International Education Week helps students expand connections globally
November 11, 2011
If you’re looking to broaden your horizons about international affairs or need more information about the study abroad programs, look no further than the International Education Week at UW-River Falls.
“International Education Week is a joint initiative between the U.S. Department of Education and State,” said Shelby Rubbelke, a coordinator for international student services. “It celebrates the benefits of understanding the world around us so we can better communicate and collaborate with others from different cultures.”
Last year there were around 350 students who did the study abroad program (either short-term or long-term programs). “We are hoping to increase that number this year to 400 or 450,” said Meg Learman, a study abroad advisor in Global Connections. “Students literally go all over the world.”
Some of the places visited include Australia, Belize, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Puerto Rico and many more. There are currently 89 international students from 19 countries on campus. Some of these countries are Finland, Oman, Australia, Japan, Turkey, Malaysia and South Korea.
Through different events and activities scheduled for the week, students will be able to acquire the skills needed to communicate with others from different cultures and have a better understanding of other people’s culture and way of life through global learning, foreign languages and international exchange.
From 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 14 in the Academic Success Center, there is an event called the Reverse Speakers Corner where the English Language tutors of the English as a Second Language Speakers’ corner step aside to allow international students to teach others about their language and their culture. This is a good opportunity to meet international students, share your culture, and learn about different languages from around the world.
From 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15 in the Trimbell River Room of the University Center, there is an event called Talking Circles were students are encouraged to join in a student- lead discussion about intercultural transitions and new cultural experiences. It will offer students an opportunity to ask questions to students who have already had a study abroad experience, as well as getting to know some of the international students on campus.
From 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17 in the UC Kinni Theater, there will be a documentary playing about the entire process of creating black pottery in Tangdui, a village in the valley of the foothills of the Himalayas in the Yunnan Province in southwest China. Some students lived in this village for a week and created a 32-minute film and an illustrated book in four languages on Master Potter Sun Nuo Qi Ling. Ling’s family has been creating black pottery for more than four generations. There will be discussion and questions held after the showing.
International Education Week is not just for the students on campus, but for the entire community. “International Education Week means celebrating the rich culture here at UWRF, it means exploring education abroad opportunities and learning more of the world around us and finding out that we’re really not that different from each,” said Rubbelke.