Bryan Cole/ The Collegian
With about 560 students from 60 different nations around the world on campus, Fresno State joins in the celebration for International Education Week 2008.
From Kyiv, Ukraine to Maracaibo, Venezula, educational institutions all over the world are participating in the ninth annual International Education Week (IEW). The idea is to increase the awareness and knowledge of world cultures, build tolerance and promote world peace.
â€œWe talk about global warming, not California warming. We talk about global economic crisis, not California economic crisis,â€ said Robert Hudgens, director of the Study Abroad and International Exchanges Program at California State University, Fresno.
Every year the Department of State and the Department of Education invite schools, colleges and universities, embassies, international organizations, businesses, associations, and community organizations to participate in the event geared to familiarize students with the global environment and prepare them to immerse themselves in it.
â€œWe try to prepare students for the real world, to help them recognize the opportunities abroad,â€ Hudgens said.
Bryan Cole / The Collegian
This year the event is being held from the 17th through the 21st and it is always held in November.
Fresno State celebrated with events such as International Culture Night, panel sessions on the influences of other cultures on business policies, several recognitions of ten visiting scholars who are currently on campus and a video on the Mexican Revolution.
â€œ[In] previous years, the Cine Culture class on campus has shown some kind of international film, but this year we missed it,â€ Hudgens said.
Aside from thanking the diverse faculty for their contribution to the diversification of the university, Fresno Stateâ€™s own Vice President for Student Affairs, Paul Oliaro, Ph.D., presented the findings of his work done in South America.
Hudgens also expressed his gratitude.
â€œWe try to highlight the different emission scholars born in different countries. We want to thank them for enriching our teachers,â€ Hudgens said.
Bryan Cole/ The Collegian
A key piece of this weekâ€™s celebration was the Exchange and Study Abroad Program, which allows students from Fresno State to study abroad while paying Fresno State fees and earning Fresno State credit. Among the places that can be visited are Spain, London, Armenia and Greece.
According to the Association of International Educators in the 2006-07 academic year, 241,791 students studied abroad for academic credit, which is an 8.5 percent increase over the previous year. With this increase, the number of students studying abroad represents approximately 1 percent of all enrolled students.
â€œThe challenges for the 21st century cannot be addressed by the government alone, and therefore, our public-private partnership with non-governmental organizations, businesses, educational institutions and communities are more important than ever to effective public diplomacy,â€ Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in a statement on the International Education Week Web site.
The celebration is not yet over and the Department of Education and the Department of State have already chosen the dates for upcoming celebrations. For 2009, the celebrations will be held from Nov. 16-20 and for the year 2010, Nov. 15-19.