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Celebrating International Mother Language Day

7 March 2018

Photo credit: Geraint Roberts/MAYN Creative 

International and home students celebrated International Mother Language Day with displays and activities, including an international quiz in the Libraries. In the evening, a social event was organised in which 90 students from a wide range of nationalities, speaking over 38 languages, gathered in the Upper Stannary at the Penryn Campus to celebrate, meet new people and talk in their mother tongue.

The social event was a huge success, with feedback from the students welcoming the opportunity to make links with other students from their home country, as well as being able to meet other international students.

‘I met 2 wonderful Japanese students and spent the entire night talking to them in their language!’ said second year, BA Music, Falmouth University student.

A Fine Art student, also in her second year, commented: ‘I liked the opportunity to find someone who can speak the same language as you, the food was great and I really liked the atmosphere.’

A third year BEng Mining Engineering, University of Exeter student described the evening as ‘well organised and it was a pleasure to be part of the event, with good set-up and warm welcoming team (loved it). I liked the refreshments, the company of people from different countries and speaking different languages’.

Doreen Pinfold, Director of Library & Academic Skills and Cassy Hoare, FXU Widening Participation Assistant said ‘thank you to representatives from the Universities, FXU and FX Plus including members of the International Student Experience Group, for their work and support in preparing for and delivering a very successful event. It was lovely to see the students mixing and enjoying themselves. Students said how much they had enjoyed the evening and how much they want more international focussed social events.’

There were some heart-warming stories; a Taiwanese PhD student who had no idea there were other Taiwanese students on campus, and a Nigerian student from the Truro campus who, having felt a little isolated, was overjoyed at meeting other students and being part of something social.

International Mother Language Day is a worldwide annual observance held on 21 February to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and promote multilingualism.