iFest: A Collision of Culture, Food, and Fun

In celebration of international culture at Andover, students of all backgrounds congregated in large crowds and snaking lines for a taste of various delicious dishes at iFest, an annual event hosted by the International Club (iClub). With a range of sweet, spicy, and umami flavors from diverse cuisines to try, students filled their plates, chatted with friends, and enjoyed music from all around the world. Below, organizers and attendees addressed the highlights of iFest and its importance to the Andover community.

Thao Pham ’25, iClub Lower Representative
“I really enjoy being around international students… and it’s really fun to learn new cultures. And to understand what they bring to the table, and how they show it. iFest is just a really good opportunity to interact with students who are international and to invite friends and students that are boarders or day students to come experience some of their own culture.”

Kira Stepanova ’25, iClub Lower Representative
“iClub was really the first place on campus that really allowed me to feel a bit more at home and connect to other people who were also trying to adjust to a new culture and a new home… I would hope that international students could find a piece of home in what we provide.”

Agnes Agosto ’24, Attendee
“I like meeting a lot of different people because I feel like all sorts of people come. Whether they are international or not, it’s just an opportunity to meet a lot of people. I think that it is just a really warm community, and I just liked being able to see a lot of people that I don’t normally get to see.”

Sara Romai ’23, iClub Co-President
“I think iFest tends to be something that people can go to with their friends, and listen to music, and we have, you know, international foods, to the extent that we can. I think we really just want it to be a space where international students can have fun and really just hang out with their friends and other members of the international community.”

Leticia Nhaule ’25, Attendee
“I think for both international kids and domestic kids, that exchange of ideas, cultures, beliefs, just in simple conversation, is really cool… A lot of the kids in the international club are international kids, but we are from very different places, so it’s still important to come together and learn about each other’s cultures… I think [my favorite food] was the pork dumplings, because I had never had them before, and a lot of people had, so that was fun. Now, I can tell people that I have had pork dumplings.”

Richard Lau ’24, Attendee
“I like iClub because, as an international student, I get to connect and bond with other international kids, and it kind of creates an environment where we all feel at home. I really liked the spicy chicken drumsticks… and getting to meet different students from across the school, and across the grade, so that was pretty nice.”

Ollie Kim ’26, New Student Representative
“We played multicultural music from different places, and the food was from different places in the world. I think it’s just a celebration of other cultures. I really liked the fried chicken, the Korean fried chicken.”