Tag Archives: International Education Week

International Education Week 2011

2009, 2010

It’s International Education Week again. Is it just me or is this year flying by?

If you have read past posts then you know I’m an international educator (international student advisor) at a university in New England. You also know that International Education Week was initiated in 2000, and has been held annually each November (why the State Department frustratingly chose the week before Thanksgiving is anyone’s guess, but that’s when it is always held).

Now in its eleventh year, it is celebrated in more than 100 countries worldwide. It is a week which allows communities, such as colleges and universities and other institutions, to celebrate and highlight international and intercultural diversity, and to appreciate the importance of a multicultural environment, particularly for a learning community.

Our university celebrates this week through several programs: decorating the campus center with flags representing the (currently) 74 different nations that make up our student body, having student culture groups on campus have special events like our Chinese Student Association’s “Chinese Culture Workshop,” our career development center is having a “Capturing International Experience on your Resume” workshop, our study abroad students have a photo exhibit from various programs abroad, some of our multicultural religious groups are having discussions such as our campus Buddhist group’s “Meditation Workshop,” our dining hall is having an “international food station” with a different regional focus each day this week, and I email out interesting “international ‘fast facts’” to the campus each day. [Pretend I said that super fast in one excited breath].

Sorry, international education gets me a little excited.

So I thought I’d share some of those “fast facts” with you:

Did you know?

  • According to an Institute for International Education Open Doors Report, 723,604 international students studied in the U.S. in academic year 2010/11.
  • The top twelve countries sending students to the US are: China (157,558) * India (103,895) * South Korea (73,351) * Canada (27,546) * Taiwan (24,818) * Saudi Arabia (22,704) * Japan (21,290) * Vietnam (14,888) * Mexico (13,713) * Turkey (12,184) * Nepal (10,301) * and Germany (9,458)
  • The top 5 most popular fields of study for International students were Business and Management (22% of total), Engineering (19%), Mathematics and Computer Science (9%), Physical and Life Sciences (9%), and Social Sciences (9%)
  • According to a recent report available through NAFSA (Association of International Educators) it has been estimated that international students and their families have contributed $20.23 Billion to the US economy
  • I live in Massachusetts and our state currently has 38,698 international students attending higher education institutions. A report calculates that international students and their families have spent a net of $1,389,809,000 in our state economy. To look at the figures for the MA report click HERE.
  • To look up the numbers for your home state click HERE.

So in honor of the week, do something international! (I know I am preaching to the choir here) and enjoy some of the global connections that exist in all our lives :)

International Education Week… Back Again!

As my regular readers know, in my non-blogging life I am an international student advisor at a school in New England. So I can’t let International Education Week slip by without giving it a shout out, like last year.

It’s also why I took a blogging hiatus last week– between IEW prep, an international educators conference, the end of Tihar and the unbelievably quick (soon-to-be) arrival of Thanksgiving, stuff just got piled up!

Anyway, back to IEW– As I put in all my program emails this week:

International Education Week was initiated in 2000, and has been held annually each November. Now in its eleventh year, it is celebrated in more than 100 countries worldwide. It is a week which allows communities, such as colleges and universities, to celebrate and highlight international and intercultural diversity, and to appreciate the importance of a multicultural environment, particularly for a learning community.

Even though the US State Department picked a horrible week to highlight international education (the week before Thanksgiving– seriously? When students are thinking more about turkey and vacation than school?) I still like getting into it. I decorate the campus with flags, send “international fast fact” emails to the whole school, and set up guest speakers and programs. I’m excited to be showing a film on Friday called “Crossing Borders”

…a feature documentary that follows four Moroccan and four American university students as they travel together through Morocco and, in the process of discovering “The Other,” discover themselves.

I met the director at the international educators conference last week, and was able to secure a copy of the award-winning film. Woo-hoo! To watch the trailer click HERE.

So take a moment to appreciate an (educational) international/intercultural moment in your life. Did you have a life changing study abroad experience? Did you meet your significant other when he/she was an international student at your school (or vice-versa)? What is your favorite “international” memory/story? (please share!)

My semester in Kenya as an undergraduate was one of my favorite times abroad... that's me standing on top of the landrover with some of my classmates and one of my favorite professors of all time (in red) while on safari in Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya.

and who could forget the picture of me dressed like a Maasai woman? Taken right before I became horribly sick from sun poisoning, heat stroke, and dehydration (“delicate mzungu”)…

Happy International Education Week

I spent two hours yesterday evening hanging about 50 flags around our campus (mostly in the Campus Center but also in other locations). I dragged RH to the university to help me out, he is pretty tall, and he helped last year so he knew the drill. This is the second year that I have coordinated the university’s acknowledgement (celebration?) of “International Education Week.”

IEW09_color_info2No, I didn’t make this up, it’s an actual sanctioned week; it is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. But could they have picked a worse time to celebrate international education? The week before Thanksgiving? Students are already itching to go home, many have mid terms (at least at our school which runs on a 4 term system), and the last thing on their mind is to attend any additional events as part of a week of international programming… alas, I still go through the motions… because I do think it is important to acknowledge the roll that international education plays in our world today.

International Education Week was initiated in 2000, and has been held annually each November. Now in its tenth year, it is celebrated in more than 100 countries worldwide. It is a week which allows communities, such as colleges and universities, to celebrate and highlight international and intercultural diversity, and to appreciate the importance of a multicultural environment, particularly for a learning community.

In an official statement Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized November 16th-20th as International Education Week:

“In a world that gets smaller every day, a quality education must incorporate an international dimension—not as an add-on, but as an approach that is integrated across all subject, from math and science to social studies” the Secretary explained, “Our graduates should be global citizens prepared to work on solving challenges that transcend borders, and they should be able to work well with people from diverse backgrounds, whether it is an individual who is a recent immigrant to the United States living in the community, or a business client or colleague located halfway around the world.”

Amen.

For more information on International Education Week visit http://iew.state.gov/