Boston College’s 2015 International Education Week, which will take place from Nov. 9 to Nov. 20, seeks to both celebrate and explore cultures and people worldwide, as well as foster greater discourse on globalization and international affairs.
Established in 2000 by the US Department of State and the Department of Education, International Education Week was founded with the goal of unifying cultures. Of the 9,100 undergraduate students registered at BC, six percent are international students, making the celebration of multi-nationality a relevant and integral part of the BC community.
Boston College's 2015 theme for the week: "A World on the Move: Who Are We and Where Are We Going?" aims to further the internationalization of the BC community by offering a range of events that focus on individual cultures as well as educational goals abroad, so that students may become more aware of international current affairs and their significance worldwide. The week's planners hope to inspire and raise awareness of issues that relate not just to the importance of culture and diversification but also to the importance of topics that may be shunned in the media or even, in extreme cases, considered taboo.
The theme questions the current state of international politics and the relationships that people form with other cultures and also looks at how modern-day perceptions will shape international relations in the future. BC's line up for the week features a wide range of events that encompass an array of cultures in order to broaden the spectra of cultural knowledge of every student that wishes to attend.
Topics such as displacement, immigration, migration, refugees and many more will be brought up throughout the week in order to facilitate campuswide discussion on events both close to home and further away.
Adrienne Nussbaum, Director of the Office of International Students and Scholars, summed up the goal of the week by saying, "I decided to bring International Education Week to BC about five years ago to acknowledge and validate all of the wonderful international initiatives at BC both on campus and abroad.
"We chose the theme this year 'The World on the Move: Who Are We and Where Are We Going?' because the issues of immigration, migration, refugees, etc. are very relevant in the news these days,” Nussbaum explained. “International Education Week has nearly fifty events, some are academic and educational on the topic where students will learn more about migration and refugee issues in different parts of the world, and others are cultural celebrations where students will learn about other countries through their food, music, etc. There are also many sessions on studying and working abroad which should also be of interest to many students."
Events include a multitude of educational choices, such as: "Voices Across the Divide" -- a documentary that focuses on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, a lecture by sociologist Michael Omi on Racial Formation and the Future of Racial Theory exploring the definition of race and the constant reshaping of said definition and a screening of the documentary film "Immigration Reflections: Three BC Service Workers Share Their Stories."
Furthermore, an array of workshops on topics involving culture and the possibility of studying/working abroad will also be offered. These events include: career chats on "How to Search for Jobs Internationally," "Concerns Going Abroad and Getting an Internship?," as well as a talk on the perception of women in the media called "The Naked Truth: Advertising's Image of Women," a student panel on social innovation in Chile exploring the challenges that four BC students faced as they spent a summer working in Chile's largest women's prison and many more.
Overall, International Education Week seeks to act as a platform that enables the BC community to immerse themselves in a week-long experience, discovering the importance of diversity and multi-nationality with particular focus on raising awareness of people and their cultures and languages.
To learn more about the events to come, visit Boston College's 2015 International Education Week's website.