JONESBORO — Students from around the world paired Wednesday up to learn about different cultures and their languages during International Education Week festivities.
“It is a great opportunity to practice and learn other languages but nothing too extensive though,” Kevin Berry, student engagement specialist, said about SELL (speed exchange of language learning) at the International Programs Building at Arkansas State University. “This event is set up to pair students who want to study abroad with current enrolled exchange students or ambassadors from various nationalities to talk about experiences of their country or region.”
Mallory Yarbrough, director of international programs, said International Education Week provides an opportunity for international students to share their unique cultural backgrounds with the A-State community.
“Whether it’s trying a new game at our culture festival or even learning a new language at today’s event,” she added.
Arkansas State University has more than 600 exchange students from 60 countries. There were nine different stations with students from different countries.
“We encourage all students, including ones in study-abroad and Hope International programs, to come and mingle,” Yarbrough said.
“Due to COVID-19 we have had to change things up a bit, which has attracted a smaller turnout this year, but we couldn’t even celebrate last year,” she added.
Attendance for International Culture festivities on Tuesday night had been 175 people compared to the more 700 people who attended the big food festival in 2019.
The previous activities scheduled for the week included:
Paint Your World art competition on Monday where students painted pictures that represented what life was like in the students’ part of the world.
International culture activities on Tuesday that included candies and games from around the world.
SELL on Wednesday where students talked with other students about experiences of their country or region and practiced and learned phrases from other languages.
There will be chalk art today from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. outside of the Reng Student Union where students draw country flags, and Puzzle of the World map game tomorrow from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. inside the Student Union Lobby where students, faculty and staff can test their understanding and see what they know about how the world fits together.
International Education Week is celebrated by universities and colleges around the world every November to commemorate International Students Day on Nov. 17.
According to the Wikipedia website, on Nov. 17, 1939, students’ resistance in the streets of Prague against Nazi occupation where the Nazis rounded up the students, murdered nine student leaders and sent over 1,200 students to concentration camps and inspired the establishment of an anti-Nazi students coalition. In 1941, Nov. 17 was declared International Students Day by the International Students Council in London, which became the starting point of the founding of the International Union of Students.