Weeklong activities celebrate foreign study, involvement

by Brianne Rasmussen

The first International Education Week kicks off today, prompting many colleges and groups to schedule weeklong events to celebrate international study at the University.
The Office of International Programs is coordinating the events at the University this week to raise public awareness about the importance of international education.
Involvement is spread campuswide with 12 colleges sponsoring events, including the Carlson School of Management, the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences.
“We decided we would encourage colleges to sponsor events,” said Gayla Marty, communications coordinator for the Office of International Programs. “We’re hoping people participate in a way that’s really meaningful in their colleges.”
The main reason the events are being held this week, Marty said, is that the National Open Doors Report will be released today.
The report, released annually by the Institute of International Education, outlines student involvement in international studies nationwide. It records how many students study abroad and how many international students study in the United States.
Last year, the University ranked 15th for international student attendance and 16th for the number of students studying abroad.
Although she hasn’t seen the statistics yet, Marty said both numbers have gone up since last year.
“Since the University is well known internationally, we have a large number of international students,” Marty said. “We also have the best services for international students.”
One of those services is the biweekly Small World Coffee Hour hosted by the International Student and Scholar Services.
Usually an informal opportunity for socializing, this event has been expanded for International Education Week, said Jessica Schmidt, ISS organizer and senior secretary.
“There will be a festival-fair atmosphere,” Schmidt said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
The event will include world music, Indian dancers, international food, coffee, tea and Latin music with dancing said Kay Thomas, ISS associate director.
This week’s events
ù Today the International Study & Travel Center in Blegen Hall will be taking free passport photos of the first 100 people to arrive at its door.
ù The College of Education and Human Development will host the dean’s annual reception to welcome new and returning international students, scholars and visitors in Burton Hall on Tuesday.
ù The Culture Corps will hold an Indian Dance workshop Wednesday in the West Bank Auditorium.
ù On Thursday, the Carlson School of Management will present an information fair highlighting study abroad and scholarship opportunities for its students.
ù The events wrap up Friday with the Small World Coffee Hour in Humphrey Center atrium.
A full calendar of events can be found on the Web site for the Office of International Programs at www.international.umn.edu.

Brianne Rasmussen welcomes comments at [email protected]