Most international students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign do not attend high school in the United States prior to getting into an undergraduate or graduate program. This does not mean that they have to miss out on having the American prom experience thanks to the International Prom event held on the Urbana campus during International Week.
The Intensive English Institute (IEI) and International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) hosted an International Prom for international students at the University YMCA on Friday, April 8th. The party kicked off at 7pm and attendees danced the night away to the beat of current pop music hits. Students braved the evening’s chilly weather to attend the party with their date or group of friends. Everyone in attendance was dressed to the nines.
One of the event’s most popular activities was the photo ‘booth’ set up by the organizers. Masks, hats, tiny tiaras, and other costume accessories were available for students to pose in and take memorable photos of this fun night. Winners of several competitions held in the context of the International Week were also announced.
The cost to attend was an affordable $8 which included food and non-alcoholic drinks. By the time the prom was scheduled to come to a close—around 10pm—attendees were so into the groove that it became difficult for them to stop dancing and leave the dance floor. As students left, they were gifted party favors. The party was a great way to take a break from midterms and learn about a traditional American cultural event.
Story by Poonam Jusrut
Poonam Jusrut is a graduate assistant in the Global Communications and Protocol office. Originally from Mauritius, she is finishing a Ph.D. in Geography at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Poonam's academic work focuses on international development and she worked on decentralized forest resource management in Senegal for her dissertation. She has a broad range of research interests including climate change and island nations, geography of health, transnational urban geography, and gender and development.