Learning on a global scale

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International Education Week returns

Next week marks the beginning of SLU’s second annual celebration of International Education Week – an event with a 15-year history of highlighting the benefits of learning in today’s globalized educational environment. And although this is only the second year that SLU has been recognizing, and celebrating, this week, the organizers of the week’s activities – many of which will be held at the Center for Global Citizenship – are excited for what role SLU can play in stressing the importance of international education.

“This year we are offering a wide variety of events, and we hope that IEW offers something for the entire SLU community,” said CGC program manager Katie Gauthier Donnelly. “Events include scholarly lectures on topics of global significance, events that promote international student engagement, live international debates, faculty workshops, and of course celebrations.”

International Education Week is a nationwide event that was created by the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Department of Education, and participation and recognition of the week by individuals, businesses and schools are encouraged, so as to foster appreciation for the importance of cultural exchange in various educational media.

“International education as celebrated through IEW is a combination of study abroad, international students on American campuses, and a curriculum and events or speakers on a campus that provide international or global content and understanding,” said Dr. Diana Carlin, the Associate Vice President for Graduate Education in SLU’s communications department. And, Carlin stressed, SLU has a lot to offer in these regards.

“SLU plays an important role through our campus in Madrid [because this campus] benefits SLU students who study abroad, other American students, and international students from 50 countries, [all of whom] receive an American-style education in an international setting,” Carlin said. “SLU also contributes through exchange programs, offering our programs through distance learning…and by attracting 1,000 international students to our campus,” she added.

In addition to offering members of the SLU community the chance to understand and appreciate the benefits of globalized education, International Education Week events also provide a glimpse into different cultures and ways of life. Various styles of international food, for example, will be offered for free at some of the week’s events.

“The Cultural Tastes Series will celebrate SLU Madrid and our Spanish students on Wednesday and the Tastes of the World event on Friday will be a fantastic opportunity to sample free food. It isn’t all about food, but sharing food is one way we can celebrate the diversity of our campus community and gather together,” Gauthier Donnelly said.

Gauthier Donnelly and other organizers of International Education Week also hope that that next week’s events encourage people to recognize all that the CGC has to offer – namely that it is a place where international awareness can be cultivated.

“The CGC is a fantastic place for collaboration and continues to be a vibrant event space and student commons,” Gauthier Donnelly said. “The committee that put together IEW comes from diverse campus departments and offices. We are grateful for their commitment to making this a great week.”