One hundred and sixty staff and pupils gathered in the Dining Hall for the annual International Dinner, a chance to recognise and celebrate the diversity that the international pupils and staff members bring to College. The dress code detailed either black tie or national costume; the MFL staff arguably provided the most eye-catching of outfits, with Mrs Powell’s Eiffel Tower dress and Mrs Leach’s flamenco attire, making the students look relatively sombre!
After a three-course meal, there were speeches by Mr Nelson as Director of Internationalism, Iurii Kovalev (U6, Xt) as the Chair of Internationalism and Ashley Yu (U6, W) as an international representative for Westal. The common thread that ran through all three speeches was that internationalism continues to thrive at College and that our overseas pupils feel well supported in their various endeavours. We celebrated the fact that several new overseas pupils have been awarded prizes for Speech Day – a positive and growing trend at College. Furthermore, it was pointed out that a developing cult of greater inclusivity is being developed by our current overseas pupils - signing up to more House activities, plays, drama and contributing readily to music and sport. Inevitably, the evening provided an opportunity to thank key staff, such as Head of EAL Miss Davies and her team of Mrs Nishimura and Mrs Hornsby.
We reflected on a very positive international induction back in September, in addition to an interesting array of events over this academic year. Mr Nelson thanked the induction helpers and the House representatives who have contributed effectively towards a thriving committee at College. In particular, Iurii was thanked and rewarded for his unstinting loyalty and commitment in chairing, to great aplomb, this year’s International Committee.
The evening continued for the Upper College in the Upper College Common Room with live music from two student bands and an individual performance on the jazz piano by Alex Sickmueller (L6, Xt). The Lower College had a chance to let off some steam in the Tuck Shop with a play list of choice. We look forward to the formation of a new committee shortly, which will herald new changes from September onwards.