Have some pie!

UK: Bournemouth regional festival celebrates int’l ed

Last month saw the first One World By The Sea festival take place in Bournemouth & Poole on the south coast of the UK, to celebrate the cultural diversity of the area.

Bournemouth international students festivalStudents and advocate Guido Schillig of Anglo-Continental. Photo: Bournemouth University International College

"We were really hoping to get people enthused with other countries we have a natural link to"

Rather than scones and cream, international food was served at the three-day event in Dorset which was organised by the International Education Forum and supported by Bournemouth University as well as other civic organisations.

The festival also included international film screenings and music and dance performances and finished with a mini-festival in central Bournemouth.

Rachel Woodward-Carrick, director of Bournemouth University International College, organised the event and was delighted with the outcome.

“With the event we really wanted to do two things,” she told The PIE News. “The first was to showcase Bournemouth’s diverse community. I came here four years ago and was really surprised by the cultural diversity.

“The second was to send out the message that international students are very welcome here – this gives people an example to show others of what we have done here.”

“I came here four years ago and was really surprised by the cultural diversity”

Woodward-Carrick added that the event was a collaborative effort, with financial and logistic support from Bournemouth University, the Arts University of Bournemouth and the Dorset Race Equality Council, which ran a similar event in Dorchester earlier in the year.

The list of contributors included several language schools around the city, including Anglo-Continental and ETC International College.

The festival has a strong, visual brand.

“Outside of London, Bournemouth has the most language schools so it is important that we all work together to grow the pie, not only compete against each other,” said Woodward-Carrick.

She added that it was important to get local residents involved. “People are already used to international students in Bournemouth, for example, in shops people may speak slower so that they understand.”

Activities on the World Discovery Day, which the Bournemouth University International College hosted, were designed to help people learn a little more about countries international students in Bournemouth are from.

Visitors learnt to say “hello” in five languages, write their names in Arabic and took part in an interactive quiz.

Chris Davis, International Pathways manager at Bournemouth University, has high hopes for the future of the festival.

“We’re already looking forward to planning next year’s event, building on what we’ve learnt this year and making the festival even bigger and better,” he said.

“We are keen to ensure that we make the One World By The Sea Festival a permanent fixture in Bournemouth’s ever-growing calendar of events and to be a part of the town’s thriving BOMO festival programme.”

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