CEDAR FALLS, Iowa --- On any given day Yeshi Lama traverses the University of Northern Iowa campus in the clothes of a traditional college student.
It's not surprising that jeans and T-shirts are staples in this graduate student's wardrobe. But, when Lama left the house Tuesday, she wore a black and turquoise silk chupa, a traditional dress from her homeland Tibet. Across campus other international students did the same in honor of International Education Week.
Over the noon hour, students representing more than a dozen countries gathered in Maucker Union to showcase clothes from their home countries.
"It's important for students to feel comfortable in their traditional dress," Lama said.
The week, a joint initiative by the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of State is celebrated by schools in more than 100 countries.
"The whole purpose is to highlight the benefits of international education for both the students coming onto our campus and those leaving," said Nadia Korobova, the assistant director of the Office of International Programs. This year UNI is home to more than 460 international students. Another 480 students are currently studying abroad.
Junior Brittany Blankenship was one of the many UNI students, faculty and staff who packed the union's Hemisphere Lounge for the fashion show. She is friends with many of the international students but said she still was able to learn something new.
"There are so many different cultures here. We have people from all over the world, and we all need to learn more about them," she said.
International Education Week events continue today through Friday. A full list of events, including movie screenings, panel discussions and cricket lessons, can be found online at www.uni.edu/internationalprograms.