By Anyssa Roberts
National flags from Japan, China and the U.S., among others, waved in the air as a group of international students and staff paraded through campus Monday morning to kick off International Education week at UK.
The group organized a parade from the courtyard outside Bradley Hall to the front of Patterson Office Tower, where they mounted their flags and began their flash mob dance to Psy’s South Korean pop hit, “Gangnam Style.”
Students crowded around with their cell phones to watch and record the performance.
In the crowd was Lithuanian UK Ph.D. candidate Gabriele Ciciurkaite. She said she thought it was great that UK was taking the time to raise awareness of international students on campus.
“UK is not known for doing things for international students,” she said. “I think it’s nice they’re doing it.”
International student coordinator for the Education Abroad department Karen Slaymaker said there are nearly 1,900 international students at UK from more than 120 countries.
To demonstrate this diversity on campus Slaymaker said the students tried to get as many international students as possible to participate in the parade and flash mob.
Chemical engineering freshman Naif Al-Aamri, an international student from Oman, an Arab state in southwest Asia, participated in the flash mob.
Al-Aamri said he received a scholarship to study in America upon graduation from high school.
“Going abroad is different for me,” he said. “But when I had (the) experience to live abroad, I think it’s easy to live here.”
Other students were excited for the event’s opportunity to bring awareness to the education abroad department.
“We’re starting off international week, raising awareness of the international programs and services offered at UK,” integrated strategic communications junior Jessica Chu said.
Chu excitedly waved the Spanish flag outside Bradley Hall before the flash mob began.
Chu is not an international student, but has studied abroad in Spain and South Africa and serves as a peer ambassador for the Education Abroad program.
“I’m excited,” Chu said about International Education week. “There’s really so many opportunities (to) study abroad and be very involved.”