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WMU celebrates International Education Week

Nov. 3, 2006

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University will showcase numerous countries and cultures during International Education Week, which officially runs from Monday through Saturday, Nov. 13-17, under the national theme, "International Education: Engaging in Global Partnerships and Opportunities."

The local celebration is being organized by the Haenicke Institute for Global Education in conjunction with the annual observance of International Education Week. Many of the events planned are free and open to the public, with many taking place on the main WMU campus.

In addition to concerts, art exhibits, films and lectures, the week-long series of events will include a Chinese culture night Monday, Nov. 13; Geography Bowl Tuesday, Nov. 14; Muslim Student Association dinner program Thursday, Nov. 16; and French culture night Friday, Nov. 17.

"The week gives us a chance to highlight the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide," says Kimberly Ritter, coordinator of international student activities in the Haenicke Institute. "Education is a shared value in our interconnected world. Throughout the week, we will offer many activities that will enhance mutual understanding, expand a greater awareness of culture, language, and customs, and develop international perspectives."

A joint initiative of the U.S. departments of State and Education, International Education Week serves in part to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and to attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in America. Last year, events took place in all 50 U.S. states and 77 countries.

For a complete list of activities celebrating international education, visit www.wmich.edu/events or contact Kimberly Ritter at kimberly.ritter@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5859. More information about the national observance is available at www.iew.state.gov. Major events during the week include the following.

International Education Week Events

Monday through Friday, Nov. 13-17

Off-campus classroom visits--WMU students from various countries will be sharing information about their cultures during visits to Kalamazoo and Portage Public Schools classes throughout the week. This International Classroom Connection initiative is being conducted by members of the University's International Programs Council, a student organization dedicated to promoting cross-cultural understanding on campus. Contact: Christina Paruch, christina.m.paruch@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5872.

Monday, Nov. 13

Chinese Culture Night--6 to 9 p.m.; Kanley Chapel; WMU students, faculty and staff welcome; free. The Association of Chinese Students and Scholars invites the campus community to learn about and celebrate Chinese history and traditional culture. There will be exhibits with Chinese crafts, Chinese music and food, and videos showing Chinese history and landscapes. Contact: Limin Zhao, limin.zhao@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5872.

Tuesday, Nov. 14

Geography Bowl--6:30 to 8 p.m., Room 205 Bernhard Center, participation open to all WMU students, spectators welcome, free. Four-person teams will test their knowledge of world geography while helping to celebrate Geography Action! Week as well as International Education Week. Register, as a team or an individual wishing to be placed on a team, with Limin Zhao at limin.zhao@wmich.edu. Contact: Dr. Lisa Dechano, lisa.dechano@wmich.edu.

Thursday, Nov. 16

Study abroad information table--10 a.m. to 2 p.m., second floor lobby, Bernhard Center, free. The Haenicke Institute will provide how-tos for launching a global adventure while pursuing an academic degree. The institute hosts nearly 60 study abroad programs located in 22 countries and has exchange partnerships with several overseas universities. Opportunities exist for undergraduate and graduate students in any discipline, and financial aid may be applied to study abroad enrollment. Contact: Haenicke Institute, (269) 387-5890 or visit www.wmich.edu/studyabroad.

Lecture, dinner exhibition-- pre-registration by Nov. 12 required at www.rso.wmich.edu/msa, free. The Muslim Student Association will present a multicultural dinner and exhibition as well as a talk by Nicole Aeschleman, who converted to Islam in 2004. Aeschleman will be speaking about human rights in Islam and her conversion to the religion. Muslims and non-Muslims of different backgrounds will be able converse with others seated at their tables and discuss different cultures and cultural perspectives. Contact: MSA, president@msa-wmu.org.

Friday, Nov. 17

French Culture Night and dinner--6 to 9 p.m.; Kanley Chapel; WMU students, faculty and staff welcome; free. The campus community will be able to enjoy foods and beverages from France, Northern Africa, the Caribbean and Canada as well as to meet native speakers from nearly all of the Francophone regions. Each course in the classic French-style dinner will be from a different region. Contact: Steve Wood, stephen.j.wood@wmich.edu.

Saturday, Nov. 18

Cultural Connection party and Thanksgiving dinner--6 p.m., Kanley Chapel, international students and their friends and families only, pre-registration requested, free. The Career English Language Center for International Students asks those attending to bring a traditional food from their culture to share. There also will be music and dancing, so attendees are invited to bring music from their home countries. Contact for information or to register: Stacey Lee, stacey.b.lee@wmich.edu.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
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(269) 387-8400