From pad thai and samosa to brigadeiro, a traditional Brazilian dessert, a buffet of international cuisine lined tables in the Day Student Lounge of George Washington Hall. The food was freshly catered from local restaurants and businesses, and students from around campus enjoyed the variety that iFest offered.
Last Saturday evening’s iFest marked a longstanding tradition hosted by Andover’s International Club. Kira Stepanova ’25, a board member, reflected on the purpose of the event. She described how international students are underrepresented on campus and so events like iFest offered important spaces to celebrate and share their culture.
“The international student body is marginalized [at Andover]… this event acts as a safe space for international students and those interested in international culture…We tried to represent all parts of the world so that everybody could find something [they like],” said Stepanova.
Furthermore, Stepanova commented on the challenges of running iFest. For instance, it was more difficult to procure certain international products, like foods from Eastern Europe, than others in the United States.
“Certain regions are not as represented in the American market. Trying to represent all parts of the world was really challenging,” said Stepanova.
Fnding and accessibility was another challenge of the independently hosted event. Co-Head of International Club, Gui Lima ’24, described how the board traveled around the Boston area to find and purchase international food items.
“We had to buy all the food, we had to order a lot of candy from Amazon. We [also] went to a lot of local international shops in Lawrence and the Boston area,” said Lima.
Overall, though, Lima felt the event was successful. He hoped attendees enjoyed this celebration of international culture.
“There wasn’t an overarching message we were going for, we just wanted this to be fun and a good time for attendees,” said Lima.
David Porto ’26, an attendee of the event, agreed with Lima’s sentiment. An international student from Brazil, he came to the event to experience other international cultures and see his own represented.
“I wanted to get a taste of international culture and my own… The brigadeiro was really good,” Porto said.
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