Different cultures gather for education week

International Education Week brings various events to inform students

By Sophia Gravatt
On November 30, 2018

Photo by Axel Marcenaro: Huyen Le, senior, eats in front of the Vietnamese Student Association’s information table. The table was decorated with culturally important articles of clothing, as well as postcards from different Vietnamese cities.

Students gathered in the Houston Harte University Center lobby on Nov. 13 to celebrate International Education Week and learn about other cultures present on campus.

Michael Ford, coordinator of the English Language Learners’ Institute, said the second week of November is declared International Education Week.

"Every year, we have a celebration to celebrate international education and the diversity of the cultures of our students," Ford said. "This year, we have seven or eight different events."

Students performed live entertainment, enjoyed games and activities, a photo exhibit and free food from six different countries. The countries represented were China, Taiwan, South Korea, Mexico, Vietnam and Russia.

"We’re celebrating how international students’ presences contribute to college," Stephanie Nunez, ELLI intern, said. "I think it’s really important to create diversity and share ideas with each other."

Maria Bravo, member of the Association of Mexican American Students, said the association wanted to share their culture with all the students on campus.

"We just want to share what makes us who we are and also get to know everyone else," Bravo said.

English Peer Tutoring for International Students were also among the organizations present for the event.

Rachel Boezinger, EPTIS president, said the organization holds conversation groups and cultural activities for international students to help them improve their English-speaking skills and give them a sense of American culture.

"We were invited by Mr. Ford to participate in this event," Boezinger said. "He wanted us to spread the word about EPTIS because it is becoming more popular on campus. We’re hoping to recruit more international students, and more American students as well, to participate in our organization."

Alex Haag, junior, said her favorite part was the variety of the foods.

"I like it so far," she said. "It’s cool to see all the different cultures together."

Ford said in addition to this celebration, some of their upcoming events include a foreign film night and karaoke competition, as well as a panel discussion on Nov. 14. At this event, international students will speak on issues they face while living and studying in America. There was also an international soccer cup tournament on Saturday, Nov. 17.

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