By Maureen Redmond, Guest Writer
International Education Week provides events and activities from Nov. 11-16 to give students opportunities to experience global education without even leaving campus.
Each event that takes place during IEW allows students to learn about different countries and cultures from both international students and Pacific Lutheran University students who have studied abroad.
“I think it’s just a great way for students to either get a taste of global education and international education through PLU,” Carmen Eyssautier, a Wang Center study away adviser, said. Eyssautier also said if students have studied away or are from another country or culture, they can bring that perspective to PLU.
The International Student Services page on the PLU website provides details and descriptions of the IEW events. These events have been organized through a cross-campus collaboration among International Student Services, the Wang Center, Hong Hall, the Diversity Center and other departments on campus that share the goal of raising awareness of the value of global education.
One of the events IEW offered was Around the World, which took place in Hong Hall Wednesday night. International students and students who have studied away hosted displays, provided activities and gave mini-presentations about their country of origin or where they have studied.
“I think it’s unique, because you go to a table and experience that culture at the table without leaving Hong, and then you get to see 13 different countries at once,” Akane Yamaguchi, associate director of ISS, said.
IEW emphasizes the importance of international education by encouraging students to study away, host an international student or interact with someone from another culture.
“I think a study away can be, and is for many students, a very transformative experience,” Eyssautier said. “You learn so much about yourself and your place in the world, and I think that’s really important.”
Yamaguchi said students who study away or interact with international students broaden their perspectives.
Study away experiences are a large part of international education. Global education provides students with cross-cultural skills. “In the U.S.,” Yamaguchi said, “so many international students go to higher education institutions around the country, and welcoming them is also part of international education.”
Sojourner advocate and senior Jenny Taylor said one of the most valuable aspects of global education is gaining new perspectives. Based on her previous study away experiences, Taylor said she gained, “not only perspective on my own life, but perspective on what is going on in the rest of the world.”
Through the IEW events, students can gain a better understanding of the value of global education as they participate in what International Education Week has to offer. Many students will gain a broader perspective of their own through this learning experience.