What does the 6 percent of students who come to the University from international backgrounds?
To answer this question, BC is hosting International Education Week between Nov. 9 and Nov. 20. The week-and-a-half initiative will include about 50 events around campus ranging from documentary and film screenings to racial theory lectures, all under the direction of the Office of International Students and Scholars and the Office of International Programs.
International Education Week is a joint initiative of the United States Department of Education and the U.S. Department of State. They encourage universities, embassies, international organizations, businesses, and even community organizations to take a week—or in BC’s case, a week and a half—to celebrate all things international, promote a stronger international understanding, prepare participants for an increasingly globalized world, as well as attract those abroad to study in the U.S. The initiative began in 2000 and has since been celebrated in more than 100 countries worldwide.
“It’s a combination of academic and intellectual discourse, as well as fun and interesting cross cultural programs and it’s all students, faculty, staff.”
Adrienne Nussbaum, the director of the Office of International Students and Scholars, brought this event to campus five years ago. This year’s theme is “A world on the move: Who we are and where are we going?” The theme aims to provide a platform on which students, faculty, and staff can build conversations surrounding issues like migration, diasporas, immigration, and refugees.
The purpose of International Education Week at BC, Nussbaum said, is to promote the celebration and education of all things international and spark personal interactions and conversations that many students may not otherwise have.
“I really like the way we do International Education Week because it’s a combination of academic and intellectual discourse, as well as fun and interesting cross cultural programs and it’s all students, faculty, staff,” Nussbaum said.
The week features educational programs including talks about U.S.-China relations, a panel focusing on the challenges facing Syrian refugees, career-centered events like an international careers networking event, a fashion show, and a Hispanic dance.
There are also many programs—largely sponsored by the Career Center—designed to help students understand what studying or working abroad entails.
Each year, there is a fashion show during International Education Week to celebrate the cultural diversity on campus. While last year there were only about five models, this year there will be around 30 models that represent about 20 different cultures worldwide. The event is sponsored by the AHANA Leadership Council and the BAIC Student Advisory Board, and will feature SLAM, a spoken word group on campus. The fashion show, titled “Fashion Fusion Cultures United,” is scheduled for Nov. 19, and will highlight some of the positive aspects of migration.
MC-ed by Andy Petigny, associate director of the Office of AHANA Student Programs, the show will pair countries up on the runway, then explain their migration stories and how those cultures have fused. Dispersed between the walks will be performances by SLAM.
“The fashion show is basically an effort to start conversation on campus, allow people from all different cultures to feel like they are a part of BC, and sort of represent their own cultures on campus and really create this inclusive environment on campus,” said Malynna Mam, a student coordinator for the fashion show and CSOM ’17.
Featured Image by Drew Hoo / Heights Editor
This is an important program because being an
international student isn’t easy, given our complex culture and language.
Assistance must come from numerous sources to aid these young people embarking
on life’s journey. A new award-winning worldwide book/ebook that helps anyone
coming to the US is “What Foreigners
Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American
Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More.” It is used in
foreign Fulbright student programs and endorsed worldwide by ambassadors,
educators, and editors. It also identifies “foreigners” who became successful
in the US and how they contributed to our society, including students.
A chapter on education explains how to be
accepted to an American university and cope with a confusing new culture,
friendship process and daunting classroom differences. Some stay after
graduation. It has chapters that explain how US businesses operate and how to
get a job (which differs from most countries), a must for those who want to
work with/for an American firm here or overseas.
It also has chapters that identify the most common English grammar and speech problems foreigners have and tips for easily overcoming them, the number one stumbling block they say they have to succeeding here.
Most struggle in their efforts and need guidance from schools’ international departments,
immigration protection, host families, concerned neighbors and fellow
students, and informative books like this to extend a cultural helping hand so
we all have a win-win situation. Good luck to all wherever you study!