Xavier flies the flags of the world

The CIE is celebrating International Education Week with a host of events

By Mo Juenger | Staff Writer

Newswire photo by Alex Budzynski
The CIE is celebrating International Education Week, a nationally recognized event which celebrates the benefits and necessity of international education and exchange programs. Both nternational students and students who have studied abroad emphasize the importance of the celebration.

From the Musketeer Mezzanine to the Xavier Yard, the Center for International Education (CIE) is making Xavier’s international community feel at home this week.

The CIE is celebrating International Education week from Nov. 18 to Nov. 22 with events including an International Coffee Hour, International Friendsgiving, Study Abroad Fun Facts, World Cultures Book Display, Flags Around the World Display and Out of This World Gala.

Blue Blob’s Diner, Victory Perk and All for Subs are also including limited-time only menu offerings reflecting foods of different international cultures.

International education week, a U.S. holiday, is designed to celebrate both the contributions of international students at colleges across America and promote study abroad opportunities.

Senior international business major Andy Batchelder shared a sentiment on his own study abroad experience in Bilbao, Spain last summer.

“It was the time of my life; I got to learn all about the culture and enhance my Spanish speaking abilities. I got to meet so many new people that I would never have met before if I didn’t study abroad,” Batchelder said, adding that he hopes all students who have to opportunity to study abroad do so.

Many students have expressed the importance of the celebrations and their role in demonstrating the diverse experiences of the international student community.

“This week is important because it allows students to realize that there are so many students like us, were not in this different world. Studying at home and here… it’s completely different,” senior PPP and biology major and international student from Mexico Francisco de la Graza said.

Sophomore biomedical science major Mahnoor Zahra is an international student from Karachi, Pakistan. She spoke about some of the difficulties she has experienced in her transition to Xavier that many students may not recognize.

“When it comes to my experiences, it’s way different than other students’ experiences. There are things that domestic students do, and I won’t understand what they’re doing, like they have to explain everything to me,” said Zahra.

“And when it comes to pronunciation and accents, mine is very different. In the beginning, I really struggled with that.  I had to think about it, like, ‘Make the sentence and say it.’ So it was a big struggle for me.”

Zahra expressed frustration at the communicatory obstacles she faces with her peers. “I feel like people don’t understand me clearly, and I have to make that extra effort. When I want to get my voice heard, I have to make an extra effort.”

Graduate student in the Emerging Leaders Masters of Business Administration program and international students from Thailand, Ploy Sithisakulrat, noted that these obstacles can extend past even language.

“When we go out there in the Xavier bubble, it’s tough. There’s a barrier, not just with the languages but with the cultural differences between us. Sometimes they don’t know how to ask certain kinds of questions.”

Zahra and Sithisakulrat remarked that the CIE provides a safe space for international students to connect with one another. International Education Week creates further opportunities for such community bonding.

“There’s this space that we all understand each other, and we have each other’s’ back and we know each other’s struggle,” Sithisakulrat said.

“CIE is our home,” Zahra said.

International Education Week will be celebrated in the CIE and across campus through Friday. Event calendars are listed in both the CIE office and on the CIE social media accounts.