In today’s world of diverse and mixing cultures, it’s never been more important to be globally aware, say the organizers of International Education Week (IEW). Today marks the first day of IEW, which is a worldwide program that promotes global awareness and the benefits of going abroad.
“It’s a joint initiative between the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, and the goal is to prepare U.S. citizens for a global future and to teach people all over the world about different cultures,” said Associate Vice Provost of International Programs and Spanish professor Adrienne Martín.
To encourage going abroad and expanding peoples’ knowledge of different cultures, this week is full of events ranging from films and special speakers to workshops and international cuisine.
“Living in a global world, students can’t afford to not have international experience,” Martín said. “Every student should study abroad. There are programs for every interest.”
The wide variety of events this week highlights UC Davis’ international outreach efforts, Martín said.
The benefits of learning about other cultures are extensive, and Martín recommends going to as many events as possible this week, especially “Culture Shock.” This event will showcase and celebrate the different cultures of UC Davis with food, dance performances and raffles. Culture Shock is on Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) Ballroom. Tickets are currently $7 for students, seniors and kids and $10 for adults, and prices will increase at the door.
“Culture shock is something we confront daily,” Martín said. “Other cultures make you more aware and make you rethink your own culture.”
For many students, the main concern of going abroad is funding, and this week the workshop “Funding Your International Internships and Studies” will be held on Wednesday at 1:10 p.m. in 114 South Hall. The workshop will include a panel of people that have gone abroad, and tips and ideas for funding.
“In this economy it’s not always easy for people to find career positions, so taking time off to learn and develop skills is important,” said Internship and Career Center Project Manager Marcie Kirk-Holland. “Employers are looking more and more for people that are flexible, adaptable and have strong communication skills, and going abroad gives you the opportunity to develop those skills.”
Going abroad can also be an opportunity for personal growth.
“From the counselor part of me, it’s really important in making career decisions and life planning to know who you are, what’s important to you and your place in the world,” Kirk-Holland said. “An overseas experience can help you do that because for many people it’s easier to define who they are when they’re not around people that are like them.”
This week reflects the campuswide push for people to learn about different cultures, Kirk-Holland said. Each unique event, whether it’s the Teach in Korea Application Workshop on Wednesday at 3:10 p.m. in 234 South Hall to learn about teaching English abroad, or “Connections” on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the International House, located at 10 College Park, to meet people that are new to Davis, each event aims to allow you to expand your cultural knowledge, meet interesting people and introduce you to opportunities abroad.
Each day there is a “Speakers Series,” which will feature an individual or panel of international speakers that will share their stories of how they came to the U.S. and other special topics.
“I’m hoping that the Speakers Series will be a big hit because I think these people have really amazing stories to tell,” said University Outreach and International Programs student assistant Zanique Albert, senior international relations major.
Today, Chef Mai Pham, who’s behind the Star Ginger food truck at the Silo, will be talking about her journey from Asia and the business of food at 12:10 p.m. in the Silo Cabernet Room. Her cookbook will be available for purchase and signing.
On Tuesday at noon in the Silo Cabernet Room, there will be the Afghan Trauma Panel. The panel, which features Maliha Zulfacar, the first woman ambassador in the history of Afghanistan, will discuss public health and other issues in Afghanistan, Albert said.
The International Fashion Show will be on Wednesday at 12:10 p.m. in the Silo Cabernet Room.
On Thursday there are two Speaker Series. The first will be the Asia Research Funding Workshop at noon in 360 Shields Library, IGA Room. The second will be a discussion about indigenous nations in the U.S. called “Nations Within Our Borders” at 12:10 p.m. in the Memorial Union’s Mee Room.
The Humphrey Global Forum will be on Friday at 11 a.m. in the Silo Cabernet Room. Fellows from all over the world, including the Philippines, Brazil and Tanzania, will discuss sustainability.
This week is full of events that are dedicated to learning about different cultures and to embrace global issues, Albert, Kirk-Holland and Martín said.
“People should come take advantage of the opportunities presented, come network and have an enjoyable time,” Albert said.
For a complete listing of International Education Week events, check out this week’s Daily Calendar or visit uoip.ucdavis.edu/iew/iew_about.cfm.
CASEY SPECHT can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. XXX