The nation will collectively recognize International Education Week from Nov. 18 to 22. 

The week commemorates the significance of international education and exchange across the world and celebrates international students on university campuses, American students studying abroad and faculty members teaching and performing while traveling.

The International Education Week initiative is government-sponsored and occurs annually, according to the UC Davis Global Affairs website.



The International Education Week initiative has its own website, complete with promotional materials to be distributed in local communities.

"We encourage the participation of all individuals and institutions interested in international education and exchange activities, including schools, colleges and universities, embassies, international organizations, businesses, associations and community organizations," the website reads.

Alongside the rest of the United States, the University of New Mexico is championing its own celebratory and informative events — coordinated through the Global Education Office (GEO) — to educate students, faculty and staff on study abroad opportunities, career possibilities in international education, and multicultural art and food.

Todd Karr, director of education abroad at the GEO, said International Education Week’s significance is rooted in both identifying and accepting the uniqueness that exists both within the large-scale world and more intimate communities.

"International Education Week helps put people in the same room together, and I think we need that now more than ever," Karr said.

GEO is coordinating a long list of events throughout the week, with activities ranging from flamenco dance performances, powerful art exhibits, lectures modeled after TED talks (on the importance of international travel) and a Global Fair, among several other events.

Notably, the week will feature a Peace Corps Prep Program Launch. The Peace Corps Prep Program will develop a set of courses on campus for undergraduate students, who upon completion of the classes will receive a certificate that can aid them in the competitive application process for joining the Peace Corps.

"Universities tend to become very insulated… and when we interact with people from other places, it broadens our world and our perspective," Karr said, explaining the value of having an international community within UNM. "To be able to bring the world here to this University really helps give all of us a better idea about the world that we’re living in. It changes us for the better."

Ultimately, Karr stressed the importance of acknowledging the impact of international diversity on daily life, rather than consolidating its significance to a mere five days a year.

"I think International Education Week is every single day here at UNM," Karr said. "Without international interactions, we are missing a big piece of what this world is."

Beatrice Nisoli is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at news@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @BeatriceNisoli