Sacred Heart University celebrated International Education Week Nov. 14-18, focusing on the various cultures of students from other countries.
International Education Week is a nationwide initiative co-sponsored by the federal Department of Education and Department of State to promote programs that expose students to a diverse global environment. The week is dedicated to celebrating the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. Since 2000, this weeklong event has been celebrated in more than 100 countries, and Sacred Heart University marked its fifth year as a participant.
“This week was important for Sacred Heart students, because it is a celebration of multiple cultures and multiple ways of living,” said Carrie Wojenski, executive director of the Office of Global Affairs and English Language Institute. “It’s a celebration of learning from different perspectives: learning about viewpoints and experiences from all different parts of the world; helping students to engage with these cultures in a meaningful way; trying something new if they have never interacted before. It’s a way to bring about a little more awareness and some understanding.”
More than 30 activities on campus promoted cultures and foods from Ireland, Italy, Japan, Costa Rica, Korea, India, China, Brazil, France, Jamaica and the Middle East. Highlights included international karaoke night, henna tattoos, international trivia and pub night, and a Bollywood dance off—just to name a few. The menu in 63’s dining hall included food from a different country each day—Italy, Jamaica, Costa Rica, France and China—to expose students to a variety of fare they otherwise would not find easily.
Additionally, Sacred Heart’s Office of Global Affairs organized a live stream via Skype around the clock with several partner universities across the globe, including the Costa Rica Institute of Technology and John Cabot University, Italy. Students were encouraged to stop by and interact with other students from all over the world.
“This week highlights the diversity of cultures that we have here on campus,” said Wojenski. “We try to represent as many as possible. This really is a collaboration, and it’s an opportunity to celebrate the richness Sacred Heart University students have to offer.”