Welcome to UNC Charlotte’s Annual International Festival

The 2024 International Festival will be September 21, 2024. We hope to see many cultural representatives for many different countries. Please direct any questions to: globaleducation@charlotte.edu.

We are happy to announce that this year the International Festival will be a part of the Charlotte International Arts Festival as a cultural partner!

The International Festival is held on the UNC Charlotte campus in and around the Barnhardt Student Activity Center (SAC). See the “Directions and Parking” tab for more information.

The International Festival is centered around booths arranged in colorful marketplace style representing the cultures of over 35 nations. The booths are staffed by UNC Charlotte international students and members of Charlotte’s international community and feature art, crafts and costumes from each participating country. Many booths offer international food for sale. Festival entry and parking are FREE! The International Festival is open to the public. We highly recommend you consider bringing cash with you to the event. While some booths may accept credit cards, many only accept cash; there are several ATMs on campus, but in past years, the lines can be quite long!

Throughout the day the music and dance of a variety of nations will be presented on indoor and outdoor stages. In addition, the International Festival, which is family-oriented, offers a number of elements such as mimes and face painting designed especially for children.

In addition to the hallmark elements, the International Festival includes an international games zone for attendees of all ages to participate in and learn about the cultural significance of various games. Participants can learn the rules of archery, play a game of life-sized chess, or join in a soccer match.

Founded in 1975, the International Festival continues to recognize the region’s growing cultural richness. Attendance at the International Festival in previous years has been estimated at over 20,000.

The International Festival is made possible with support from several campus and community partners including Chartwell’s College and University Dining Services, Cone University Center, the Office of Business Affairs, the Office of International Programs, and Student Union Activities & Recreation. It is also made possible through the Inclusive Excellence Grant program.

Security announcement: For the safety of all guests, vendors, and artists who will be attending I-Fest, additional security measures will be in place. To expedite entry into the I-Fest grounds, we advise all guests to leave large bags at home. All guests should allow themselves extra time for security screening measures.

For more information, contact the Office of International Programs at UNC Charlotte at 704‑687‑7755 or send us a message.


Special thanks to our campus and community sponsors for their ongoing support of the UNC Charlotte International Festival. For information on sponsorship opportunities and levels, contact the Office of International Programs by phone at 704-687-7755 or at globaleducation@charlotte.edu.