Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana celebrates International Education Week

From Nov. 13 to 17, Augustana celebrated International Education Week (IEW). IEW is a joint initiative between the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. 

The U.S. Department of State describes their goals for the week on their website:

“This joint initiative is part of our efforts to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences.”

Xong Sony Yang, director of the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISSS), organized IEW at Augustana and said that it serves an important purpose on campus. 

“We have international students here who love to give back and who want to promote their country, their nation, their culture,” Yang said.

Along with giving international students a platform to share their culture it gives domestic students an opportunity to learn and be immersed in other cultures. 

“It is an initiative with the hope that our domestic students here become worldly citizens,” Yang said.

One event that was held during IEW was a Nepali cooking workshop on campus. This event was held by the Nepali student organization and was very popular. Virgil Ngo, who graduated from Augustana this past May, noticed that students on campus love events that are hands-on. 

“I heard that within three minutes, all of the reservations were filled,” Ngo said. “There is a high demand for hands-on cooking workshops. People want to get involved in the real world.”

The Nepali cooking workshop was a fun way for Nepali students on campus to engage with their culture and to share it with other students on campus. 

Some other events held during the week were a Moroccan skin care fundraiser, an excursion to cultural markets, and a study away open house.

Workshops and presentations that engage with students cultures can help raise people’s empathy and understanding toward all students on campus. 

These events help create good campus culture and also serve the role in creating a good culture out in the world once students graduate from Augustana. 

“We are the future, so I think it is important for us to stay curious because then we can make a better future,” Ngo said. 

On Nov. 17, to close the programming for IEW, OISSS hosted an event to celebrate International Students’ Day. 

Sophomore Priyanjana Chaudhary, a global ambassador for OISSS, helped set up the event and said that it is important to celebrate international students on campus because they bring diversity to campus. 

“I think it is very important to go to a school with diverse students because you get to learn about different cultures,” Chaudhary said. “It’s very good to have friends from all around the world.”

The event focused on bringing snacks and candies from other countries to campus. Many international students do not get their favorite candies or snacks from back home, so this is a way to bring a little piece of home to them. The celebration also serves as a way to share these snacks with domestic students who have never tried them. 

At the celebration there were long tables covered with brightly wrapped candies and snacks. There were piles of hard candies, gummies and chocolates. On one table there were chips that were flavored with spices from other countries. To wash everything down, there were various drinks such as mango juice and a strawberry drink. 

International Education Week brought events to campus that entertained students while helping celebrate and bring attention to other cultures.


Priyanjana Chaudhary is a former employee of the Observer.

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