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Nicholas Allen | December 13, 2019

Experience the World Without Leaving North Carolina!

Engage all of your senses in a cultural experience that will take you around the world without leaving North Carolina. International Focus will be hosting the International Festival of Raleigh on March 6-8, 2020 at the Jim Graham Building and Exposition Center on the NC State Fairgrounds. This 3-day event will feature a naturalization ceremony, live music and dance, an international bazaar, cultural exhibits and demonstrations of cultural activities like cooking, dance and craft. With over 60 cultures represented, this global extravaganza will introduce students and educators to a smorgasbord of new international experiences and perspectives.

The Festival has reserved March 6th as the 2020 International Field Trip day. You can register your class here for the reduced admission price of $5 per individual, plus 1 free ticket for every 15 you purchase. March 6th will include the the Naturalization Ceremony when new Americans take their Oath of Citizenship.

Educators can make the most of this field trip by integrating information about the countries you will engage with at the festival in the curriculum before and after you attend.

Before the festival, consider asking your students a few questions to set the stage for their experience. Who are the new North Carolinians? Where are they from? What languages might they speak? Use a map to identify countries and become more familiar with regions of the world. Help students to understand the meaning of culture and ways that culture can be expressed or shared.

During the festival give students activities or worksheets with clear goals for completion. Do you have a minimum number of countries you want them to experience? Have students look for similarities in cultures, then differences. Do they hear people speaking different languages? What do you smell while strolling through the café area?

After the festival discuss ways to go deeper with the information seen and heard at the festival, particularly as it relates to the clothing seen, the music heard and the foods eaten and why they are worn/played/eaten and when. Have students share information or stories from their own cultures and make connections for deeper understanding. What global challenges or issues impact the regions of the world or cultures you have learned about?

A field trip to the International Festival can support curriculum units and teaching standards and offers a glimpse into the cultural traditions of many countries. It is also a platform for allowing students to dig deeper for a greater understanding and global awareness, and can support bringing a global perspective to teaching. Listed below are web-based resources that may help for exploring culture and demographics in the classroom.

If you are interested in taking your class to the International Festival on March 6th, please go to to register!

If you do decide to participate, we would love to hear about your experience! Please contact World View Program Coordinator Nick Allen.

Resources for Educators

7 billion Others

Center for New North Carolinians

Mapping the Nation and NC Heat Map

New Roots/Nuevas Raíces

Teaching Tolerance: Culture in the Classroom

World Wise Schools, Peace Corps