USF Celebrates International Education Week

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Marcella DeProto

International Education Week (IEW) is a national event that celebrates international diversity and cross cultural education. , IEW will be celebrated at USF November 14-18 to promote cultural understanding by bringing together students of different ethnic backgrounds ata variety of cultural oriented activities held each day of the week..

With over 1000 international students representing almost 80 countries, USF is an especially diverse university. Eleven organizations are involved in planning and sponsoring IEW.

Such organizations include the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), Cultural Center, and the International Student Association (ISA). The week’s events include games, a banquet of multicultural foods, displays of flags and special presentations.

Marcella DeProto, assistant director of the ISSS, emphasized the importance of celebrating international diversity. “IEW will highlight how the global community is and bring together many students of different cultures,” she said. “[IEW] will bring a better understanding of the different cultures here at USF.” ‘Cultivating Our Global Community’ is the theme for this year’s IEW.

As done in the past, international students and faculty will hold a display of flags representing their home countries, cultures and backgrounds. This year, the flags will be displayed on the construction wall around Harney in the Gleeson Plaza from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Senior Evelyn Obamos, president of the Culturally Focused Clubs Council (CFCC), said it is important to celebrate IEW because many students at USF come from first generation families. CFCC oversees and collaborates with over twenty organizations including the Black Student Union, Kasamahan, and the Latin American Student Organization.

When asked what she hoped for students to gain from IEW Obamos said, “I hope they embrace the idea and acknowledge the differences in a positive light.”

USF will conclude IEW with Culturescape in Presentation Theater on Friday, from 6 – 9 p.m. Culturescape is an annual event hosted by the International Student Association (ISA) with the support of the ISSS.

Peter Bassoe, ISA president, said he feels it is very important to celebrate IEW to acknowledge and celebrate USF’s great diversity.
He said, “USF’s key strengths is the ability to unite a global community through education, but few students really think about the advantages that this brings.”

During the grand finale of IEW, namely Culturescape, students will see and, literally, get a taste of what USF’s diverse cultures have to offer, through great performances and cuisine,” Bassoe said.

For more information and a full list of the week’s events visit www.usfca.edu/isss/iew

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