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Passport to fun and learning on ‘Global Highway'

Global Highway - an annual event organised by the students living in the university residences, celebrates the many nationalities and diversity of students living in university accommodation.

The fact that we had 23 countries (a new record) participating this year shows the growing diversity in our residences and a real enthusiasm by students to share their cultural identity, according to James Walsh, a student from International House and Global Highway co-ordinator.

Global Highway is such a wonderful opportunity for all students living in residence to get together and showcase our cultures to the rest of the UOW community. We have such a diverse mix of nationalities and cultures living in the residences, and Global Highway is always a fun and informative event, James said.

Stalls representing different nations were set up on campus from the UniBar to the McKinnon Building, creating a festive and colourful atmosphere with music, dancing and other activities. Participants had the chance to take part in a variety of activities at each stall such as Chinese calligraphy, Thai napkin folding, learning different languages, playing traditional Vietnamese, Korean and Colombian games, Vanuatuan sand drawing, quizzes about various countries, music and trying on traditional dress.

Countries participating this year included Australia, Canada, Thailand, Iran, Switzerland, Vietnam, Venezuela, Vanuatu, Pakistan, Spain, South Korea, England, Italy, USA, Sri Lanka, The Netherlands, Kenya, Colombia, Japan, China, Singapore, Philippines and New Zealand.

For the third year in a row we had school children attending the event with 214 primary school students from The Illawarra Grammar School (TIGS) visiting Global Highway, along with the TIGS senior school choir and orchestral ensemble, James said.

This shows just how much the event has grown and it's wonderful to see the community involvement extend outside the University.

All UOW staff and students were invited to attend. Participants collected a Global Highway passport at the UOW Living stand, participated in the activities at each stall and everyone who finished the Global Highway collected a prize.

"Global Highway is important on two levels. Firstly, it allows everyone to have fun in so many different ways from around the world. Secondly, it shows how truly international the University of Wollongong and its residences have become," Student Residence Manager, International House, Alison Hemsley said.

International students currently make up 34% of the residents in university student accommodation, she said. 

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