Education Week promotes global engagement
In celebration of International Education Week, the International Students and Scholars Office, the Study Abroad Office, the Intercultural Center and Student Activities hosted a number of programs that took place throughout last week.
Global Brandeis, a University initiative intended to strengthen students’ global engagement, spearheaded much of the week’s programming.
IEW, a joint initiative of the United States’ Departments of State and Education “is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide,” according to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs website.
“This joint initiative...is part of [the Departments’] efforts to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States,” the website reads.
In an email to the Justice, Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs and the head of the Global Brandeis initiative Kim Godsoe explained the intentions behind IEW.
“We live in a world in which the ability to communicate cross-culturally is of growing importance,” she wrote.
“International Education Week celebrates the many ways that Brandeis faculty, staff and students are engaged in learning about different people and their cultures,” Godsoe added.
Godsoe noted that Brandeis has celebrated IEW “for a number of years” but added that the University has wanted to draw more of a focus to the week in the last two years.
In addition to sending out an email announcing IEW to students, the IEW staff also put a video promoting the week on the BrandeisNOW website. The video endeavored to highlight the diversity present on campus.
For the promotional video, several students, professors and campus leaders were interviewed about the importance of being global.
As part of IEW, 28 events were hosted and sponsored by various University groups.
“When we were planning the week, it was important to include academic lectures, student groups, information about studying abroad, and programs that focused on cross-cultural awareness,” Godsoe told the Justice.
At Passport Day, an IEW event that occurred last Wednesday, students were given the opportunity to apply for or renew their passports on campus.
Usually, to apply for or renew a passport, students would have to travel to a passport office or post office.
At the global bazaar, another popular IEW event, several ICC groups provided food samples for attendees to enjoy, and local vendors were given the opportunity to sell handmade crafts.
The bazaar, which was cosponsored by the International Students and Scholars Office and the Wien International Scholars, also hosted a global fashion show and gave students the chance to learn about global opportunities. The bazaar also hosted a number of international musical performances.
The week also included a talk by Lara Baladi, an Egyptian-Lebanese artist, discussions on terrorism, issues affecting Native Americans and an event centering around the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which was last week.
Godsoe said that she believes Brandeis students “embody the ideas of International Education Week.”
She added that International and Global Studies is one of the most popular majors on campus. In addition, she wrote that almost 40 percent of each graduating class studies abroad, as a part of what she referred to as “innovative” programs such as Brandeis in the Hague and the India Science Scholars program.
“IEW is a celebration of what we already do as well as an opportunity to promote how much we can learn from each other,” she wrote.