Western University goes global with first annual International Week

Western University students, faculty and staff will celebrate diversity and learn more about the many international opportunities available to them as the university’s first annual International Week gets underway from November 12-15.

The week-long initiative will feature more than 60 cultural events, international-themed lectures and workshops, virtual connections to partners and students abroad, and a competition to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.

“With thousands of international students, faculty and staff, as well as global connections through research, exchange partnerships, internships, and our alumni, Western is operating on a global level every day,” says Julie McMullin, Western’s Vice-Provost (International). “International Week celebrates these global connections, while also celebrating the diversity of cultures on campus and in our broader global community. It’s really about creating greater global awareness.”

Western’s new strategic plan, still in the final stages of development, is called “Going Global: Achieving Excellence on the World Stage” and focuses on both educating global leaders and raising Western’s profile worldwide. International Week events are being organized by faculties and units across campus to focus attention on the international and cross-cultural activities already taking place at the university.

Highlights of International Week include:

President’s Breakfast for International and Exchange Students
Western President Amit Chakma will kick off International Week celebrations at a breakfast for hundreds of international and exchange students currently at Western.
Date: Tuesday, November 12
Time: 8 – 9:30am
Location: The Great Hall, Somerville House

World’s Challenge Challenge
Teams of three students compete to present their unique solutions to global issues. The top 6 teams out of 30 entries will present in front of Janice Deakin (Provost), Charmaine Dean (Dean of Science) and Brian Timney (Dean of Social Science). The winning team members receive $1,000 each to be put toward an international learning experience.
Date: Tuesday, November 12
Time: 4 – 7pm
Location: Dr. David S.H. Chu International Student Centre, 2nd floor, Western Student Services Building

Scholars at Risk Panel Presentation
Find out how Western supports academic freedom worldwide through the Scholars at Risk (SAR) Network, and hear from human rights advocate, Professor Anna Dolidze, who came to Western from her home country of Georgia through the network.
Date: Wednesday, November 13
Time: 11am – 12pm
Location: Dr. David S.H. Chu International Student Centre, 2nd floor, Western Student Services Building

International Exchange Fair
Students have an opportunity to meet exchange students currently at Western from around the world. Western has exchange partnerships with 85 institutions in 23 countries.
Date: Wednesday, November 13
Time: 10am – 3pm
Location: University Community Centre Atrium

Western Heads East Connections
Western will connect live with student interns and partner organizations in Tanzania and Kenya for presentations about Western Heads East work in those countries. Western Heads East is a grassroots effort initiated by the university to help African communities affected by HIV/AIDS through probiotic yogurt based on Western research. Later in the day, there will also be an opportunity to see how the probiotic yogurt is made and taste it.
Date: Thursday, November 14
Time: Live connection 9 -10:30am (Yogurt making and tasting 1:30 – 4pm)
Location: Dr. David S.H. Chu International Student Centre, 2nd floor, Western Student Services Building

Cultural Experiences
Whether it’s Arabic film, German conversation, Chinese song, African food or a variety of other cultural experiences, International Week has it all.
– International films with English subtitles are running each day from Nov. 12-15 across campus.
– Conversation groups in Italian, Spanish, German, Arabic, French, plus “Cultural Awareness Day” on Nov. 14 will enable you to learn 10 phrases in different languages throughout the day.
– International themed menus are featured in Western’s residences and at The Green Leaf Café (formerly Michael’s).

Songs of Many Lands
The Don Wright Faculty of Music Voice Area presents “Songs of Many Lands: China, Cuba, Japan, Canada, Czech, Korea, Russia and Finland” sung by Western students from those countries, or with parentage from those countries.
Date: Friday, November 15
Time: 1:30 – 2:30pm
Location: Talbot College, Room 101

For a full schedule of events, visit www.internationalweek.uwo.ca