Human diversity celebrated during International Education Week

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International Education Week runs Nov. 16-23.

KALAMAZOO—Western Michigan University will highlight various countries and cultures during its annual observance of International Education Week, set for Saturday through Saturday, Nov. 16-23.

Many entertaining and educational public events, nearly all of them free, have been scheduled on the main campus throughout the week by WMU offices and international registered student organizations.

The 2013 observance at WMU, which is being organized by the International Student Activities office in the University's Haenicke Institute for Global Education, begins with the 18th annual Kalamazoo Russian Festival Saturday, Nov. 16.

The week also will feature events during which attendees can learn about preparing traditional foods and the everyday lives of Muslims as well as watch teams test their knowledge of countries and cultures. Other events will turn the spotlight on China, the Dominican Republic, India, Japan and Malaysia.

International Education Week

A joint initiative of the U.S. departments of State and Education, International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. It is part of efforts to promote programs that not only prepare Americans for a global environment, but also attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the United States.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has stressed those ideas when remarking on the week's mission.

"It celebrates the benefits of understanding the world around us so we can better communicate and collaborate with others from different cultures," Duncan has said. "It is an ideal opportunity to inspire students to broaden their horizons through global learning, foreign languages and international exchange."

Schedule of events

Saturday, Nov. 16

  • Kalamazoo Russian Festival—9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fetzer Center. This is an all-day celebration of Russian culture hosted by the Kalamazoo Russian Cultural Association. Cost: Adults, $10; students, $6; age 12 and under, $2; and family pass, $20.

Sunday, Nov. 17

  • International Cooking 101—5 to 7 p.m., Dialogue Room, Kanley Chapel. Learn from WMU international students how to prepare traditional dishes from other countries. Hosted by the WMU International Student Activities office. Free.

Monday, Nov. 18

  • Study Abroad Info Table—Noon to 2 p.m., lower level, Bernhard Center. Obtain information about overseas learning from study abroad specialists and alumni. Free.

Tuesday, Nov. 19

  • Confucius Institute Info Table—Noon to 3 p.m., lower level, Bernhard Center. Visit with teachers and staff of the Confucius Institute at WMU. Learn more about Chinese language and culture classes and scholarships offered through the University's largest country-specific international institute. Free.

Wednesday, Nov. 20

  • China Quiz Bowl—4 to 6 p.m., 105 Bernhard Center. Join a Chinese Quiz Bowl team and test your Chinese culture IQ. Answer correctly as a team and you could win a fun prize. Register by sending an email to: wmu-confucius-cc@wmich.edu. Hosted by the Confucius Institute at WMU. Free.
  • Dominican Student Organization—7 to 9 p.m., Wesley Foundation. Meet WMU students from the Dominican Republic and learn about their country's rich culture and way of life. Hosted by the Dominican Student Organization. Free.

Thursday, Nov. 21

  • American Thanksgiving Celebration—Noon to 1:30 p.m., Social Room, Kanley Chapel. Learn about this holiday's history in the United States and enjoy a Thanksgiving Day dinner. Hosted by the International Student Fellowship. Free.
  • Study Abroad Info Table—3 to 5 p.m., lower level, Bernhard Center. Obtain information about overseas learning from study abroad specialists and alumni. Free.
  • Japan Festival—5 to 7 p.m., Wesley Foundation. Experience Japan's rich culture, including traditional food and dance. Hosted by the Japan Club. Free.
  • Indian Student Association: Legally Desi 2013—8 to 10 p.m., North Ballroom, Bernhard Center. Desi is an Indian cultural event to raise awareness of Indian culture through music, dance and food. Hosted by the Indian Students Association. Free.

Friday, Nov. 22

  • Getting to Know the World Game Night—4 to 6 p.m., President's Dining Room, Bernhard Center. WMU's International Programs Council is hosting a game show night to test and expand participants' knowledge about cultures and countries around the world. Teams will compete for prizes, and complimentary pizza and soft drinks will be served. Free.
  • Day of China—7 to 9 p.m., Wesley Foundation. Experience Chinese culture by learning how to make traditional food dishes, perform some basic tai chi moves, dance to folk songs played on Chinese musical instruments and more. Hosted by the Chinese Association for Students and Scholars. Free.

Saturday, Nov. 23

  • Muslim Student Association Annual Dinner—3:30 to 5 p.m., West Ballroom, Bernhard Center. In small group discussions during dinner, learn about the cultural aspects of the everyday lives of Muslims from various regions and countries. Hosted by the Muslim Student Association. Free.
  • Malaysia Night—7 to 10 p.m., Wesley Foundation. Malaysian food, fashions and dance will be featured. Hosted by the Malaysia Student Association. Free.

Direct questions about WMU's International Education Week events to Xiaotang Wang, WMU international programming intern, at intl-specialprojects@wmich.edu or (269) 387-3966.

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