International Education Week kicks off Nov. 11 as UC Davis participates in a week of worldwide international education and exchange.
A joint initiative by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, International Education Week was first held in 2000 and is now celebrated in over 100 countries around the world. Individuals and institutions around the country hold events to celebrate the many opportunities to learn about and become involved in the world around them.
“This annual initiative aims to promote international understanding and build support for international educational exchange,” stated the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs website. “[It encourages] the development of programs that prepare Americans to live and work in a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study in the United States.”
UC Davis has been celebrating International Education Week since 2002. University Outreach and International Programs collaborates with a large number of clubs and organizations on campus to plan a week of activities and workshops that allow students to get a taste of other cultures and what it means to be a global citizen. This year’s theme is “shifting perspectives,” designed to help students see that creating international connections can change the way one perceives the world.
“You don’t have to wait until you’ve taken an airplane and flown a long ways to have an international experience. It can start right here,” said Marcie Kirk Holland, project manager at the Internship and Career Center (ICC).
This year, there are a number of opportunities set up by different organizations for students to experience International Education Week on campus. Some events include the international fair, Candy Unitrans (where students can answer internationally-related questions for candy) and an Arboretum walk, which highlights the international influences that can be found throughout the Arboretum.
The different events throughout the week are set up to cater to a student body with a variety of different needs, opportunities and experiences. For those who have gone abroad or are planning to, the Education Abroad Center and ICC are collaborating on a workshop to help students market their overseas experience.
“This workshop will help you to professionally convey how your international experience relates to the positions you are applying for (internship, career or grad/professional school),” said Blake Cooper, communications and marketing manager at the Education Abroad Center.
For those who are unsure about their ability to travel, there will be information on campus about possible opportunities.
“We are committed to helping students find cost-effective ways to go overseas,” Holland said. “A lot of students don’t realize that financial aid can help. Sometimes it’s actually cheaper to be overseas than it is to be at Davis.”
Students who are looking to get an international experience in between classes can stop by the myriad of booths and displays set up by various clubs. Food, activities and information will be available to allow students to learn about cultures different from their own.
“It’s going to be really fun. Everyone should try to check it out and take in an event or two,” said Chloe Fox, student assistant at University Outreach and International Programs.
A few of the organizations working together to put on International Education Week at Davis include Services for International Students, the Study Abroad Center, the International Relations Student Association, the Arab Student Union and the Extension Center. The events on campus from Nov. 11 to 15 will be available to all students.
“The world is becoming increasingly interdependent. You are the future and it’s important that you understand the world around you,” Holland said.
More information about International Education Week at UC Davis and a tentative list of events can be found at iew.ucdavis.edu.
LAUREN MASCARENHAS can be reached at email@example.com.