International week encourages global education

By By Clayton Norlen

By Clayton Norlen

Students walking through the Union this week might have noticed a little extra international flair.

The International Center is hosting the international week to spur global education on campus and encourage students to become active in and informed about the world outside of Utah.

During the week, groups that represent various nations are reaching out to students to get them involved. The groups are available in the Union Food Court from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Study Abroad Center and the languages and literature department are also working to inform students about study abroad programs and language classes.

The event is being held in conjunction with the International Education Week initiative endorsed by the U.S. Department of State and the Department of Education, which is also this week.

“All students regardless of where we are from, domestic or international students, need to be more educated about the world around them and international week aims to do that,” said Anjali Hammond, program manager at the International Center. “(International week) is all an effort to encourage U students to participate in international opportunities like academics, study abroad or learning about other cultures.”

The week provides a forum for international student groups to meet and talk with students on campus while educating them about their country’s culture and history.

“(International Week) has been a good opportunity to meet new friends and find people who want to join our club,” said Nazrin Baghirova, a graduate student in educational leadership and policy and a member of the Azerbaijan student group. “Azerbaijan is an ancient country and it was great to be able to share our history and culture with students.”

The U offers a variety of destinations for students to study abroad including China, England, Mexico, Spain, Japan, Costa Rica, Germany and many more. The cost for many of these programs is comparable to tuition at the U, but some programs can exceed $10,000.

Through study abroad programs, students can fulfill the new international requirement for graduation and earn credit for language courses that can be used toward the Bachelor of Arts language requirement or a language degree. Not all programs teach students a foreign language. Some summer programs are theme-based such as a theater studies program in England and a course on Caribbean literature taught in Jamaica.

“The world is getting more and more interconnected and it’s becoming an expectation of employers that graduating seniors have some type of international experience and cultural awareness to compete in the work force,” said Sarah Demko, program manager in the International Center.

The center has sponsored numerous events throughout the week to encourage cross-cultural interactions and education on campus. On Tuesday, there was a tea party held in the Union Ballroom where students could sample treats and tea from countries around the world. The Center has also held an international film festival highlighting regions of the world through cinematography.

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