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UWRF participates in global awareness week

November 13, 2009

UW-River Falls and other campuses across the nation will host International Education Week (IEW), Nov. 15-20, 2009 in efforts to promote global awareness.

“The purpose of the week is to promote international education and our relationship with the rest of the world,” according to Linda Alvarez, Multicultural Service Advisor.

International Education Week is a week that was developed by a collaboration of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, according to Brent Greene, global connections director.

“Every student needs international education to be marketable as well as keeping aware of the issues and dynamics of the global community,” Alvarez said. “We can no longer be an island to ourselves. We are global citizens as well as U.S. citizens.”

This is the 3rd annual International Education Week held at UWRF, according to Alvarez.

“International education isn’t about where you went, or how long you were there — it’s about what you gained from the experience and how you can apply it to the world around you,” Ashley Iehl, global connections peer advisor, said.

IEW is meant to celebrate what is available and create awareness. Throughout the week, Dining Services will be pitching in and having a daily international food menu, according to Greene.

“We try to use mostly existing campus recourses,” Greene said. “It’s a resource low, but high impact sort of event.”

Activities taking place during IEW include a showing of the film “Invisible Children” on Monday, presentations and reflections given by students and educators throughout the day on Tuesday and classroom sessions with Pulitzer Center that are open to the public and a mini global fair on Wednesday.

The mini global fair will consists of cultural dances, presentations, slide shows, calligraphy and Kenyan jewelry, according to Alvarez.

“There are many people on campus who are doing wonderful things internationally,” Alvarez said. “International Education Week offers an opportunity for our colleagues to show case and share the kind of activity in which they are involved.”

The culmination of the entire fair will be Thursday, November 19, at 7p.m. where a screening of an award-winning short film about the affects of war on children titled “Ana’s Playground.”

“The film is about a non-specific conflict in a non-specific country,” Alvarez said.

The film was made entirely through charitable donations, directed and produced by local Minnesota film makers along with contributions from Steven Spielberg and the Coen Brothers, according to Alvarez.

“This week supports and promotes all the experiences that students have previously had, and may in the future have,” Iehl said. “Not only as students at this campus, but as members of our society.”