International Education Week (IEW) was held from November 10th through the 18th to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.
Wesleyan has participated in IEW since 2017-2018 through the Fries Center for Global Studies (FCGS). This year, the IEW Planning Committee included representatives from the Office of International Student Affairs (OISA), the Gordon Career Center, the Resource Center, ResLife, and the Shapiro Writing Center. The U.S. Departments of State and Education launched the initiative in 2000 to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment.
Associate Director for Intercultural Learning Anita Deeg-Carlin said, “It’s exciting for me because we are a diverse group of people who are passionate about multiculturalism and multilingualism; we come at it from different angles, and we get to explore our Wesleyan community and facilitate the sharing of our distinct and intertwined heritages.”
Wesleyan has a robust international community; 37 countries are represented in the class of 2022, 70% of students study language, 300 students participate in study abroad, and the Gordon Career Center provides resources for intercultural and multilingual learning, as well as alums across the globe.
Wesleyan’s IEW included academic, artistic, and cultural events. These included a Chinese Calligraphy workshop, an exhibit on Global Migration at Olin Library, a Story Sharing Circle at the Russian House, an open house at the Office of International Student Affairs, an informational session on the TAPIF program in France, a Gamelan performance, an International Scientists’ Panel, a celebration of Critical Language Scholarship applicants, a session on “Crafting Your Own Career Path as an International Student” at the Gordon Career Center, a talk with Nigerian poet Hafizah August Geter, Italian game night, a meeting of the Wesleyan International News Group, an East African LGBTQ+ movie screening, the Wesleyan Refugee Project Informational Session, and a panel on the Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful of the World Cup.
Then there were the events that celebrated food, some of the students’ more popular events. These began with the Sankt Martinstag: German Lanterns and Pastries and included the Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (FLTA) Potluck/FCGS Open House and the Taste of Greek Desserts.
“My favorite event was the FLTA Potluck, I helped my Japanese FLTA Mori Sensei with the onigiri stall and it was loads of fun helping people make their own onigiri. I also enjoyed wandering the stalls, and hadn’t had mango juice in forever,” said Lyla Normand, ’25. She noted this was not the Americanized version of a sweet, peachy-colored juice but authentic mango juice – green and slightly tart.
Julia Augustyn ’25 also enjoyed the FTLA Potluck. “It was wonderful seeing students be representatives of their heritage and express their culture through childhood favorite foods,” she said.
Dylan Campos, ’24, agreed that the Potluck stood out. “The food was delicious, a great way to learn more about different cultures on campus and languages taught by Wesleyan,” he said.
Jake Gale ’25 participated in the Wesleyan International News Group meeting. “[This] was my favorite event. I always wanted to learn more about what was going on in the world. I learned a lot and can’t wait to attend the next meeting.”
The Wesleyan International News Group (WING) met near the end of the week to debrief the events, food, and shared experiences of IEW before talking about Daily Chatter, an international news source they monitor and discuss at their meetings. WING is a discussion group of like-minded people who want to stay in the loop on the environment, immigration, political communication, and the global south. It officially became a campus organization on October 28th. WING has students with backgrounds from Peru, Albania, Japan, Poland, Israel, Germany, Mexico, Russia, and Madagascar. They speak English, German, French, Spanish, Russian (a little), Polish, Italian, Portuguese, French, Mandarin, Malagasy, and their interests are just as far-reaching – Africa, South Korea, and the Islands of Oceania.
WING will continue meeting bi-weekly throughout the end of the school year to examine media through a critical lens.