Understanding diversity

Haley Hays/The News Chinese international student, Xiankun Xu, showcases his calligraphy at a workshop Monday.
Haley Hays/The News Chinese international student, Xiankun Xu, showcases his calligraphy at a workshop Monday.

Haley Hays/The News
Chinese international student, Xiankun Xu, showcases his calligraphy at a workshop Monday.

(WITH VIDEOS) – Looking around at the faces on campus, it is obvious our University is diverse. With approximately 1,100 international students on campus this year, an increase from years past, the involvement in International Education Week increased as well.

International Education Week is a week dedicated to promoting cultural education and exchange throughout the world, according to the United States Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs website. Celebrated in thousands of universities across the nation and in more than 100 countries, International Education Week provides Murray State students with various unique opportunities to learn about other cultures and share their own culture with others.

“International Education Week was established to celebrate diversity across the U.S.,” said Melanie McCallon Seib, director of Education Abroad and chair of the Global Campus Committee. “Murray State hosts a conference centered around a theme each year that invites faculty, staff and students to both present and attend interactive events.”

Calligraphy Workshop

Photo submitted by Paige Hoffmeister

This year the 13th annual International Education Week was titled Understanding One Another: A Global Endeavor. Hosted by Institute for International Education at Murray State, the event consisted of a wide variety of activities, all geared toward helping attendees of different cultures understand other cultures or their own more.

 More than 35 events ranging from a Chinese calligraphy workshop to an international bazaar attracted a variety of students from different cultures to the Curris Center all week long.

McCallon Seib said with such a wide array of presentations, lectures, activities and workshops students were able to find exactly what they were looking for, whether fun or educational.

“Depending on student interest, there are study abroad sessions, student sessions presenting research and idealism, political and social policy sessions, education sessions, interactive calligraphy and even some world trivia,” McCallon Seib said. “There is something for everyone.”

Unlike other universities which host a guest speaker or two, the events scheduled for International Education Week are planned by a multitude of organizations and individuals on campus, which is why there are so many  diverse events.

Though McCallon Seib and others from the Institute for International Education at Murray State organize the week, individual events were hosted and sponsored by different groups across campus.

“Events for International Education Week are invited in a formal Call for Proposal each fall,” McCallon Seib said. “Some are proposed by academic departments with a specific goal in mind. Others are proposed by students who wish to showcase their research.”

Events such as the four separate installments of “Activities to Expand the Mind” in the Curris Center Rocking Chair Lounge, sponsored by the College of Education and Human Services and a Human Development and Leadership class (HDL 692) were popular among students this week.

Thursday’s Global Alumni Lecture Series featured three Murray State graduates who spoke about their careers in global affairs.
McCallon Seib also said events that tied in current events, much like the lecture series, had a large turnout throughout the week.

Wednesday’s International Bazaar in the Curris Center Ballroom hosted by the International Student Organizations and International Enrollment Office brought a crowd as well. More than 40 countries’ cultures were represented by booths. Each culture had representations through food, music, art and dress which attendees explored while socializing.

Students who missed out on these events can still catch the tail end of International Education Week today. Three different presentations will be offered at different times, beginning at 11 a.m. and ending at 2 p.m. in the Curris Center.

Story by Hunter HarrellStaff writer

– Videos produced by Cameron Witte