Back to the Spirit of International Week: The 2022 Edition

September 04, 2022 Sofia Drenkova
Back to the Spirit of International Week: The 2022 Edition
After a year of online events, the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society at AUBG finally managed to celebrate its 22nd International Week with a series of on-ground events.
In a series of articles, we look back at the events that brought our community together after two years of hybrid life. 

When asked what does Phi Beta Delta, Epsilon Alpha Chapter at AUBG stand for, Mariela Latinova (’22) who was the society’s president this year, described it as something that goes beyond the goals of a student club. “This is not just an honor society to recognize the achievements of students, faculty, and staff, who have studied abroad or are involved in international activities,” Mariela said. “It is much more than that because of its events during the annual International Week, which gathers the AUBG community and shows the real and distinctive diversity on campus.”

After a year of online events, the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society at AUBG finally managed to celebrate its 22nd International Week with a series of on-ground events.

On Feb. 14, the AUBG students embraced the different nationalities and attended the “Country Presentations” evening. This year, the day coincided with St. Valentine’s Day, and that’s why the topic of the event was “Love in different countries”.

The event was hosted by professor Castagneto. He gave the floor for opening words to President David Evans, after which representatives of nine different countries shared stories about how they celebrate love in their homelands. The Ukrainian Team even performed a small theatrical piece to show the rituals accompanying a traditional marriage in their country.

On the second day of International Week 2022, Phi Beta Delta held the event “My International Experience,” where students who have participated in different exchange programs, got to share their most memorable experiences while abroad and gave tips and tricks to future exchange applicants.
The night concluded with a themed trivia Country Quiz, won by the Model European Club members. “It was a great pleasure for our team to participate”, said Veliyana Georgieva, President of MEU. “The questions were very interesting and challenging but we are glad that our teamwork led us to win first place.”

And as “teamwork makes the dream work,” all Phi Beta Delta members collaborated to organize two more big events as part of International Week.

On Thursday, Feb. 17, the Dr. Carl Djerassi Theater stage welcomed a dozen of talented contestants to dance, sing, and play instruments for the AUBG’s Got Talent show. After a heated debate, the jury — consisting of professors Laura Kelly and Senem Konedareva, Dean of Students Sabina Wien, and President Evans — awarded the First Place Award to Vesë Neziri from Kosovo for her piano performance. Laura Schellerup from Belgium got the silver with her beautiful dance, and Stefani Angelova grabbed third place for her stand-up comedy.

The jury awarded a special Skappy Award to Altangerel Dashtseren from Mongolia for his touching singing performance.

“I took the decision to compete in AUBG’s Got Talent all of a sudden”, Altangerel said. “Even though I had a very short time to practice, I still made it to the contest. Thinking of it now, I’m just glad I made the decision by believing in myself.”

The audience was thrilled with all the talented participants and also got to enjoy two guest performances – those of the Broadway Performance Club and Bulgarian Folklore Dance Club “Samodiva”.

The cherry on the cake, however, and the last event of the International week, was the Taste Fest. This year, the fest happened on Sunday, April 10, and it brought songs, dances, and delicious dishes from more than 16 countries.

Students from different nationalities had arranged their country’s booths at the AUBG Sports Hall and served the traditional meals that they had been preparing the whole day. In what has become a tradition, at the end of the celebration all of the people got together to dance two national dances: Bulgaria’s “Byala roza” and Albania’s “Valle Kosovare.”

“I made quesadillas, which are tortillas filled with cheese,” Jose Emilio Valverde Dominguez, a senior from Mexico said. “I also made two salads: chipotle and a mix of chili peppers. It was a fun event, and I was surprised at how many people wanted to try spicy food.”

The event was celebrated by the whole AUBG community and ended with all students, faculty, and staff singing and dancing together.