Global Celebration Highlights International Students, Cultures
Aiken, SC (11/10/2018) — The University of South Carolina Aiken will observe International Education Week, Nov. 12-16.
Currently, there are 38 countries represented among the student body. Throughout the week, many students will share insights about their cultures. Several International Education Week events are planned on campus. All of them are free and open to the public.
"Giving students, faculty, staff, and other guests the opportunity to learn more about the countries of our USCA international students is highly important. Most may believe that it is hard to gain cultural insight if they are not taking a course which specifically focuses on sharing this or if they don't travel outside of the country," Ana L. Carbajal-Martinez, coordinator of Student Life.
The annual week is set aside to "celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide," according to the U.S. Department of State's website. The effort is a partnership between the state department 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."
International students at USC Aiken hail from North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
"Being able to have an entire week dedicated to our international student community is a great way for [international students] to share about their cultures with others. Having the ability to gain cultural insight without having to travel far from home can be the first step anyone can take in order gain cultural awareness," Carbajal-Martinez said.
The following USC Aiken events are free and open to the public during International Education Week:
Monday, Nov. 12
Beauty Around the World
7 p.m., in Penland 106
International students will discuss the beauty standards in their home countries, allowing audience members a chance to gain a greater understanding of how beauty can differ from country to country.
Tuesday, Nov. 13
I Speak Dialect, not Jamaican
4 p.m., in Penland 106
USC Aiken students from the Caribbean islands will talk about one stereotypes they face when traveling outside of the Caribbean. Some from the Caribbean say they face the common "Are you Jamaican?" During this event, the audience will get insight into the difference in the accents and dialects of Caribbean countries such as Jamaica, St. Lucia, Barbados, and Bahamas.
Tuesday, Nov. 13
International Poetry Reading
6 p.m., in Humanities and Social Sciences 116
USC Aiken faculty members will read poetry from either their native country or from one of their favorite non-American authors. This event "celebrates the beauty of the diversity found in literature as part of International Education Week," said one organizer. After the guest speakers have shared their favorite works and discussed their significance with the audience, the event will evolve into an open mic event during which audience members can share a brief passage or poem from their own favorite international authors.
Wednesday, Nov. 14
Glimpses of England
2:30 p.m., in Business and Education 138
Students will share information about the culture, traditions, and history in their home country.
Thursday, Nov. 15
Breaking Stereotypes around the World
2 p.m., in Business and Education 136
Several of international students will unravel common stereotypes in their home countries and those they face when traveling abroad. They will present stereotypes they say they often face.
Friday, Nov. 16
Glimpses of Bahamas
10 a.m., in the Student Activities Center (upstairs)
Students from the Bahamas will present on the culture, traditions, and history in their home country.
Friday, Nov. 16
International Student Bazaar
1 p.m., Quad (in front of the Student Activities Center)
International students will provide pictures, items, and some treats from their home country, helping educate guests on their culture, traditions and history.
"Students are able to learn about different cultures outside of the classroom and get to make connections with our international students," according to Carbajal-Martinez.
"These connections can turn into friendships that will broaden the global and cultural knowledge they will take with them after graduating from USCA. It provides students with a window to the world outside of our campus and nation while being able to forge networks that not everyone has an easy access to."