International Education Week 2016

November 14, 2016

One of the most anticipated events for the Office of International Education is International Education Week November 14 – 18th. This year the theme issued by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is “Empowering the Youth Through International Education”. This is something that OIE has long worked towards for both domestic and international students according to Dr. Bruce, Dean of International Education.

“Having this week celebrates what we do on a daily basis,” Dr. Bruce said. “Our goal is to have those communities, American and international students, build bridges. This is one week of building bridges where we have more American students participating and learning from international students about their different countries and cultures.”

And while this is the goal, it is often met with challenges. International Programming GA, Noble Orajiato shares some of the challenges of organizing international-themed events.

“One of the biggest challenges that I’ve faced is getting domestic student to attend events because many domestic students, they are nervous,” Noble said. “They are not necessarily sure of what to say. They’re worried that how they’re expressing themselves isn’t going to be understood but if they knew that international students felt the same way then I think it would be easier for them to attend and participate in events. Both sides – international and domestic students – they fear what they don’t know.”

Each day during the week there will be various cultural displays, panel discussions, games, information about studying abroad and the international tea party.

One opportunity for domestic students to ease their qualms is the “Ask Me Why, Don’t Be Shy” student forum. It gives both domestic and international students a safe space to ask questions about the ways of the other respective cultures, such as why Americans ask how are you doing as a greeting but don’t really wait for an answer.

The events for International Education Week are open to both campus and community with the finale event being the international tea party on Friday, November 18th 1:00 – 4:00pm on Main Street of the Memorial Union.

 “I think IEW is important for everyone at Emporia State University,” Noble said. “It allows them to become more aware of the cultures that are here [at ESU]. It allows them to experience another culture from their own without actually traveling to another country. We bring the experience of other cultures right to their door step.”

For more details on the events, faculty, staff and students are encouraged to follow the Office of International Education on their various social media pages and post along using the hashtag #IEW2016.

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