Many of you reading might not have noticed, but you have been part of international education in different stances during your time at Maryville College whether it was in class, during an on-campus activity or even during your freshmen year seminar class.
What is international education? It is the dynamic movement of people and the spread of their ideas across political, cultural or geographical frontiers. By promoting different points of views and cross-cultural interactions, a foundation of respect is created between people who come from different backgrounds.
This is also supported by the National Association of Colleges and Employers which includes Global/Intercultural Fluency as one of the eight career competencies employers look for in recent graduates. Employers know the importance behind the ability to relate to others and understand different situations and points of view.
You may have been exposed to this either in class by listening to an international student’s point of view, learning about how societies function differently than yours, or the importance of studying abroad and experiencing a different culture.
Usually, International Education Month is celebrated as a week across the United States during November. This year, the Center for International Education at Maryville College decided to celebrate for a whole month in January!
There have been different activities to take part in such as the International Movie night in collaboration with the Student Programming Board, two World Coffee Cups in collaboration with the Career Center, and the Environmental Action Team, Love, Sex and Marriage Panel with Dr. Beale and Dr. Lucas. GCO will be holding an Olympic Dance Party Friday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. in the International House.
In addition to all of these activities, you can use this month as an opportunity to get exposed to other cultures and get out of your comfort zone. Make an international student friend, drink coffee during World Coffee Cup and gain insight from what sustainability or careers look like in other parts of the world, or just come to the International Dance Party and move your hips to different rhythms!
We want to celebrate the importance of being exposed to different mindsets and how much it promotes empathy and understanding around the world. At the end of the day, we all are one big family.