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CCU students attend International Student Festival in Norway

February 16, 2017
CCU students representing their country in Norway at the International Student Festival are, front row from left, Jessica Vasiliades; Connor Kilgore, Lene Mortensen (Norwegian student and not from CCUJessica Vasiliades

Eight students from Coastal Carolina University are in Norway representing the United States at the 2017 International Student Festival in Trondheim (ISFiT) from Feb. 9 to 19. For the third consecutive year, CCU has sent the largest student contingent of Americans to the biennial global event.

Students attending are Madison Nowlin, an intelligence and national security major from Davidson, N.C.; Casey Mallon, a political science and intelligence/national security major from Myrtle Beach; Jolito Rivera, a political science major from Lynchburg, Va.; Connor Kilgore, intelligence and national security major from Leesport, Pa.; Jonathan Pacheco-Arriaga, a political science major from Summerville; Jessica Vasiliades, a political science major from Massillon, Ohio; Braxton Palmer, a political science major from Conway; and Taylor Repp, a political science major from Myrtle Beach.

“ISFiT 2017 is a unique opportunity to learn about solutions to the global problem of discrimination, and facilitate meaningful conversations about the topic with other students and my community,” said Nowlin.

The CCU students are joining approximately 450 students from 106 countries in Trondheim, Norway, at the largest student festival in the world. ISFiT’s mission is to create a better future for young people. It is held every other year, and each festival has a theme related to social and political topics with international relevance. This year’s theme is discrimination.

In addition to the daily workshops and cultural events, participants sit in plenary sessions with various human righst activists, academics, refugees and known speakers like the Iranian Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi and the 2015 Student Peace Prize Laureate Aayat Alqormozi from Bahrain.

The Norway excursion is one of the many global experiential learning initiatives sponsored by the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts at CCU.

“The International Student Festival offers our students a taste of global diplomacy at the highest level in a very complex, yet interconnected world,” said Richard Aidoo, associate professor of politics and assistant dean. He and Mariam Dekanozishvili, assistant professor of politics at CCU, are accompanying the students.

For more information about global experiential activities, including international film series, performing arts, study abroad and other on-campus global programming in the Edwards College, visit

For more information about global initiatives at CCU, visit