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PSU celebrates International Education Week

Secretary of State Colin Powell and Secretary of Education Rod Paige have called for the celebration of International Educational Week on Nov. 18-22.

Portland State University’s celebration plans to promote international studies and the importance of understanding cultural diversity.

“The main purpose is to promote international education in American cities and outside the U.S. at embassies and cultural centers,” said Abeer Etefa, a graduate assistant with the Office of International Affairs and main organizer of PSU’s event.

“Leaders from outside the country will be allowed an exposure to the American culture, and American students can learn about study-abroad programs,” Etefa said.

The Office of International Affairs has a busy week planned to celebrate International Education Week.

Between Monday and Friday, international-affairs quizzes will be conducted at the main office in East Hall, where students will be eligible to win prizes every day.

On Monday, an hour-long presentation about study-abroad programs in Jordan and Turkey was presented by Daniel Sayer, a PSU student who has spent the last year studying in Jordan; Jean Campbell, assistant director for the Middle East Studies Center; and Ron Witczak, assistant director for International Education Services.

They gave a slide presentation of the study site at Ankara, Turkey, and information concerning application procedures, costs and academic programs.

Monday evening, “Medical Challenges for Africa and Africans in America,” a discussion on medical needs of Africa and Africans living in America, including AIDS, malaria and African health, was held in Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 228. The African Forum, an amalgamation of local African groups, sponsored the event.

“The International Information Fair on Wednesday, Nov. 20, will be the main attraction, I think,” Etefa said. “There are so many opportunities at PSU for international studies that students are not aware of and so many programs with an international theme. This fair will be a resource for students.”

“We really needed an event like this seeing how things are going today,” said Nisha Patel, an international student and undecided freshman.

“At this period in time, it is important people know what happens in the world around them. Everything happening inside the country is an impact from outside. It is our business to be aware,” Etefa said.

Jean Campbell echoed the statement, saying there were two aspects that were of importance relating to the event – all people need to be more informed about the world and know more about the world’s diversity.

“International Education Week brings these two pieces together and draws attention to local and international diversity,” she said.

The information fair will showcase the many opportunities available to PSU students concerning international learning, paths leading to international learning and study-abroad programs.

In addition, attendees can enjoy music, dance, flags, costumes and information from several booths set up in Room 228.

Participants at the fair will include the Institute for Asian Studies, the department of foreign languages and literature, master’s program of international management, Study Abroad/International Internships, International Student Scholarships, Middle East studies, Oregon Peace Institute, the Career Center, the International Studies Program, the linguistics department, International Special Programs – Intensive English Language Programs, the International Cultural Service Program, the Institute for Social and International Studies and the Office of International Affairs for International Studies.

“I hope it stimulates interest and opportunities for students to go out and enhance education,” Campbell said.

“I will attend it. It sounds interesting,” said Andres Gonzales, a sophomore at PSU’s School of Business.

“I’ve wanted to go abroad and live in another country. This is an excellent resource for me,” PSU sophomore Jason Kim said.

Karla Hoff, a World Bank economist, will give a lecture titled “After the Big Bang? Obstacles to the Emergence of the Rule of Law in Post-Communist Societies” on Thursday, Nov. 21, at 4:15 p.m. The event, sponsored by the Reed College economics department is free and will be held in Reed Colleges’ psychology department (Psu 105).

Later that evening, at 7 p.m., James LaRocco, former U.S. ambassador to Kuwait, will address the war on terrorism and other issues in the Middle East. The event will be at the University of Portland’s Buckley Center Auditorium and is free of charge.

International Education Week will end on Friday, Nov. 22, with speakers Ann and Bruce Huntwork, peace activists and humanitarian volunteers, who will host “Tales of Iran and Afghanistan.” The Huntworks will describe the six months they recently spent in eastern Iran and in Afghanistan working with Afghan refugees. The event will be in the Smith Center, Room 328.

For more information on International Education Week, contact the Office of International Affairs in East Hall, Room 101, or call 503-625-5077.