Week focuses on importance of international education

Posted: Tuesday, 17 November 2015

TROY - Troy University's celebration of International Education Week seeks to focus attention on the benefits of internationalization with the theme "International Horizons: Discovering the World."

Known as Alabama's international university, TROY is home to 956 international students this fall, and routinely hosts about 1,000 international students each year on its Troy Campus.

"We want to bring a special focus to global concerns, campus cross-cultural talents and resources, study abroad opportunities, and international academic opportunities," said Darlene Schmurr-Stewart, Dean of International Student Services.

"The week-long series of events provides Troy University an opportunity to share its unique international initiatives with faculty, students, staff and the general community. We started a new initiative this years called Take an International Student to Work Day. A great opportunity for the community to meet an international student and the student to spend time in a local business." she said.

Capping off the week, which officially runs from Nov. 15 - 20, is the long-standing "ISCO International Festival" on Thursday, Nov. 19, sponsored by the International Student Cultural Organization. The event features international cuisine and cultural entertainment performed by international students. Doors open at 5:30 pm and the program starting at 6 p.m. in the Trojan Center Ballroom. Non-student tickets may be purchased for $15 by calling (334)670-6147

This year's festival is a showcase for international unity and awareness on the Troy Campus," said Mr. Joe McCall, a senior lecturer of history who serves as ISCO’s faculty adviser. "In addition, the performances by the students and the dinner featuring dishes from four continents, this year’s festival will feature exhibitions and costumes from different countries allowing attendees a closer look at different cultures."

The week began on Sunday with the International Soccer Tournament and a rugby demonstration, followed on Monday with lectures "Resurgence of Authoritarian Russia" by Bakur Kvashilava, Dean of GIPA University in the Republic of Georgia, "Cuba: Past, Present and Future" by Dr. Johanna Albrecht and David "Doc" Kirby.

On Tuesday, Nov. 17, a brown bag lunch will address "Learning Differences" as presented by Megan Simon, an ESL instructor and international student advisor, and Ivan Merritt, Associate Dean of First-Year Studies and professor in leadership development, in Hawkins Hall room 107, and, at 2 p.m., a session on "Visiting and Studying in the Republic of Georgia" will be presented by Sandro Inashvill, a visiting student scholar from Georgia.

Wednesday, Nov. 18 will feature the International Marketplace on the Quad beginning at 11 a.m., and an American Sign Language demonstration by Judy Robertson in Hawkins Hall room 111 and the International Research Symposium, presented by Chinese scholars and Dr. Scott Nokes.

On Thursday, Nov. 19 the International Marketplace will be featured on the Quad beginning at 11:30 a.m. At noon, "People of the Book: Christianity, Islam and Judaism" will be the focus of a panel featuring Megan Simon, Dr. Ari Hagler, assistant professor of History, Dr. Luke Lane, pastor of First Baptist Church of Troy, Abdullah William, an imam from Montgomery's Masjid Qasim Bilal El Amin Mosque, and Rabbi Scott Kramer, of Montgomery's Agudath Israel Etz Ahayem Synagogue.

On Friday, Nov. 20, Freshman Forum will collaborate with First Baptist Church to provide a free Fall Harvest Banquet for all International Students as a closing event to the long week of activities.