Festivities honor international education

By Christina Oddo


International Education Week kicked off Monday with International Attire Day. The annual celebration is sponsored by International Student Services (ISS) and the Office of International Education (OIE) and included many opportunities for students to learn more about International Educational exchange.

The art exhibit “Xiaoze Xie: Amplified Moments” was shown in the Samek Art Gallery, and the student success series was held Tuesday in the Vedder Lounge. Civic Engagement Posters: Highlights of International Service were on display on Thursday in Larison Dining Hall.

The OIE and the Office of the Provost held international education fairs Wednesday and Thursday in Larison Hall, providing University students with the opportunity to speak with representatives from the providers of the 140 University-approved programs for off-campus learning.

Megan Wolleben, assistant director of alumni relations and a contributor to Student Communications and Extracurricular Interests and Career Development Center, said that international study is all about perspective and comparison.

“Comparing a new environment to what one is accustomed to, perhaps where one grew up, develops a priceless learning opportunity. Through this comparison, one can learn about one’s likes, dislikes, etc.,” Wolleben said. “Learning in a classroom environment greatly differs from the priceless essence of learning through pure experience.”

The International Education Fair included information about study abroad opportunities, University-sponsored programs and programs sponsored by other prestigious universities.

“Students can go to Northern Ireland, Greece, Turkey, Nicaragua,” Kate Peterson ’14 said. “There are study abroad opportunities for three weeks during the summer.” Peterson said that these shorter trips are more structured than traditional study abroad programs. Trips such as these provide an alternative for students who are unable to participate in semester-long programs or who are just looking for a different experience altogether.

The fair also offered information regarding the International Orientation Assistant Program. The program links University students to an international population right at the start of the fall semester and focuses on mentoring and the idea of creating a comfortable community. This particular program primarily highlights leadership and intercultural communication.

Many University students who study abroad or who are interested in studying abroad apply to be an IOA. Between one-half to three-fourths of the IOA staff are U.S. students, not international students.

International Education Week ends today with a closing reception featuring the annual Burma-Bucknell Bowl Award ceremony at 4 p.m. in Walls Lounge.

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