Troy University is celebrating worldwide International Education Week (IEW) featuring cultural activities and seminars for all students.
Maria Frigge, associate dean of international student services, said all the activities are organized with an aim to encourage the college community to explore, understand and embrace the differences between the cultures.
“Hopefully, the different events will strengthen the understanding that there are a lot of students from different nationalities on our campus and interest our local students on their (international students’) country and culture,” Frigge said. “I hope that this will educate them and make the students more culturally sensitive.”
According the U.S. Department of State, IEW is a joint initiative between U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education “to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences.”
The week commenced on Sunday, Nov. 12, with a soccer tournament. Events held on Monday, Nov. 13, included “Connect with your Chinese Student,” a luncheon for faculty and staff with Chinese students; “Revolution and Memory,” a panel discussion by faculty on the Russian Revolution; and “India Study Abroad,” a photo exhibition by Morgan Williams.
“I have always been interested in Russian culture but have never had a chance to examine it from outside its stereotyped image,” said Anushka K.C., a junior psychology major from Kathmandu, Nepal, and an attendee of the Russian Revolution panel discussion. “Dr. Tatanya Slobodchikoff’s narration on Russian identity demystified a huge number of queries I had regarding the Russians and the society there.”
On Tuesday, Nov. 14, the annual Rotary lunch was observed at Sartain Hall, where the top ten countries (China, Denmark, France, India, Korea, Nepal, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Vietnam) represented in Troy University, were recognized with the flags of these countries.
“The (Rotaract) club is trying to make an effort to bring the international and American students together,” said Agnes Ribet, a junior social science major from Avon, France, and a member of the Rotaract Club. “This annual event is one where you can eat food and make new friends over lunch.”
The lunch was followed by a study abroad panel in the afternoon, during which students discussed their experiences of spending time abroad.
“Our big event on Wednesday (Nov.15) is “Taste of the World,” which is a dessert contest where students will come try the dishes and vote for the ones they like,” Frigge said. “Also, we will be exhibiting the submissions for the photo contest of pictures that were taken abroad.”
Including the dessert contest, Wednesday’s events also included a study abroad workshop for faculty and a language workshop by an international student.
The International Student Cultural Organization (ISCO) Festival, which over the years has remained the major attraction of the IEW, will be held on Thursday, Nov. 16, at 6 p.m. in TC Ballrooms. According to the group’s Facebook page, the event is sold out of tickets.
Joe McCall, a senior lecturer of history and adviser to ISCO, said the event will have international students coming together to provide an evening of music, dance and food.