International Week at Southern Oregon University kicks off at 11:30 a.m. Monday with a parade of international students in traditional garb. But for many, the real treat comes at noon with the opening of an international food fair.

International Week at Southern Oregon University kicks off at 11:30 a.m. Monday with a parade of international students in traditional garb. But for many, the real treat comes at noon with the opening of an international food fair.

International Week, scheduled through Friday and organized by the International Students Association, includes workshops, movie nights, a panel discussion and a soccer game. The closing event will be an international show.

"We are celebrating cultural diversity and making people aware that there are students from all around the world," said Sachta Bakshi, ISA president. "You know so much about a person and culture with food."

Bandar Alharbi, a SOU student from Saudi Arabia, plans to participate in several events, including a dance to be performed with other Saudi students.

Alharbi, who said he is thankful for what he learns from people who are different from him, also wants people to learn more about his culture and religion to counter misunderstandings.

"I participate in events as long as I think I can bring something. The target is to make everybody be together," Alharbi said. "It will bring connections between races and between the nations."

Stephen Rimpler, who is in charge of publicity for the event, said he hopes International Week will create a productive link between the community and SOU's international students and help promote tolerance.

"I have always been passionate about international students," said Rimpler, who is American. "I think it is great to go outside your norms."

The food fair will run from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Stevenson Union courtyard, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland.

All of the week's events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Sachta Bakshi at 864-9093.