SF State kicks off International Educational Week
November 17, 2008 7:10 PM
At the official opening of International Week at SF State on Monday, students were welcomed at the Vista Room in Burk Hall to celebrate international students who came here to study here from all over the world.
According to the International Education Week official Web site, this event is an opportunity for people to look at the benefits of international education and cultural exchange. The initiative is a partnership between the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education in order to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global life and gives citizens from other countries an incentive to study, learn and exchange experiences in America.
“This is about people to people diplomacy, especially at this time in the world, it is important to foster diplomacy,” said Dr. Marilyn Jackson, assistant director of the Office of International Programs.
Jackson explained that this is the ninth year that SF State is promoting the event and that it is her second year in charge of the organizations for the week-long activities. Jackson expressed her excitement over the many options students will have all over campus this week and added that as much as the event still needs to be better advertised, they did send out e-mails to all students inviting them to participate.
Eli Zaturanski, an international student from Israel, mentioned that he decided to come to the ceremony because of the announcement that was made by the OIP office through e-mail. Zaturanski still wasn’t sure of what the event was about.
Joe Snowdown, co-chair of International Education Exchange Council, and Sa-Lei Loi, a South Africa international student representative both gave a warm welcome to their fellow international students as the reception went on.
“We worry about not having friends … but positive attitude is the key,” Loi continued by adding that international students should take advantage of their professors' friendships and willingness to help them adapt to the American culture.
After their speeches, the winners of the Diana Chung Memorial Scholarships–the only SF State scholarship solely for international students–was handed to Jikyung Hwang from South Korea and Shirin Usmani from India.
Earlier in the day, a number of activities had already been offered to those who were willing to participate in some of fun and cultural events. Among those events, Assistant Professor Weimin Zhang showed her documentary "The House of Spirits," and French historian, Andre Burgiere, spoke about what Parisian students were doing during the strike of 1968.
According to Jackson, the OPI encourages the participation of all students. And one more way to facilitate attendance was to ask professors who would be teaching lectures relevant to the international week to have an open-door class this week.
Charlotte Welch, an apparel design and merchandise student at SF State, and her friend Ashley DiRuggiero, a political science student also at SF State, both went to school abroad in Italy and have been participating in the many events offered this week. The two recommended that students who are interested in studying abroad take a look at the World at a Glance: Country Culture Series.
International week will go on until Friday, Nov. 21, while numerous events will continue to be offered to students all over campus. From meditation sessions, African dance lessons, a Japanese tea ceremony to a Bollywood movie night, the selection is so broad there is room to learn at least a little bit about on specific culture.
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