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International Students Celebrated ‘International Education Week’, Addressed Global Challenges

During International Education Week, organized by the Departments of Education and State, the US education sector recognized international students, the international education sector, and exchange.

The Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, stated that the United States “recognizes that international education is an integral part of building and maintaining a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world,” while his deputy secretary of State, Wendy R. Sherman stated that international education is “more important today than ever.”

“From Covid-19 to the climate crisis, the biggest challenges we face across borders, regions, and domains of expertise – addressing these challenges will require us to work together in deeper and more creative ways. The biggest opportunities before us to build sustainable and inclusive economies, to uphold human rights, are very much the same,” she said.

“When students and scholars come to the US to study, and when American students choose to study abroad, we strengthen ties between the US and other nations, and between our current and future leaders in business, academia, and public service.

“We are proud that the US remains the world’s top destination for international students,” she added, citing the finding of the 2021 Open Doors report, released this week.

Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona noted that as the US recovers and rebuilds from the pandemic, “we see more clearly than ever, that communities and countries are interconnected”.

Unique events are held at universities across the country, such as the International Student Leadership Team at the University of Kentucky, which hosted the Korean language film Lady Vengeance, as well as a multicultural fashion display and talent show showcasing its international student group. F-1 and J-1 students engaged in program activities such as AT, CPT, and OPT on the mainland US were able to participate remotely in IEW 2021 at Brigham Young University–Hawaii.

In preparation for the week, the International Student Services department “committed to the overall objective leading us to this week: to broaden our reach as far and wide as possible, taking the world to our sphere in Moanuikea (the vast Pacific) at Brigham Young University–Hawaii,” according to Lenisi Pasi, an international student advisor.

“Choosing to celebrate digitally with the rest of the globe helps us to engage a wider audience of professional educators, administrative colleagues, new-found friends, and potential students, including freshly admitted overseas students,” she further noted.

Dawn Michele Whitehead of the Association of American Colleges and Universities was named the first global citizenship scholar-in-residence at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. She gave a keynote lecture on building a global civic perspective and also how universities may give opportunities to learn to foster it, as well as a session on “Making Global Learning a High-Impact Practice,” during her visit.

‘Pie day’ was one of the IEW activities at Auburn University in Alabama, which, according to Andrew R. Gillespie, assistant provost in the Office of International Programs.

For a session on varied perspectives at a global level on race and identity, New York University used its worldwide network of locations in Shanghai, Florence, and New York, as well as an Afro Creatives event “aimed at uplifting the magnificent richness and multiplicity of the African diaspora via art.”

Rice University hosted the Mini World Cup Soccer Tournament, which is “one of its most beloved IEW traditions,” as well as cuisine. The food and sounds of the Middle East were highlighted at New Jersey City University, and cookery demonstrations at the University of South Carolina Beaufort emphasized Turkish cuisine.

Along with activities organized by the College of South Nevada throughout the week to encourage foreign opportunities for both CSN students and faculty, and Miami Dade College’s board game event for students, faculty, and staff to learn to play Mexican Loteria, Cuban Dominoes, and Pachisi, US consulates and embassies around the world host special events.

The US Consulate in Kolkata sponsored a Leadership & Innovation program focused on ’21st-century skill development,’ EducationUSA Estonia hosted an American English Club, and the branch in Montenegro presented a tips & tricks session for presenting in English. The Fulbright Commission in Sri Lanka and the US Embassy in Dushanbe, Tajikistan were only two of the many organizations promoting Fulbright in the United States.

The University of Maryland, like the University of Kentucky, screened Korean films, including Minari and the Academy Award winner for best picture Parasite, as well as hosting a meeting of its Conversational Korean Club. Maryland also hosted a special celebration for Visiting Fulbright Students and Scholars at UMD, as well as UMD Fulbright Alumni, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Fulbright program.

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