Cultural Exploration Event Highlights Vietnam As Its First Culture To Explore

By Khai Huynh – Online Editor

Oklahoma City Community College’s Office of Student Life and Office of International Student Services recently partnered to host the first-ever Cultural Exploration Event. The event took place on Dec. 1 with the goal of helping students explore different cultures from countries around the world.

The event took place in Oklahoma City where Vietnamese culture was highlighted. Students were able to learn more about Vietnamese history while enjoying food from a local restaurant in the area. 

The event was led by the Director of Student Life, Cody Garrison, and his team with a guest speaker from the International Student Services office.

“We wanted to do something unconventional,” Garrison said. “We thought it would be a fun and different way to have someone from their country share their culture.”

Free shuttles were provided, and students moved together by groups from the campus to the Bistro B restaurant located on the southwest side of the city. 

The guest from the International Student Services office, Thu Vo, who is also an international student from Vietnam, presented her country’s attractions to the students and provided information about the culture and the food during the time at the restaurant.

Students were provided with an allowance and were given the option to order from numerous traditional Vietnamese dishes. Free drinks were also provided.

Thu Vo presents her country’s attractions and culture at the Bistro B restaurant (Photo by Khai Huynh).

“I thought that was interesting,” said OCCC student Luis Rivas. “I have Vietnamese friends at work so to get to know them a little bit better on their background was also good. The food was amazing, and I would love to come here again sometime.”

Luis Rivas took part in the Scavenger Hunt activity at the World Fresh International Market (Photo by Khai Huynh).

The next location was the World Fresh International Market located near the restaurant. Students participated in a Scavenger Hunt activity to find different Vietnamese snacks and goods around the market with prizes at the end for the winners.

“I’m Mexican American, and I know there are a lot of different cultures around the world,” said Michelle Claudio, OCCC student. “I know we have our own thing, but understanding and knowing others as well interest me a lot.”

When asked about the inspiration and motivation of the event, Garrison shared, “We want to celebrate different cultures and allow students to learn and grow.” He added, “We want students to have the opportunity to learn and critically think about difference and how difference relates to their personal lives.”

The OCCC Student Life is currently taking feedback from students that participated in the event to make any necessary improvements and get ready for more to come in the future.

“An area of importance for Student Life and International Student Services is developing students to become global stewards.” – Cody Garrison.

Student Life plans to partner with the International Student Services to host this event once per semester.

Follow OCCC Student Life Facebook or OCCC Student Life Instagram or OCCC Student Life Twitter to learn more about other events.