MCC-Penn Valley hosts International Festival

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More than 200 MCC students participated in this year’s International Festival, which represented 47 countries.

The Applied Language Institute that works with English as a Second Language (ESL) students has been hosting similar festivals since 1998 on the MCC-Penn Valley campus.

The students performed for one another, brought in displays to symbolize their unique culture and shared food.

The goal, says MCC counselor Julianne Jacques, is “to give the students a chance to celebrate and share their homeland food, clothing, customs and culture with the rest of us. This festival allows them to do that in a smaller, comfortable relaxed setting.”

Every year 300-400 students enroll in MCC’s Applied Language Institute. The group includes permanent residents, refugees, those seeking asylum and international students.

The program is designed to feel like a family and prepare students  for college study or the workplace. Day and evening classes and all levels of instruction are available. The Intensive English Courses offered include grammar, reading and vocabulary, writing, and speaking and listening.

Students say they enjoy the experience and the camaraderie.

“One of my favorite performances was when the president of MCC-Penn Valley, Mr. Joe Seabrooks, participated in the Vietnamese Bamboo dance,” said Joseph Mebaley from Gabon. “The festival was filled with a diversity of nationalities and the students were able to share their cultures and costumes.”

For more information about the ALI program visit

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