Internation Education Week 2016

Global Education Office Hosts International Education Week

Monmouth University’s 2016 International Education Week, hosted by the Global Education Office, presented a variety of programming to showcase the benefits of a global education from Monday, Nov. 14 to Friday, Nov. 18.

“International Education Week is an annual initiative of the U.S. Department of State, and its purpose is to showcase international education and highlight the benefits of the global mobility of students and scholars,” said Jon Stauff, the Vice Provost for Global Education. “Education abroad – study, work, intern, service – is a transformative experience for students from the United States, as well as international students coming to our country.”

Each member of the Monmouth University Global Education Office staff was responsible for the creation of their own activity.

The week included eight events spread out over five days. It began with an International Fashion Show, featuring international students showcasing glamorous fashions from around the world.

“One of our favorite events was the international fashion show, with students wearing clothing from their home cultures,” said Stauff. “We saw a variety of fashion from over ten countries, and the international students performed as well as any supermodel on the New York runways.”

Namra Shueib a sophomore accounting student thoroughly enjoyed the talent show. She said, “ The fashion show was something that you don’t normally see at Monmouth. It exposed me to various cultures and clothing worn around the world, and they gave a brief description. They gave a brief description of each outfit that students were wearing and played cultural music in the background. It was a great experience.”

There were films screened, such as documentary “The Other Side of Immigration”, which explores the relationship between the United States and Mexico, and Luiz Puenzo’s 1985 film “The Official Story”, which tells the story of a mother searching for her adoptive daughter. Former Peace Corps member and author Kris Holloway spoke on Thursday, Nov. 17, and hosted a book signing immediately afterwards.

There was also a Passport Day, which allowed interested students to register for or renew passports to make travelling abroad possible.

More casual events during the week included a Study Abroad Fair, which served as a way for students to learn more about the potential to study abroad, and a World Languages Fair.

The best way for students at Monmouth to get an international education is to study abroad. The University offers easily accessible study abroad programs in four countries – England, Italy, Spain, and Australia.

“My education has most definitely benefited from studying abroad,” said graduate social work student Christina Addison, who is a peer ambassador for the University’s study abroad program. “Study abroad has expanded my interests in various subjects and has made me a lot more open-minded. Traveling exposed me to diverse lifestyles and topics of interest. I feel that now in the classroom I pay more attention to what is different and new instead of what just sounds interesting. I challenge myself to give new subjects and perspectives a chance in order to better understand how other people think and live.”

Stauff deduced that study abroad is an impactful program on campus.“We’re hard pressed to find any disadvantages [to studying abroad], especially in this day and age when college graduates face a competitive global marketplace for their talent and their shopping dollars,” said Stauff. “We believe that a study abroad experience or an international experience helps students to embrace the challenges of negotiating cultural differences and become successful professionals and contributing members of their communities.”

Stauff also noted that faculty members benefit from international education as well, because they are able to teach, conduct research, and meet with colleagues from all over the world. He also said that students who study abroad are believed to earn more money after graduation and are more desirable candidates for jobs and graduate school.

“The week shines a light on these activities that take place throughout the year and provides everyone with an opportunity to share their experiences with the community,” said Stauff.

The week ended on a high note on Friday, Nov. 18 with a Thanksgiving Luncheon that was open to all students, regardless of major or intention to study abroad.

“International Education week was really fun,” said Hawa Diaby, a graduate assistant in the Global Education office. “The experience was insightful and rewarding. I am especially glad that I got to experience it all with my friends who share the same passion for learning and trying new things and new food.

IMAGE COURTESY of Namra Shueib