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IPC had another successful International Education Week (IEW) from November 12-16, 2012. IEW is a joint venture of the US Department of State and the US Department of Education that celebrates the benefits of international exchange and education worldwide. The annual initiative was first held in 2000 and today is celebrated in more than 100 countries. The goal of IEW is to promote study abroad and exchange programs that prepare students from the US to live and work in a global environment while attracting future leaders from abroad to study in the US. The event aids in developing mutual understanding and respect, building leadership abroad, and investing in future relations between the US and people from around the world.
IEW 2012 Highlights: African Night kicks off this year’s International Education Week
In line with this theme, the event featured many dance performances that incorporated both traditional African dance and the latest dance crazes in Africa. Performers included the Mwaski Kitoko female dance troupe, the L’hommes D’Afrique male dance group, and Michael Johnson, a UNCG student who put a traditional spin on Beyoncé’s megahit, “Single Ladies.” The night also featured a fashion show that showed off both the colorful nature of traditional African clothing as well as Africa’s current gravitation towards modern fashion designs.
In addition to the dance performances and fashion show, the ASU students also put together several skits and presentations meant to dispel common stereotypes and misconceptions about Africa and its people and to highlight the continent’s literary, scientific, artistic, and technological achievements. For example, one skit featured a tribute to 26-year-old Verone Mankou, who developed “Way-C,” the first African tablet to “rival” the iPad. Another skit worked to dispel the “African-as-scam-artist” stereotype, which is derived from the notorious Nigerian scams that started becoming prevalent in the 1980s. Several informational videos were also shown—for example, one video talked about a breakthrough treatment for malaria developed by scientists in South Africa while another video informed the audience about Africa’s economic gains (Africa is currently ranked sixth out of the ten fastest growing economies in the world today). Africa’s booming music industry was also highlighted, as several African artists, such as Nigerian singer-songwriter D’banj, are gaining global popularity. ASU and IPC would like to thank everyone who helped make African Night a success!
IEW 2013 Highlights: UNCG Staff Involvement
On November 8, Nell Pynes (Associate Provost), Nor Othman (Program Coordinator), and Lamar Gibson (INTERLINK Program Assistant), were invited to the Staff Senate meeting to share IPC’s programs and events that UNCG staff can contribute to and participate in to help our international student and scholar community adjust better to the American way of life as well as gain a more memorable and meaningful educational aboard experience. This opportunity not only helped the IPC team inform the Staff Senate members about the IEW celebration that were taking place in the week after, it also helped IPC promote the ESP Workshop on “Intercultural Sensitivity” which took place on Monday, November 12, 2012.
Apart from sharing with Staff Senate members the kinds of programs and events that IPC hosts and organizes, Staff Senate members were also invited to select a Country Button to wear during the International Education Week to show their support. IPC team and Staff Senate members had a lot of fun selecting country buttons of their ancestral origins and identifying flags which were not familiar to them. In addition, IPC team distributed brochures on the programs and an article from NAFSA’s International Educator magazine entitled "Local Connections: Helping International Students Find a Welcoming Place within the Local Community" so that Staff Senate members understand how their involvement with UNCG international students and scholars make a lot of difference and positive impact to the students’ lives and their educational experience abroad.
ESP Workshop on “Intercultural Sensitivity: Looking Through Other Eyes” - On the first day of International Education Week Nell Pynes (Associate Provost) and Denise Bellamy (Director of Study Abroad and Exchanges) conducted an intercultural workshop for faculty and staff. The three-hour workshop is designed to help participants increase awareness of their own cultural background and heighten their intercultural sensitivity (which is a lifelong learning experience). The workshop centers on Milton Bennett's Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS), a model of the development of one's worldview structure. According to Bennett, "The underlying assumption of the model is that as one's experience of cultural difference becomes more sophisticated, one's competence in intercultural relations potentially increases." This workshop fulfills the ESP elective credit and the Interpersonal Communications and Diversity credit. The next workshop will be held on April 25, 2013. Please register with the HR Office.
