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WNEU Students Celebrate International Education Week

SPRINGFIELD — In celebration of International Education Week (IEW), Western New England University recently hosted a week-long series of events called Passport to the World.

IEW is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education with a mission to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the U.S. Students who participate in education abroad gain the knowledge, skills, and self-reliance that are needed to compete in today’s globalized economy. Through Passport to the World, the university focused awareness of the many education-abroad opportunities provided to students and faculty, and provided assistance to students to obtain a U.S. passport.

“Studies show that employers are increasingly interested in international experience among job applicants,” said International Student Coordinator Katie Ahlman. “One of the first steps to studying abroad or gaining international work experience is obtaining a valid passport.”

The week’s activities included a Study Abroad Showcase and an International Student Fair, which included information on how to study or intern abroad. Discussion sessions included global recycling and transgender awareness. Students had the opportunity to attend henna and hijab-wearing demonstrations; view Argentinian, French, and Iranian movies; and learn to pronounce their name in Mandarin, Persian, Portuguese, and French.

“International experiences connect students, scholars, and emerging young leaders from around the world, enabling them to collaborate and tackle today’s shared challenges like climate change, global health, and sustainable energy,” said Richard Keating, vice president for Strategic Initiatives and the Centers for Internationalization and Academic Initiatives at WNEU. “By welcoming international students who are attracted to the excellence and diversity of U.S. higher-education institutions, and by encouraging U.S. students to participate in education abroad, we create a more secure and stable world.”

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