International Education Week makes impact on students

From Nov. 12-18, Maryville College celebrated International Education Week, an event aimed at educating and recognizing international students and issues. The week was sponsored by the Center for International Education, Global Citizenship Organization, Peace & World Concerns, Cultural Ambassadors, Alliance for Youth Achievement, Peace Corps, Sisters in Spirit, Habitat for Humanity and Aramark.

Students and faculty participated in a variety of events that focused on opening conversation between students and faculty from the U.S. and international students. The week began with Pearson’s Dining Hall serving internationally-focused dishes. Students who contributed the various recipes were present at the dining hall to speak to students about the dishes and the culture behind them.

“I really liked how they got the international students involved. They had people from Rwanda standing next to the food in their traditional dress,” said GCO member Emily Medley. “I thought that it actually was better to have that focal point on the international students and I feel like this year, the international students were more involved. I remember the past couple years they asked us to give recipes to Pearson’s. I think it’s better that the students were more involved this year in presenting the food.”

A photo contest was held in Pearson’s Hall to showcase the various images of the international community. Categories include culture, nature and architecture among others. Students were able to vote in each category for which photo they like best, with the being revealed on Nov. 16.

“Love, Marriage, and Sex: An International Perspective,” another International Week event, took place on Tuesday in Bartlett Hall and examined different courtship and marriage practices among various cultures. Elizabeth Childress, an intern with GCO, moderated the event and a panel of six international students discussed their culture’s relationship practices. Members of the audience were able to ask panelists questions about their culture.

“A lot of times international students have a different perspective on what dating is,” said panelist Onyeka Ononye. “And when it comes to America, especially if they’re here for four years, it’s one of those culture shocks that they don’t necessarily get over because there is no place for them to talk about their different cultures and how that relates to dating, marriage and things like that.”

“It’s something that I talk about to my friends all the time — the concept of dating in America versus my country,” Ononye said. “And they always get so shocked and astonished by a lot of things that I tell them. I just thought it would be interesting to have to have other American students benefit from this.” The concluding event of the week was “Capture the Flag World Cup,” a risk style capture-the-flag tournament.

Students were able to sign up to play for one of six teams representing a variety of countries such as Russia or Brazil. The campus as divided into territories with each of the teams controlling one of the sections. “It’s a fun idea to interact with international students,” said Clara Lee, an MC student from South Korea.

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