Puget Sound celebrates International Education Week

This week on campus was International Education Week, a chance for students to learn about various cultures all around the world. By learning about each other’s cultures, students learn to foster the kind of tolerance and understanding between people that can strengthen a community.

Many students were excited about learning more about International Education Week and what it represents.

“I am always interested in learning about other cultures,” freshman Lydia Bauer said.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for people to learn about other nations as well as people from other nations to share their culture and nationality,” sophomore Samantha Coates said.

Freshman Beatrix Evans said “I think the message of International Week is important. Humanity is not just one culture it’s [everyone’s] culture.”

The celebration was hosted by the Office of International Programs, which helps students find new ways to explore their international interests and encourages cultural diversity on campus.

By providing students with the opportunity to study abroad, the Office of International Programs educates people on the importance of learning about other cultures.

Starting Nov. 4, students were offered the opportunity to participate in different events, from voting for their favorite photo taken while studying abroad in the photo contest to attending presentations given by students who completed research projects while studying abroad.

The Office also offered the opportunity to volunteer at the Tacoma Community House, a nonprofit that provides assorted services for refugees, immigrants and others. The goal is to build the residents’ English conversation skills. According to the Office of International Programs only 10 people had the opportunity to volunteer.

The faculty of the Office of International Programs really look forward to this week of events. “We want to get the word out more,” Director of International Programs Roy Robinson said. “We could make strides to strengthen the diversity.”

A member of the Puget Sound Community also received an award at the Global Engagement Awards Ceremony; this award is given to an individual dedicated to improving cultural diversity.

There was also a talk about various international careers and how students can incorporate their study abroad experience into a resume.

“We want to get at the broader impact of the activities versus just studying abroad,” International Student Advisor Allyson Lindsley said.

To finish up International Education Week the Office of International Programs showed a documentary called “Humedullah: The Road Home” focusing on a young Afghani boy who is deported from the U.K. after his asylee status expired. He is then given a video camera to record his life after returning “home” to Afghanistan. Following the video, there was a discussion about the importance of International Education Week and understanding different cultures.

International Education Week gives students the opportunity to investigate study abroad programs, participate in discussions on how cultural diversity affects community living, and to make their learning about different cultures an interesting, enjoyable experience.

“[This week is about] getting a more international perspective,” Study Abroad Advisor Stephanie Noss said.

For more info on International Education Week visit the International Programs page on the Puget Sound website.