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International Education Week events

Nov. 11, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University will showcase 15 countries and cultures during this year's International Education Week, which runs from Monday through Saturday, Nov. 16-21.

International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. departments of State and Education, the week promotes 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.

The local celebration is being organized by WMU's Haenicke Institute for Global Education. Most events are free, open to the public and taking place on the University's main campus.

"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," she continues. "Throughout the week, we will offer many activities that will enhance mutual understanding; expand awareness of culture, language, and customs; and develop international perspectives."

In honor of Diether H. Haenicke

This year's week is being dedicated to former WMU President Diether H. Haenicke, who died Feb. 15, 2009. Haenicke served as the University's fifth president from 1985 to 1998 and as interim president for a year in 2006-07.

During his initial 13 years as president, he placed a major emphasis on international education. Haenicke dramatically increased study abroad opportunities for WMU students as well as the number of international students enrolled at the University. He also was instrumental in the University internationalizing its curriculum and faculty and expanding its partnerships with overseas institutions.

"I am a strong believer in the striking educational benefits a university derives from a culturally diverse student and faculty body," Haenicke said in 1997. "I have seen firsthand the improved understanding that results from exposure to culturally different points of view. Students have told me how much better they are prepared for careers in a global economy because of international education."

His efforts were recognized in 1998 when WMU gathered its international operations under one umbrella organization and, in his honor, named it the Diether H. Haenicke Institute for Global Education.

A partial list of WMU's International Education Week events follows. Visit WMU's public Events Calendar to learn about all of the local events scheduled and www.iew.state.gov for more information about the national observance.

Questions should be directed to Kimberly Ritter in the Haenicke Institute at kimberly.ritter@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5859.

International Education Week Events

Unless otherwise noted, all events are free, open to the public, and taking place on campus.

Monday, Nov. 16

  • Muslim student gathering--2 to 4 p.m., Room 204, Bernhard Center. To increase understanding of Muslim culture, the Muslim Student Association will host a cultural display and show videos.

  • Japan Festival--6 to 8 p.m., Wesley Foundation. The Japan Club will host an evening celebrating Japanese culture and food.

Tuesday, Nov. 17

  • OneVoice presentation--2 to 4 p.m., Room 204, Bernhard Center. OneVoice, an international grassroots group working toward a two-state solution guaranteeing an end to the violence in Israel and Palestine, will host a presentation and question-and-answer session about its work.

  • Geography Bowl--4 to 6 p.m., Room 209, Bernhard Center. The Department of Geography invites spectators to watch four- to six-person teams of students match their world geography wits. Students wishing to participate should contact Maran Subramain at maran.subramain@wmich.edu to register a team.

  • Russian movie and dinner--6 to 8 p.m., Wesley Foundation. The Russian Club will show a film and serve Russian food after the movie.

Wednesday Nov. 18

  • CELCIS Language Experience--2 to 4 p.m., Room 208, Bernhard Center. The Career English Language Center for International Students invites members of the public to find out how quickly they can learn a foreign language. Participants will make new friends and have fun while testing their skills with international students.

  • Malaysian Night--7 to 9 p.m., Wesley Foundation. The Malaysian Student Organization will use food, fashion, dance and wedding ceremonies to show the beauty of diversity of Malaysia.

Thursday, Nov. 19

  • Chinese cultural mini sports--6 to 8 p.m., Kanley Chapel. The Association of Chinese Students and Scholars will provide homemade Chinese food and demonstrate mini sports such as ping-pong, rope skating, ferruling, darting, blow out the candles, bowling and fishing.

  • How the Dominican Republic began--8 to 10 p.m., Kanley Chapel. Attendees will learn about Dominican history and culture with the help of a guest speaker, food, music and trivia.

Friday, Nov. 20

  • Brazilian martial arts dance demonstration (Cordao De Ouro)--2 to 4 p.m., Room 208, Bernhard Center. Three dance styles will be demonstrated: Capoeira, Samba and Maculele.

  • Muslim Student Association semiannual dinner program--5:30 to 8 p.m., East Ballroom, Bernhard Center. A lecture titled "From the Original Sin to the Color of Skin: Gender, Class and Racial Equality in Islam" will be presented. A question-and-answer session, multicultural dinner and multiethnic exhibition will follow. Prior registration at www.msa-wmu.org is required.

Saturday, Nov. 21

  • Kalamazoo Russian Festival--10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fetzer Center. The festival will feature Russian art, music, food, vendors, drama, dancing, academia, a silent auction and chess. Visit www.russianfestival.org for details and additional events.

  • Legally Desi 2009--7 to 11 p.m., East Ballroom, Bernhard Center. The Indian Student Association will offer dance performances, skits, a multimedia presentation, a fashion show and catered Indian snacks. Tickets are free for WMU students and $7 for others.

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

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