Bryn Mawr Celebrates International Education Week

Posted November 12th, 2009 at 11:29 am.


International students in the Class of 2013

Bryn Mawr College will celebrate the extraordinary experiences of its students who study abroad and the innumerable contributions of its international students, faculty, and staff next week with a series of events marking International Education Week, Nov. 16-20.

A joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, International Education Week promotes programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States.

International students compose just over a fifth of Bryn Mawr’s Class of 2013, continuing a long tradition of international exchange on the part of Bryn Mawr’s students, faculty, and staff.

Events: International Education Week

Monday, Nov. 16
  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Campus Center: “True Colors”
    Members of the campus community will be asked to wear colored ribbons to signify their international experiences. Ribbons are intended to foster campuswide conversation about different experiences abroad. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to wear ribbons all week long.

    • Green for those who have lived abroad
    • Yellow for those who have studied abroad
    • Blue for those who have researched abroad
    • Red for those who have taught abroad
  • Noon and 4:45 p.m., Campus Center
    Student presentation on Bryn Mawr in Pisa, the College’s summer study program in Italy
Monday – Friday

Phebe Ana Thorne School: “In Other Words”
Bryn Mawr students read favorite children’s stories in a variety of world languages to children enrolled at the Phebe Ana Thorne School

Friday, Nov. 20
  • 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.,Taylor Hall, Room 101
    Provost’s Office Open House for International Faculty, Visiting Scholars, and Research Associates
  • 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.,Taylor Hall, Classroom C
    Center for International Studies Faculty Panel about international educational, teaching, and research experiences
  • 5 – 6 p.m. – Dorothy Vernon Room, Haffner Dining Hall
    “International Delights with International Friends.” A reception featuring international desserts and refreshments

According to Assistant Dean and Director of International Programs Theresa Cann, about 40 percent of Bryn Mawr’s junior class studies abroad each year; others participate in the College’s summer programs in Pisa, Avignon, and Russia or undertake summer research internships abroad. The College’s faculty and staff also include immigrants and visitors from abroad whose perspectives contribute to the rich educational environment on campus.

Associate Professor of Growth and Structure of Cities Carola Hein, who is the current co-director of the College’s Center for International Studies and a member of the steering committee that oversees the minor in international studies, helped organize some of the week’s events.

“In view of the continuing globalization process and the emergence of new international networks, anything we can do to bring the world to campus and take Bryn Mawr into the world is valuable,” Hein says.

A native of Germany, Hein is a founding member of the International Faculty Group, which hopes to serve as a resource for faculty and students from abroad as well as U.S. natives who study or do research abroad during their Bryn Mawr careers.

“I’ve gone through the process of finding my way in this culture, which is more different from Europe or Japan where I lived before than you might think,” she notes.

Hein says that the contributions of international students to her classroom are invaluable. “In discussions, it is often the international student who will stand up and say, ‘Yes, but …’ They have an entirely different viewpoint that comes from growing up and being educated in another cultural context.”

Hein also points to the growth in Bryn Mawr’s population of international students as an indicator of “how much interest there is in the liberal-arts model, how much we have to offer to the world.”

Professor of Philosophy Christine Koggel, co-director with Carola Hein of the Center for International Studies, agrees.

“As a liberal arts institution and women’s college, Bryn Mawr is well positioned to play a significant role in a globalized world in which gender continues to make a difference to women’s access to health care, employment, and education,” Koggel says. “Education has a powerful effect in empowering women and enabling them to participate in social, economic, and political processes and to care for families and communities in ways that can promote human well-being more generally.”

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