UR is celebrating internationality this week with special events, film screenings and interest meetings as part of the federally recognized International Education Week. The U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education have designated IEW to run from Monday, Nov. 12 through Friday, Nov. 16 for educational institutions nationwide. According to the IEW Web site, the week is to “promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment, and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States.”
The Center for Study Abroad, International Services Center, Dining Services and the Career Center worked together to provide week-long information sessions about study abroad opportunities, film screenings, internationally-themed meals and other special events.
Assistant Director of the Center for Study Abroad Heidi Kozireski explained that these offices worked together to show the benefits of international exchange.
“There is a focus on international education, from elementary schools to colleges, which promotes the values of an international education,” Kozireski said. “It shows people what is out there.”
The 12th Annual Polish Film Festival kicked off the week on Saturday at the Little Theater. They screened “Solidarity, Solidarity,” a movie about Polish workers on strike for increased workers’ rights. The film festival continued through Wednesday with a new film each day that showcased different genres and aspects of Polish culture.
According to Kozireski, a unique feature of the festival, hosted by the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies, was that it made some of the events of IEW available off campus to the rest of the city.
“The Polish Film Festival is open to UR as well as to the general Rochester community,” Kozireski said.
There are also film screenings on the River Campus, with the screening of the Spanish movie “Santitos” on Tuesday and the film “Black Atlantic on the Orixas Route” on Thursday. Douglass Dining Center has incorporated the international spirit of the week into its menu selections by offering a new international meal option each day.
In addition, interest meetings about the Peace Corps, Study Abroad and International Scholars Program are being held throughout the week to encourage students to go abroad during and after their years at UR. Consistent with the goal to promote traveling abroad, the Center for Study Abroad hosted an International Travel Market that provided information that students may need to go abroad, from travel guides to travel agents.
On Wednesday, novelist Maryse Cond spoke about the complete loss of a sense of history and identity of the Caribbean people due to its colonization. Cond discussed the lack of origin of her own home, a French Caribbean island, in her speech, “Eraser and Distortions of Memory in the French Antilles.” Her presentation, part of the ongoing Humanities Project’s series on “Reimaging the Americas,” was one of several chances this week to learn about international culture.
Cond will lead another event on Thursday, where she will lead a discussion of the film “Black Atlantic: On the Orixas Route.”
Kozireski explained that this year differs from last year in one notable addition. After week-long events promoting diversity and exploration of international cultures, a workshop titled the “Strategies for Successful Communication with International Students” will end the week by providing staff and administration with the tools to communicate with an international population.
Leber is a member of the class of 2011.