Life at Gannon

10 Ways to Explore Other Cultures in Erie

Being an international student myself, I know how important it is to identify with places that feel like home and to try new things. Therefore, we present you with 10 ways to explore many cultures and satisfy your soul, spirit and stomach while you’re at Gannon.

10. Visit Happy Garden Chinese restaurant. Erie may not have the Great Wall of China, but China does have a presence in Erie. If you find yourself craving some fried wontons, you can easily find a Chinese restaurant to feed your appetite and Happy Garden Chinese restaurant would be one of them. The restaurant not only delivers, but is also within walking distance from any place on campus.

9. Grab a bite at the Khao Thai restaurant.
Are you from Thailand? Or perhaps you’re just in the mood for some Asian food? Khao Thai, the one and only Thai restaurant in Erie, is the place to go. I’m no expert on Asian cuisine, but I do know that the food they offer tastes so good! Located on North Park Row, Khao Thai is only a short walk from anywhere on campus.

8. Check out Petra Restaurant. We may be too far away from the Middle East to make a day-trip out of it, but Petra restaurant takes you there. The restaurant is the perfect place to go if you’re up for something eccentric and fulfilling. Owned by Khalid “Kal” from Jordan, Petra gives you a Middle-Eastern sense in a just a short time with its fascinating dishes.

7. Visit Gannon University’s Indian Student Association. As most of the international students here at Gannon University come from India, the Indian Student Association was formed as part of the International Student Association. The Association celebrates many recognized Indian holidays including Diwali. It also offers a lot of services for incoming students from India such as airport pick-up and housing arrangements.

6. Go to the International Student Association’s “Dining around the World” series. Explore other cultures with your friends and community. The International Student Association planned four Dining trips to international restaurants including Petra Restaurant (Middle-Eastern cuisine), Raj Mahal (Indian cuisine), Curry World (Caribbean cuisine) and Latinos Restaurant (Latin cuisine). The trips have been offering a sense of community and universality for students.

5. Stop by the International Student Association’s International Night. Most people enjoy a little traveling. What if you could be in a few countries in just one night? You can at Gannon University’s 22nd International Night, coming up this year on March 16. The night includes popular international food served by international students. It also includes showcases to countries represented at Gannon such as India, Saudi Arabia and others.

4. Explore other religions. Gannon University, being a Catholic school, greatly values the Christian faith. Faith sharing groups help students develop their religious identity. The International Student Association has designated a prayer room for students to use during their daily classes. On a grander scale, churches are spread around Erie and many are from walking distance from the university campus. The Islamic Association of Erie serves as a venue to experience Muslim faith and culture, and all are welcome. Whether you’re Jewish or not, feel free to experience and learn more about Judaism. Temple Anshe Hesed is affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism, and is a mainstream Reform congregation with a strong commitment to social justice.

3. Spend an afternoon at the Erie Art Museum. The art museum frequently features new exhibits, including work from artists all over the world. This summer, there will be artwork inspired by African and Asian cultures. With new art being displayed each month, it’s only a matter of time until you can experience the entire world through art.

2. Check out an event at the German Cultural Society. Möchten Sie in Kontakt mit Ihren Deutsch Wurzeln erhalten? Okay, my German might be a little sketchy, but Google translator tells me that I just asked if you would like to get in touch with your German roots. The GCS hosts festivals, guest speakers and even an annual luau to celebrate the German culture. Genießen!

1. Stay up to date on cultural events in Erie on goerie.com. On those weekends when you find yourself sitting on a few hours of free time, jump online and check out goerie.com’s complete schedule of upcoming cultural and ethnic events. The site includes descriptions and detailed maps directing you to each event. There are always great festivals, concerts and open houses going on – there’s even a game night coming up next week at Erie’s German Heritage Society.

Don’t forget to vote for Gannon’s Ultimate Fave!

Hiba Almasri, senior journalism & communication arts major

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