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Students gather for cultural fair
Event included displays about different countries
Eunjin Oh, left, an international student at North Georgia College & State University, puts a traditional South Korean wedding dress on Jada Harrison, Fair Street International Baccalaureate World School student, during Wednesday’s World Language Culture Fair.

Fifth-grader Jada Harrison got to personally experience South Korean fashion Wednesday as Eunjin Oh put a traditional wedding dress on her.

And when Oh handed Jada a handbag that went with the outfit, some fellow students at Fair Street International Baccalaureate World School in Gainesville reacted in delight. "That's cute," one girl said.

The students learned about other countries as part of the school's first World Language Culture Fair, a venture between the school and North Georgia College & State University's Center for Global Engagement.

Joining Oh at the event were North Georgia students Mengru Dai of China, Kieran Connolly of England, Marcela Cotes of Colombia and Agostina Casamento of Argentina.

The event in Fair Street's media center started with each North Georgia student spending a few moments discussing particulars about their countries, including favorite foods, heads of state, climates and exports.

Cotes talked about her hometown on the Colombian coast.

"It's hot all year long, so we never have seasons. All year long, it's like summer."

In an overview of his country, Connolly asked, "Do any of you know anything about England?"

"I know that King George tried to destroy us," said one student, called on after raising his hand.

"King George tried to destroy you - I wasn't expecting that one," Connolly said.

After the introductions, the students fanned out to look at displays the North Georgia students brought with them, featuring information about and pictures of their respective countries.

Jada, 11, later said she had a "great time" modeling the dress.

"I felt like a South Korean girl," she said.

The event was planned after Melissa Fraser, who teaches English for speakers of other languages at Fair Street, asked if international students from the college in Dahlonega could meet with the Fair Street students, said Jared Goodall, international student adviser at North Georgia.

"I asked for volunteers ... and luckily, the five students here were able to come and share a little bit with the students here about their (country's) culture and how it differs from the United States," he said.

Fraser said she appreciated the visit.

"We really love to have authentic culture for our students," she said. "This is a great relationship (with the college), a great opportunity."

Goodall said students learning about other cultures is especially important "with the global economy" that's in place.

"We're trying to expand our students' knowledge of world concepts," he said. "We have an international affairs major now. We also have started expanding the college's offerings of strategic languages."