Once I viewed the opening ceremonies of International Week as people passed through North Plaza with flags and different attires, I began to gain an admiration for the week.

My personal favorite part of the week was the 81 flags hanging throughout the JC.

These flags lit up the room and mesmerized Mason students with their differing patterns, illustrations, and colors. The students began dialogue after gaining a strong interest in all 81 of the represented countries. When they ate, studied, and walked through the JC I’d hear a group of people contemplating the flags country of origins.

Conversations like these were the main attribution for my admiration.

International Week facilitated exploration for each student to gain some sort of new knowledge.

Whether that was learning about traditional Irish attire, the design of Saudi Arabia’s Flag, or a deeper understanding of Hispanic dishes, we all learned something new.

But don’t let the closing ceremonies end that exploration.

Continue to learn about the wide variety of cultures that are on Mason’s campus.

Go to a cultural club on campus like: the Indian Student Association, CRU, Hillel, the Korean Student Association or any other one that interests you.

Play the Sporcle flag quiz to gain more knowledge on flags of the world.

As an avid user of Sporcle I can full-heartedly say that that quiz imparted valuable information on the flags of the world.

Explore new cuisines. Fairfax is comprised of a plethora of restaurants with different types of recipes.

With these options there is a great chance to find a new food never consumed before.

Now International Week can be everyday, rather than just five.

Through these new lessons gained, we will become a greater community that is knowledgeable about our environment.

International Week was created to continue to present diversity of Mason’s campus and showcase a wide variety of different rituals, attire, and food to the student body.

So explore and escape your comfort zone, with this you will gain a greater knowledge of the cultures we are surrounded by.