Mayor Joey Durel welcomed 150 newly registered international college students to the fair city of Lafayette as part of a long day of matriculation and orientation. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette undergrads hail largely from India, China, Saudi Arabia and Oman, according to International Center staffer Rose Honegger, and were given a warm south Louisiana welcome both literally and figuratively. “So, a little bit about Lafayette,” said Durel. “Our economy is based heavily on oil and gas and you have already experienced our average temperature.” In the receiving line were university President E.J. Savoie, liberal arts Dean Jordan Kellman and international liaison Philippe Gustin, while far from home were Ziyao Gao and Xiaohan Du from China and Elodie Ripoche and Jessica Mauricio from France, the latter here to study modern languages. City Hall promptly fed everyone boudin.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at