a cricket tournament, guest speakers, fashion shows, a very popular dance competition, and the opportunity to sample different cuisines.
Mason international students represent 130 countries, and each spring the Johnson Center is adorned with the flags of many countries.
One of the most anticipated iWeek events is the Parade of Flags during which Mason students and student organizations get to display their flag and walk the campus. Even foul weather cannot keep this parade from happening—it just moves indoors.
The International Week Dance Competition also draws a lot of student participation. This year's competition will be held on Thursday, March 31, at 7 p.m. in Center for the Arts Concert Hall. Past competitions can be viewed online by going to IWeek.gmu.edu or YouTube.
"Since the beginning of Mason’s celebration of International Week, thousands of domestic and international students have had the wonderful opportunity to learn from one another about shared values, new perspectives and views of the world, culture, food, and the arts," said Christina Lehnertz, interim director of Mason's Office of International Programs and Services.
This year's International Week is Mason's 41st celebration and runs March 25–April 3, 2022. Find out more about the planned activities here.
Watch the 31st International Week in action here.
Photo credit: Evan Cantwell, Creative Services