International Education Week Promotes Study Abroad

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International Education Week Promotes Study Abroad

Fordham University will celebrate International Education Week. (COURTESY OF EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK/FLICKR)

Fordham University will celebrate International Education Week. (COURTESY OF EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK/FLICKR)

Fordham University will celebrate International Education Week. (COURTESY OF EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK/FLICKR)

Fordham University will celebrate International Education Week. (COURTESY OF EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK/FLICKR)

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By CARSON THORNTON GONZALEZ
Contributing Writer

As one of the world’s international hubs, New York has always been a city that promotes travel and intercultural exchange.  Similarly, Fordham is a strong proponent for students experiencing life outside of New York, with nearly one third of the student body traveling abroad during their undergraduate experience, according to Fordham’s study abroad website.

In order to cultivate a global community and promote international and intercultural learning, the International and Study Abroad Programs office at Fordham is sponsoring International Education Week (IEW), which will take place this year from Nov. 14-18.  IEW is a nationwide initiative supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Education and Cultural Affairs Bureau to inform students of all ages about the benefits of international exchange and learning abroad.

By senior year, many Fordham students go abroad and return recounting extraordinary experiences. Olivia Bryce, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’17, is one of those seniors. Bryce carried out her studies in Cape Town, South Africa with the Center for International Education Exchange.

“I was doing a service learning program, so half of the time I was in classes and the other half I was doing an internship with a public health NGO, specifically an AIDS NGO,” she explained.  Along with classes and work, Bryce was able to travel around the southern part of the continent, making lifelong friends along the way.  “I’m actually visiting one of my friends from the program this weekend,” Bryce said, “definitely a lot of people you’ll know forever.”

“I think it has really added to my personal experience at Fordham,” she continued, “I’m a humanitarian studies major and I was able to do a lot of my major requirements abroad and get some experience in my field.” Like Bryce’s experience, for many students, the program choice for their study abroad experience can be tailored to best suit their academic and personal interests.

But what about having to leave the greatest city in the world? “New York is amazing, let’s give New York some credit, but there are so many cool places in the world that you want to check out and see if it’s some place you’d want to live,” Bryce said.  

One of the most valuable resources for Fordham students is the Study Abroad Office, which has a strong presence on campus. The office helps students navigate the study abroad experience by offering one-on-one meetings and weekly information sessions. It is run not only by administrative staff,  but student representatives such as Bryce.  Bryce began her work with the office at the beginning of the semester as a paid Study Abroad Student Ambassador. Her responsibilities include assisting with office tasks, as well as general student advising, and most importantly, spearheading the International Education Week events at Lincoln Center.

“I’ve been working with my counterpart at Rose Hill to plan events and coordinate, we’re going to have themed food in the dining halls, and there’s going to be some talks and things of the sort,” she said.  Along with these activities, the Study Abroad office will be “[partnering] with Operation Smile to host Songs for Smiles, which is always a great event,” according to Bryce.  On Nov. 17 there will also be a representative from The Department of State setting up a table to share information on how to apply for a passport.

As a student at Fordham, it is important to take advantage of assets right here on campus. IEW will be a great opportunity for students to familiarize themselves with the study abroad programs and better understand the benefits of international exchange and education.

Sajana Blank the Assistant Director of The International and Study Abroad Programs Office added, “[We are] pleased to have worked closely with the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Office of International Student Services, Admissions, Student Involvement, and many others to put on IEW for the first time at Fordham.”

International Education Week will be held at both the Lincoln Center and Rose Hill campuses. Look out for posters regarding the event around campus.