UMFK

Community travels ‘Around the World’ at UMFK

University of Maine at Fort Kent student Catherine Bruno, originally from Montreal, shared donut holes and information about her home country at an international students forum at UMFK on Thursday, March 2. (Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

University of Maine at Fort Kent student Catherine Bruno, originally from Montreal, shared donut holes and information about her home country at an international students forum at UMFK on Thursday, March 2. (Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

FORT KENT, Maine — From Canada to Cameroon, international students attending the University of Maine at Fort Kent shared information about their homeland with other students and members of the community at large at an “Around the World” event in Cyr Hall on Thursday, March 2. Students representing 27 different countries, including the United States, sat at tables lining the hallways and decorated with their country’s flags.  

Catherine Bruno of Montreal, is studying business at UMFK. She manned a table decorated with a Canadian flag and topped with one of her country’s national treasures – Tim Hortons famous donut holes known as Timbits. High demand for the snack kept Bruno too busy to visit any of the other tables.

“Everybody wanted Timbits so I just stayed here,” she said.

Bruno said she enjoys that UMFK is home to students from all around the world.

“You meet other people that have a different mentality than you,” she said, and added that within her own country, as well as in the United States, there is much to learn from those living in different provinces or states.

“Maine is not going to think the same way as California,” she said.

Erika Garino, also studying business at UMFK, represented her home country of Ecuador at the Around the World event. She also feels diversity is a positive aspect of the university.

“We have a variety of people. When I was a freshman here there was no variety. There were students from only Montenegro, Greece and Jamaica. Now you can see people from Spain, Argentina, Nigeria,” she said. “We get to know each other, know the culture, know the language, know a little bit of each country so it’s really good.”

Sadie Cairns, 10, and her sister Molly Cairns, 6 of Fort Kent learned a bit about different countries as well. The girls attended the Around the World event with their mother, Jill Cairns.

Sadie asked Garino about the weather in Ecuador.

“Ecuador is very warm,” Garino said. “In my city it is always 80 degrees fahrenheit, even when it rains.”

Sadie Cairns said she liked seeing the flags from so many different countries, and especially enjoyed a treat she picked up at the table representing England.  

“We got some tea over there,” she said.

Garino did not offer tea to guests, but did have a contest during which she passed out free packets of tuna to those who correctly answered questions about her country.  

Other treats at the event included chocolate from the Czech Republic and homemade Serbian wine.

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