Julianne Elias

If you are interested in traveling the world in just one night, without even leaving Worcester, then Clark has the perfect opportunity for you — its annual International Gala. Held every March, this free event showcases the campus’s cultural diversity. During this popular and lively event, more than 300 students from Clark will represent 32 countries from around the world. The students of Clark take pride in this event and look at it as a positive way to spread acceptance.

Travel from Greece to India to Nepal, and many other countries, all while sitting in the same seat. The countries’ cultural values will be shown through performances done by the students. There will also be music, traditional dress and other customs of the students’ home countries. The gala hopes to inspire tolerance and open-mindedness through the variety of cultures represented in the show.

The gala is hosted by Clark’s International Students Association. This group promotes better relations among students of different cultures through a variety of events encouraging cross-cultural communication, goals the ISA has not just for Clark but for the wider Worcester community. And that’s what the gala is all about.

“There is a strange and incredible power to the event itself; a stunning power in bringing people together. You see the joy on the dancers’ faces, and the music from all their countries comes together to create a truly exciting performance. It is beautiful – and the work that goes into it can certainly be seen in the show!” said Ram Sharma, Clark University student and vice president of the ISA.

If you are attending the gala, make sure to get there at least an hour early. With more than 1,000 people in attendance each year, the line is guaranteed to be long. The performances are a mix of everything; it’s a guarantee you will find something you love.

“Clark is a very diverse school and, luckily for us, has a large international population (myself included; I am from India). Gala itself is not a very old show (this is the 16th iteration), but for quite a lot of us internationals, it is an outlet to bring the best of what you come from and package it to show everyone. All of the dancers, as well as choreographers, are student volunteers – undergraduates here at Clark,” Sharma said.

The free International Gala will be held at 7 p.m., March 23, at the Kneller Athletic Center at Clark University. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Unable to attend the Gala, but don’t want to miss out on the amazing performances? Not a problem. Through the International Students Association’s Facebook page, you can live stream the whole show. The students of ISA expect to have an additional 1,500 people live streaming the show. For more information or to live stream the show, visit facebook.com/ClarkUISA.