International Education Week 2016

Last week, Community College Initiative (CCI) participants participated in and hosted a series of events at their host community colleges to celebrate International Education Week (IEW) 2016. International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education and is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This year, IEW took place from November 14 – 18, and our CCI participants promoted international education and exchanges in a variety of different ways.

Throughout the week, CCI participants across the U.S. engaged in several international festivals, fairs, and showcases. During these events, CCI participants dressed in their country’s traditional garb and shared informative presentations about their national currencies, arts, flags, foods, languages, dances, and games. At College of DuPage in Illinois, they kicked off their weeklong celebration with a Poetry Jam/Spoken Word event, while Kirkwood Community College in Iowa held an International Coffee and Tea event where CCI students demonstrated Turkish coffee and Indian chai tea. Mesa Community College’s largest event was an IEW gala that provided event visitors with a “passport,” and each country’s representative table stamped this passport with a “visa.” Once a visitor secured 8 visa stamps, their passport was redeemable for an international lunch.

IEW at CoD

Informational tabling was a popular IEW activity. Here College of DuPage CCI participants showcase international currency, flags, and jewelry.

At Scottsdale Community College, CCI participants embraced IEW’s annual theme, “Empowering the Youth Through International Education” by inviting local elementary students to engage in interactive displays. In California at Santa Rosa Junior College, CCI students took on a more formal approach and presented about their countries to the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa, teaching local community members about the intricacies of CCI Program countries including Cote d’Ivoire and Colombia.

Explaining Indian currency

At SCC, Sushma Darshanala explained Indian currency to local elementary school students.

Aside from educating college classmates and local community members about their countries, CCI participants also promoted studies in international education. At Northern Virginia Community College, CCI participants set up a Foreign Language Interest tabling event to entice U.S. college students to study a foreign language. They also put together a panel for young professionals to talk about how international education and exchange programs can empower youth and open opportunities for future leaders. To enhance their own understanding of international education, NOVA CCI students attended the U.S. Institute of Peace event “International Education: What Place in U.S. Diplomacy” and the IE@GW seminar “DCPS Global Ed and Student Experiences Abroad.”

To further share the impact of international education, especially in the sphere of community colleges, Northampton Community College CCI participant Kelvyn Osoria traveled from Bethlehem, PA to Washington, D.C. to take part in the U.S. State Department’s EducationUSA Interactive Webinar. Kelvyn joined experts on American higher education, other international students, and U.S. Department of State Officials to discuss community colleges in the United States.

Kelvyn at EducationUSA Webinar

Kelvyn Osoria (front center) of the Dominican Republic spoke for half an hour about international programs at community colleges for an EducationUSA Webinar

CCI participants did not forget their mission to service during International Education Week. At Scottsdale Community College, CCI students joined in a World Hunger Breakfast to learn about global and domestic chronic hunger and malnutrition. At Edmonds Community College, CCI participants helped set up their college foundation’s 5K Walk and Run to raise funds for scholarships, emergency funding, and innovative grants at Edmonds. Their efforts helped raise nearly $40K in college funding.

To read and see more about the CCI Program’s involvement in International Education Week 2016, visit our Facebook IEW photo album!

Posted in Cultural Exchange, Events, Participants.