From November 18-22, Community College Initiative (CCI) Program international exchange participants celebrated International Education Week (IEW) 2019. 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.
On Monday, CCI participants at College of DuPage kicked off IEW by attending the Dedication Ceremony for the College’s International Hall. They were also featured performers at the ceremony and performed a group dance for attendees. Meanwhile at Kirkwood Community College, CCI participants demonstrated how to make and serve cultural teas and coffees during an International Coffee and Tea Time event. At Scottsdale Community College, CCI participants represented 10 countries during a Country Fair.
Throughout the week, CCI participants engaged in international festivals, fairs, and showcases. In Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia CCI participants dressed in their country’s traditional clothing, gave performances, and shared informative presentations about national currencies, art, flags, food, languages, dances, and games.
Mayuri Shelar from India said of the festivities, “It was such a proud moment for me to share our country’s culture here in the United States. Along with this I also got an opportunity to learn about different countries across the globe.”
CCI international students also collaborated with college clubs to help facilitate IEW 2019 events. At Valencia College in Florida, they worked with the Valencia Intercultural Student Association (V.I.S.A) to host the “A World Full of Color” event on campus.
By the end of the week, IEW left a meaningful impression on CCI participants across the country. Juan Gutierrez from Colombia summed it up best saying, “Despite the differences in religion, ideology, background or language (and coming from different continents), there is always a common ground to talk, share and to fall in love with each other’s culture.”