Students host 9th annual International Dinner

By Jenny Rohl, Contributing writer

For eight years, students have gathered every Spring to sample a variety of dishes from across the world in Murray State’s very own Winslow Dinning Hall.

This year, nine countries were represented at the Annual International Dinner held on March 8th. Hosted by the International Student Organization, the countries included Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, South Korea, Pakistan, Nigeria and India.

Travis West, junior from Eastern Kentucky, has been to the dinner every year, but will miss next year because he will be studying in South Korea.

“I’ve had the South Korean food which was really good and Tunisian food which is also really good,” West said.

Bill McKibben, director for International Enrollment and Retention, said while every year had been a success, this year’s food had been the best it has been in a while. A foreign exchange student from South Korea, Yeojin Son, agreed.

“This year’s food is better because last year Kabsa was not here,” Son said.

Kabsa, a traditional Saudi Arabian cuisine that is meat cooked in rice and a variety of spices, won this year’s People’s Choice Award. The People’s Choice Award was determined by students’ votes and Belize won best taste and appearance from judges.   

Son said although the Korean food was incredibly similar to how it would taste back home, “my mom will always be the best cook.” 

Marcus Bell, one of the judges and English second language program adviser, said taste was judged on a scale from 1-10 and appearance was rated from 1-5.

In past years, the International Enrollment and Retention Office had been primarily in charge of organizing the dinner. Within the last couple of years, the office has let the International Student Organization become more involved.

“It’s something they can be proud of. All of the credit should really go to the students of the groups because they are the ones who do all of the hard work, pull it off and make it complete,” McKibben said. 

McKibben said the purpose of this dinner was to “draw awareness of the different cultures represented here at Murray State.”

“[It was] to give students and community members the chance to maybe experience something they may not have the chance to experience otherwise,” he said.