Students host International Education Week

(Photo by Cade Clark) Flags from countries around the world hang in the atrium of the Shepherd Union Building for International Education Week. There are 17 countries participating.

The 13th annual International Education Week will be held this week, Nov. 12-16 — the first week it has been celebrated at Weber State University. Events sponsored by the International Student and Scholar Center will be held in the Shepherd Union Building between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

According to its government website, International Education Week is “a joint initiative of the U.S. Departments of State and Education” and is celebrated in more than 100 countries.

The theme is “Striving for a Healthier Future Worldwide.” Guest speakers are scheduled to speak on different cultural topics each morning in the Wildcat Lair from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Also on the schedule are presentations from international students on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 12-1 p.m., and the film “Ju Dou” will be shown in the Wildcat Theater on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

“I wanted to do this event and have other generations of international students doing it every year, every fall,” said WSU senior Hamad Alyami.

According to Alyami, about 60 students from 17 countries are involved in the activities. Some of the activities include tables, presentations and dances.

“Some of them only have one student from some countries, and they take the time and efforts to put up a table and do a presentation,” he said.

Yasmen Simonian, the dean of the College of Health Professions, was the guest speaker on Tuesday.

“I posted questions about ‘why go global?’” Simonian said. “I was doing that to see what people will say, but we are global already.”

Simonian said the reason for her speech was “to bring students to help make a difference in other countries and learn from them and teach them what we know.”

She said students with an interest in going international should begin with their own interests.

“There are so many different ways to be international,” Simonian said. “So, whatever your passion is — if you are in business or in nursing, (or) journalism — then use your passions to find out more to learn what you’ll do and what things are international that relates to your major, your life and your passion.”

Exchange student Irene Gunther is one of two students representing Germany in the Shepherd Union Building. She is attending WSU only for fall semester. Gunther said students should learn about Germany and other countries.

“It is important that you know what is going on in the world and to know something about other cultures,” Gunther said, “and that you’re not just one-sided, (because) it’s offensive . . .”

WSU sophomore Badr Midj is helping students learn about the cultures of different areas of Saudi Arabia each day this week. Midj said the culture can vary greatly depending on the area in Saudi Arabia. People in different areas eat different food, do different activities, and some have different accents. To help show the culture, an area is set up in the Shepherd Union Building consisting of carpets, pillows, and tea and coffee sets, along with other miscellaneous pieces familiar to Midj’s country.

WSU freshman Neliea Guzman was asked to help answer questions about Venezuela. A board was set up for her presentation that showed the location and surrounding areas of Venezuela. Guzman also brought in different materials and candies from the country.

“We are improving every day,” Guzman said. “The first day, Monday, we didn’t have anything, just a board. Today, we have a lot of things. Tomorrow we are waiting for the TV to put some videos of my country up. I think every day is going to be a different video.”