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BU Marks International Education Week with Campus Events

Networking opportunities, food tastings, and a film festival

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With undergraduate applicants from 149 countries last year, more than 90 study abroad programs, and a ranking of 54th among the top 400 universities worldwide, BU has plenty to be proud about on a global scale.

These are just some of the accolades the University will tout during International Education Week, a worldwide celebration highlighting global education and exchange activities, which began November 12 and runs through November 22. International Education Week is a joint initiative of the US Departments of State and Education, and is celebrated in more than 100 countries.

At BU, more than 60 events have been planned for this year’s celebration, among them food festivals, film screenings, travel abroad seminars, career workshops, and lectures. The campus-wide series of events is being sponsored by BU Global Programs, part of the Office of the Provost.

BU’s international campus community not only gives students and faculty access to outstanding academics, but to a “diversity of culture, language, and experience” says Jean Morrison, University provost. “Simply put, each of us is more complete for the connections we build with classmates and colleagues of backgrounds different from our own. International Education Week presents an unrivaled opportunity to strengthen that connection through programming and events that bridge cultures and disciplines and truly showcase the growing global dimensions and capabilities of the BU community.”

Willis Wang, vice president and associate provost for global programs, hopes that the International Education Week events will give students, faculty, and staff a “deeper understanding and appreciation of the amazing, diverse, and myriad ways in which BU engages globally today here in Boston and overseas. The depth, breadth, and quality of Boston University’s global engagement are incredibly vast and dynamic.”

This year, nearly 40 schools, departments, and campus organizations are hosting International Education Week events, says Jenal Austin (GSM’14), assistant to the executive director of Study Abroad. BU first participated in the program last year.

Events include film screenings of the finalists in the Boston Turkish Festival Documentary and Short Film Competition, sponsored by the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground; an international networking event, sponsored by Metropolitan College and the School of Hospitality Administration; a dinner featuring global street food, hosted by Dining Services; and a talk by Ethan Bronner, former New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief, titled In the Eye of the Storm: Covering the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, sponsored by the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies.

In preparation for this year’s International Education Week, Austin researched the kinds of global research and outreach taking place on both the Charles River Campus and the Medical Campus. She then invited various schools and departments to plan events, and connected groups interested in hosting similar activities so that they could coordinate and prevent overlap. “In organizing International Education Week, we’ve built relationships among professors and students doing similar work, who may not have been aware that was the case,” she says. “The goal of the week is to get people excited and interested about global topics and to build relationships here at home.”

International Education Week runs through Friday, November 22, on the Charles River Campus and the Medical Campus. See the full list of activities here. All events are open to the BU community.

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Amy Laskowski

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

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