“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.”
Although said by St. Augustine almost two thousand years ago, the quote still proves very true for those of us in the present day. Travel, exploration, and the learning that accompanies them, is very important. And that’s what ONU’s Study Abroad office is trying to promote this coming week.
The week, which is part of a national joint initiative between the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, is a promotion and celebration of the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.
“[This week] is part of our efforts to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States,” their promotional site says.
“IEW is intended to raise awareness of the need for global involvement and celebrate the efforts that are in existence,” says Alyssa Bell, the Study Abroad coordinator for ONU.
Alyssa believes this week is a great way to use the national event to focus attention on all things international at a local scale. Running from November 16-20, ONU’s Study Abroad office has a packed schedule planned.
There will be the annual Diwali Dinner, hosted by ONU’s Indian Student Association, on Sat., Nov. 14 at 5 p.m. in Affinity Commons, where students can eat authentic Indian food for just $3 (if you purchase a ticket in McIntosh), or $4 at the door. Afterward, the World Student Organization will be hosting a free multicultural De-Stress Dance in the McIntosh Activities room from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., with refreshments provided.
On Monday, there will be a live webcast of a panel of experts in Washington D.C. about the role of International Education in peace-building that will be streamed on campus. This is an opportunity that wouldn’t likely be available here in Ada, but because of the efforts to raise awareness during this week, anyone will be able to be there virtually.
Study Abroad is also hosting a passport drive to give students easy access to all of the resources needed to apply for a passport.
“Getting a passport can open the door to international opportunities and will ensure that students are prepared to seize these opportunities when they arise,” says Alyssa.
In a recent Study Abroad survey, some past participants left responses that Alyssa felt really capture the idea of what Study Abroad is trying to do.
This was true for one student in particular, said Alyssa. Olivia Metzger said her experience of studying in Seoul, South Korea this past summer really transformed her for the better.
“Study abroad opened my eyes to a different way of life and culture. I left a little piece of my heart over in Seoul because it was an experience I wanted, and it gave me a heart for other cultures. I am now able to see the differences in how America works in comparison to Seoul. It changed the way I see my own country as well as the ones surrounding. It also gave me the desire to try new foods, be introduced to new cultures, and travel around the world.”
Alyssa also emphasized some of the many benefits of international travel and experiences, as cited by the U.S. Department of Education’s International Affairs Office.
Economic competitiveness & jobs: Students today will compete for jobs with peers around the world. Transglobal businesses face difficulties in hiring employees with the requisite global skills.
National security & diplomacy: Foreign language skills and area expertise are essential for diplomacy, national defense, intelligence, homeland security and law enforcement.
Global challenges: Students will need to have substantive knowledge and understanding to address issues that cut across borders, like the spread of disease and financial crises.
A diverse U.S. society: The United States is a multicultural society. It is essential that we communicate and work with others with different cultural traditions and perspectives.
For the full list of events, including places and times, you can visit ONU’s Study Abroad website.