Last week, the International Student Council (ISC) held events to showcase diversity and to educate students about different cultures on campus.
International Education Week (IEW) started in 2006 to help connect international and domestic students, junior biotechnology major and ISC President Thanges Paleswaran said.
“We get this idea that our way is best,” she said. “We become ethnocentric so it’s important to learn about different cultures so that we start bridging the gap between ‘our’ world and ‘their’ world.”
IEW kicked off Monday evening with I-Talent in the CUB Senior Ballroom.
“I-Talent was an event that gave students an opportunity to display their international talents,” said Zeta Mui, junior biochemistry and genetics major and ISC domestic public relations chair.
Tuesday’s events were the International Monologues and a Cultural Fashion Competition.
The intended message the monologues send is that people need to recognize the stereotypes associated with different cultures, Paleswaran said.
Wednesday’s events included the Country Expo in the CUB Junior Ballroom. Keynote speaker Lawrence Pintak, the founding dean of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, spoke in the CUB Auditorium later that day.
“I recruited students from countries all over the world for this event,” sophomore pre-pharmacy major and
ISC international vice president Stephanie Chan said. “Students from Thailand, Saudi Arabia, China, Taiwan, Iran, Libya, Egypt, Mexico, Peru and many others.
Participants received a passport upon arriving at the event, which was stamped at each booth to display their culture, she said.
On Thursday students had the opportunity to get their passport photos taken in the CUB Junior Ballroom.
Later that evening, professionals from around the world spoke about how to get out of your comfort zone and educated students about how to maximize your experience abroad, Mui said.
The week ended on Friday with an animation festival in the CUE Atrium, put together by ISC, the Japanese Club and the Animation Club, she said.
Also included in the itinerary for Friday’s events was a Thai writing workshop to teach participants how to write in Thai.
The purpose of this workshop was to show students how unique each language is, Chan said.
“Often people think that Asian languages are very similar,” she said. “We wanted to show people that they are all in fact very different, with their own unique alphabets and specific letters.”
The ISC hopes for more participation next year, and to see more students in the International Center for the weekly Coffee Hour at 3 p.m. this Friday, Paleswaran said.
“International students want to have a voice in this community and we want it to be loud,” Mui said. “This week is an event that provides a way to do that by showcasing international culture.”