The annual International Education Week kicked off on Sunday, both at UR and across the country.

International Education Week is a nation-wide event, according to International Student Advisor Stephanie Beetle.

“The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education jointly declare a week as International Education Week, and campuses across the country are encouraged to use this as an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of cross-cultural education,” she said.

At UR, International Education Week is being organized by the International Services Office and the Center for Study Abroad. The events taking place range from internationally themed meal options at Douglass Dining Center to International Jeopardy!.

This week also provides an opportunity for students interested in studying abroad to attend meetings and gather information. Various study abroad interest programs are being held, ranging from general interest meetings to sessions for science and engineering majors.

However, according to Beetle, International Education Week is not just for students interested in studying abroad – it is also an occasion for the more than 1,000 international students who study at the university every year.

“We want to embrace all aspects of international education, it deals a lot with studying abroad, also preparing students who are planning to study abroad, but in addition to that it’s an opportunity for our international students here.”

There are also information sessions for students on international graduate fellowships.

According to a recent press release, the meetings are meant to raise awareness among undergraduates not only of high-profile awards such as Rhodes and Fulbright scholarships, but also of equally valuable opportunities such as Mitchell, Churchill and St. Andrews fellows.

This week, the International Ambassadors will be involved in several programs, including a dinner in conjunction with the Eastman School of Music this weekend.

The UR Bookstore and Rush Rhees Library are featuring international material and off campus, the Skainy Center for Polish and Central European Studies is sponsoring the 2005 Polish Film Festival at East Avenue’s Little and Dryden theaters.

“We’re expanding our offerings each and every year,” Beetle said. “Last year we had 20 events, this year we have over 30. There has been a lot of interest this year that we were not able to capitalize on because of timing restraints, but watch out for next year.”

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