University of Charleston

We have a diverse student body with students from over 40 countries around the world. Our Office of International Programs develops opportunities throughout the academic year to promote the exchange of educational and cultural ideas both at the University of Charleston and in the greater Charleston community.

Worldfest

Worldfest occurs in mid-February and is a way to share and celebrate the cultures represented at the University of Charleston. Our chefs prepare a special dinner for all students in the ballroom, and guests can visit student-made exhibits that showcase each student’s country of origin.

Entertainment for the event includes a talent show and an international fashion show. Past talents included a classical piano solo, a Nepali dance, a Latin salsa-dancing performance, a soccer trick and a Peruvian ballad accompanied by live guitar music. Students are encouraged to model their country’s traditional dress during the fashion show.

Global Student Organization (GSO)

During the fall of 1996, international students at the University of Charleston organized the Global Student Organization (GSO). The purpose of the student-led organization is to promote cultural awareness on campus and throughout the local community.

Members of GSO meet bi-weekly to plan community service events, develop fundraising strategies and create activities to engage local and international students in cultural exchanges. The members of the group also serve as a support for one another through the process of transitioning to university life in the United States.

During spring break, members of GSO have the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. via Amtrak train. During the three-day trip, students see the White House, Capitol, Smithsonian museums, Chinatown, National Zoo and more!


Male student sitting on boat dock at the river wearing a life jacket
Students posing in traditional dress at international event
Student posing with International Director staff member
Students posing at international carnival event
International students posing with international flags
Violetta Petrosyan

Director of International Students