International Education Week celebrates culture

Only one week of the year on UNA’s campus can African Umdabu dancers and chopsticks lessons be found within walking distance of one another.

A number of cultural exhibits can be found this week all around campus-Parade of Flags, International Coffee Night, and a Parade of Countries fashion show, just to name a few.

This week, UNA is joining more than 100 countries worldwide to celebrate International Education Week.

Coordinator of International Services Joy Mallard is looking forward to seeing participation in the events planned for the week, most of which are coordinated and sponsored by student organizations.

“Since I’ve been involved with International Education Week, this is the most activities we’ve had planned,” Mallard said.

International Education Week is celebrated on campuses across the nation. Its purpose, said Mallard, is to serve as a “reminder about what a culturally diverse student body we have, not only with international students here at UNA, but also with American students who have studied abroad.”

Mallard emphasizes that the week is intended for everyone on campus. It is a time to unify globally, learn something new, and meet new people, and all events are free.

“I think it is important for students to have the opportunity to see how international education relates to them (and everyone), regardless of major or personal goals,” Mallard said.

However, this week isn’t just about the number of cultures represented in UNA’s student body. The purpose is also to celebrate international educational programming and students who have studied abroad or are international scholars.

Senior Allison Ray is heavily involved with the Office of International Affairs. She looks forward to what she calls a “cultural exchange” which she expects as a result of the week.

“The week is different this year because we are encouraging student organizations to have a more hands-on approach to planning the week’s activities,” she said. “This week is a time to learn about various forms of diversity and to increase UNA students’ overall understanding of international students on campus.”

The week will conclude Friday night, Nov. 18, with the annual capstone event called Passport to the World. The event starts at 6 p.m. in the GUC and promises to be a fun evening of cultural celebration.

The complete list of this week’s events can be found at