An abroad opportunity for only $10

By VIRAJ PATEL Columnist

I was disappointed at the low turnout of American students at the town hall meeting Feb. 8. It addressed the concerns of students affected by the federal administration’s proposed travel ban.

However, the concerns of those present echoed the sentiments of plenty of students on this campus. If you are one of those students, read on.

At South Dakota State, you have been given the tools to travel the moment you sign up to study here. The catch is that you don’t even need a passport to go abroad. These travels are magnificent. They’ll take you through the lands of mystic, often unnoticed places, all for $10.

These opportunities I am referring to are affectionately called “International Nights.” In collaboration with the Office of International Affairs, student organizations put together International Nights to give students a taste of their culture. These one-night events often take two months of planning and are executed with extreme perfection.

A typical International Night begins with authentic, extravagant and delicious food. This is then followed by a blast of dances, singing and acting. These performances, through their vigor and color, are bound to mesmerize the viewer. They are stories told beautifully to give you a glimpse at the highlights of their traditions.

If you don’t have time to attend each International Night, there is still hope. While these country-specific events guide you through their cultures and traditions, there is one particular night dedicated to an amalgamation of them all.

The night, which you guessed it, is called International Night. It’s an all-encompassing event, which stands at the very crux of authentic international cultures and American culture.

International Night takes place in the fall, while the country specific nights usually take place in the spring semester.

If you are already excited about the prospect of visiting a different nation and, like me, have a dwindling bank account, these events are cost-effective ways to get to know someone in an environment they’re comfortable with. 

Believe me, with the arrogance and incompetence of the federal administration, the United States needs these town hall meetings and international nights to encourage participation in the globalized society.

The schedule for upcoming International Nights are as follows:

Africa Night: 6 p.m. on Feb. 19 in the Volstorff Ballroom

India Night: 6 p.m. on Feb. 26 in the Volstorff Ballroom

The ticket prices are usually $5 for children, $10 for students and $15 for faculty. They usually are available at the Information Exchange in the Student Union.


Viraj Patel is a communication studies major and can be reached at [email protected].