IEW 2012 Highlights: Study Abroad
As part of International Education Week (IEW), the Bryan School of Business and Economics held a Study Abroad Fair. The purpose of the event was to inform students within the Bryan School who are interested in studying abroad about the many options and opportunities available to them. Attendees were able to peruse a series of colorful displays that highlighted several of UNCG’s partner countries that have universities with business programs, including Germany, South Korea, France, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Australia, Japan, China, Scandinavia, and the United Kingdom.
Seminar for Graduate Students on International Engagement Abroad
On Wednesday evening, UNCG graduate students interested in studying abroad were invited to attend a seminar to learn more about graduate and research opportunities abroad. The seminar was led by Dr. Penelope Pynes, Dr. Catherine Holderness, Tom Martinek, Jr., and Steve Flynn. The students in attendance hailed from different departments and programs, including Business, History, Public Health, Applied Geography, and Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations. Topics discussed included the application process, transfer credits, international internship opportunities, financial aid, and scholarships. Many students were particularly interested in the Fulbright scholarship, which offers grants to post-graduate students around the world who are interested in studying, teaching, or conducting research abroad.
Weren’t able to attend these events but still want to know more about study abroad and exchange? Contact SAE Director Denise Bellamy at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the SAE website at http://www.uncg.edu/ipg/sae/study_abroad_exchanges.html.
IEW 2012 Highlights: Immigration Attorney Makes Biannual Visit to UNCG
On Friday, degree-seeking international students were invited to attend a workshop entitled “Visas after Graduation” to learn more about employment and other options beyond Optical Practical Training (OPT). OPT is an F-1 international student benefit that gives eligible students one year or more of work authorization to gain valuable experience in their field of study. Art Serratelli, immigration attorney from Vandeventer Black LLP in Virginia, and Chad Collins, Assistant Director for Student Employment at UNCG Career Services, were guest speakers at the workshop. Chad provided students with helpful tips on how to be successful while searching for a job, using real-life examples and scenarios to illustrate his points. Topics discussed included resume writing and interview skills. Chad, who has presented at this workshop for several years, is available to help international students throughout the year.
For more information about UNCG Career Services, please visit http://csc.dept.uncg.edu/.
For more information about Art Serratelli and Vandeventer Black LLP, visit http://www.vanblk.com/.
IEW 2012 concluded with a special Friday Fest featuring South Korea followed by the IEW 2012 Reception. The basement of the I-House was packed as UNCG and international students gathered for Friday Fest: South Korea. The presentation was given by seven South Korean students studying here at UNCG and covered many different facets of Korean life and culture, including the Korean alphabet (Hangul), cuisine (e.g., kimchi, or seasoned vegetables), traditional clothing (known as Hanbok), places to visit (e.g., Seoul, the capital; Jeju-do Island; and Busan, the second largest city), and entertainment (e.g., K-pop). The presenters made special mention of Psi, the K-pop star who has garnered international fame with his song “Gangnam Style,” and showed an excerpt from one of his interviews. After giving a basic overview of their country, they asked the audience a series of true-or-false questions. Those who answered the questions correctly were awarded prizes. Following the presentation, students were invited to sample some delicious traditional Korean food, including topokki, or rice cakes with a spicy red pepper sauce, and bulgogi, or marinated beef.Sungwoo Lee, one of the presenters, said that he really enjoyed presenting his country at the IEW Friday Fest. “Friday Fest is the perfect opportunity to meet people from other countries,” he said. “I was really glad to see so many people wanted to learn more about Korea.”
The winners of the IEW Photo Contest were also announced during Friday Fest:
The photos were on display in the I-House basement during Friday Fest and the IEW Reception! Congratulations to all! After Friday Fest, IPC staff and all other IEW participants were invited to attend the IEW 2012 Reception, which was also held in I-House. Those in attendance enjoyed light refreshments while reminiscing on the week’s events. IPC staff would like to thank everyone who helped make IEW 2012 a success!