International Showcase Connects Cultures Together Through Interactive Performances

Last Friday, Andover’s international students celebrated their cultures at the International Showcase (iShow) with activities ranging from singing performances to interactive workshops. The event was hosted by the International Club (iClub) and was proposed by a board member of iClub, Ananya Madduri ’23.

“This is our first year running iShow, [and] it was fantastic, very successful in our eyes,” said Madduri. “We had a great cohort of lovely members that came out today, ranging from Freshmen to Seniors, we had a great time. We had some impromptu performances, but also lovely interaction between club members and board members.”

Providing desserts and drinks, iShow also took inspiration from International Fest (iFest), an international food festival that iClub runs twice a year. Madduri highlighted the interconnectedness of iShow, with attendees and performers sharing and celebrating common cultures. In particular, she talked about enjoying a circle dance activity led by the African Student Association.

“I absolutely loved the Jerusalem workshop that the African Student Association students ran. It was just so fun, I loved dancing with other people. It reminds me of my culture, and back home, and I think it looked like it reminded other people of that and just brought everyone together. We’re here for community, we’re here for unity, and bonds. So I think that was just a beautiful moment,” said Madduri.

The iShow also offered opportunities for attendees to learn about the different cultures of peers. Attendee Gracie Aziabor ’26 discussed how she enjoyed seeing her friends perform and having fun in the dance workshop, as well as participating in a Kahoot of international-themed trivia.

“It was a bunch of different cultural things that we did, which I thought was nice because… a lot of [the performers] were my friends, so I got to learn a bit more about them through their performances. Also, they did this really fun Kahoot… I think my favorite part was the dancing because I knew both of the dances already, so it was fun to teach my friend and do it with a big group,” said Aziabor.

Additionally, Annabel Kim ’26, a new international student, reflected on the importance of non-affinity events like iShow. Open events like iShow increase the outreach of iClub to new students, international and domestic alike, bringing Andover’s community together in a celebration of international culture.

“Through [New International Student Orientation (NISO)], I knew that they would have activities throughout the year for us to bond as a community. Not necessarily affinity-based, but for them to create an area where a lot of international students could come together… I would definitely go to events like this in the future. First of all, to enjoy the activities they will provide us. But also to invite new international students who may have never been to iClub or are just new in general,” said Kim.

Madduri reflected on how iShow provided creative and interactive outlets for students to express their cultures from around the world.

“I thought [about how] we’re a group of students on this campus who have not only different backgrounds, but who identify with different cultures, and therefore would like to share this culture through performance, art, dance, music, a more interactive style that’s more unique. And so I thought [that] International Showcase…was kind of a nice thing to have for international students,” said Madduri.