MSFS Hosts Annual International Night

by Caitlin Karna, MSFS Communications Assistant

“From Japan to Armenia, International Night allowed all students of the Master of Science in Foreign Service to discover other cultures and to get a taste of them. Seeing everyone interact with all the performances in such a genuine way really shows that we're all not so different after all.” Aptly put by MSFS student Joelle El Sawalhi, International Night on March 18 was a huge success. A night designed to give MSFS students a break from their academic and professional studies, this event strives to share and showcase the incredibly diverse backgrounds and talents of the current students. MSFSers performed all sorts of acts, including traditional dance, singing, and even comedy bits. We asked a few performers to share their experience at this year’s International Night.

atul menon

Atul Menon, MSFS ’17, has been a Georgetown student in many different contexts. Formerly a student at Georgetown’s branch campus in Doha and born in India, Qatar, Menon chose to demonstrate his blended interest in Western music with his training and love of Hindi music. After graduation, Menon plans to work at international organizations with his Global Business and Finance background.


ayaka nojiri

Ayaka Nojiri, MSFS ’18, came to MSFS from Japan with the desire to study international relations in a practical manner. She performed both traditional martial arts and also new “otaku” pop culture at International Night. “I wanted the audience to feel Japanese culture as comprehensively as possible. I appreciated MSFSers’ warm support for our performance and their standing ovation,” said Nojiri.


A Lebanon native, Joelle El Sawalhi, MSFS ’18, is studying at Georgetown with the goal to work in either Lebanese or Arab diplomacy, focusing on disarmament and arms control. At International Night, she performed a belly dance, which is representative of the broader Arab culture. “I chose this dance because it has a sense of unity hidden within it, one that is missing in our fractured Arab world.”

In addition to these and various other performances, students and guests also had the opportunity to taste cuisines from all over the world. From Swedish meatballs to Chinese scallion pancakes, the night featured a wide array of dishes to try, which added another dimension of culture experience to the event. A long standing tradition at MSFS, International Night exposes students to the cultures, talents and community that make the study of international affairs so rich and rewarding.