sealPurdue News

November 14, 2002

Purdue celebrates International Education Week

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University will celebrate its third International Education Week from Monday (11/18) to Friday (11/22).

"This is an important week for schools and organizations to introduce new cultures and experiences to the community," said Michael Brzezinski, director of the Office of International Students and Scholars. "No matter the age or occupation, it's important for everyone to learn about the culture and language of our global neighbors. Purdue offers a variety of programs, year-round and during International Education Week, to promote this exchange of knowledge."

The U.S. departments of Education and State created International Education Week three years ago. Schools, colleges, universities, embassies and businesses are encouraged to participate to emphasize the importance of international education and exchange. This joint initiative is part of the United States' efforts to build international understanding, encourage programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study in the United States.

Purdue is a natural place to promote global education and exchange because of its international population of 5,015 students, Brzezinski said. Purdue has more international students than any other public university in the nation. There are 2,101 undergraduates and 2,914 graduate and professional students, which includes pharmacy, nursing and veterinary medicine students.

More than 150 of these students, representing 40 countries, are part of the Purdue Global Outreach program. Students in the GO Purdue program volunteer to speak in the community about their countries, languages and cultures. During International Education Week, two schools from Tippecanoe School Corp. are inviting GO Purdue students to the classroom.

"We would like to see more community organizations and schools tap into our international resources throughout the year," Brzezinski said.

GO Purdue international students will be at the Burnett Creek Cultural Fair from 1:30-3:30 p.m. on Friday (11/22) as part of the Purdue Global Outreach Program. Students also will visit Harrison High School during the week.

"The local schools are a great place for students to learn about other cultures," said Elizabeth (Betta) Risa, assistant director in the Office of International Students and Scholars. "In the past, Purdue students have showcased origami, cricket and fashion from other countries. Much of what we know about other cultures comes from the media by watching television or reading, and many Americans do not have an accurate understanding of other cultures. Bringing Purdue international students into the classroom exposes children to diversity at a young age."

Ideally, the children who begin thinking about other cultures will be interested in taking advantage of international exchange and travel programs at Purdue, Risa said.

Purdue students at Harrison Hall are organizing a cooking class hosted by Taskin Padir, a Purdue graduate student from Turkey, at 7 p.m. on Thursday (11/21).

During the week, Purdue's study abroad office will educate Purdue students about how they can immerse themselves in other cultures through international study programs that take place over an academic year, semester or summer session. The office also encourages professors to talk about the value of international education in their classes during International Education Week.

Students can learn more about study abroad programs during a presentation by Brian Harley, study abroad director, from 7-8 p.m. Tuesday (11/19) in Harrison Hall.

Special study abroad information sessions will be daily from 3:30-4:20 p.m. in the study abroad office at Young Graduate House. Special sessions will be on the following dates:

• Monday (11/18) and Tuesday (11/19), 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.

• Friday (11/22), 10:30-11:20 a.m.

Study abroad information tables will be set up on Wednesday (11/20) in Beering Hall of Liberal Arts and Education, Lilly Hall of Life Sciences, Stanley Coulter Hall, Wetherill Laboratory of Chemistry and Knoy Hall of Technology.

Martin Matustik, professor of philosophy, will host a call-out for the 2003 summer program in Prague, Czech Republic, from 5-6:30 p.m. Wednesday (11/20) in Stewart Center, Room 206.

During International Education Week, Purdue's study abroad office is sponsoring an online essay contest for Purdue students to share the ways their lives are touched by international experiences. Writers should describe an experience with another culture that has had a positive influence on the their education or personal growth.

"The essays aren't limited to a study abroad or global travel experience," said Michael Starks, study abroad marketing coordinator. "We want students to draw upon their everyday experiences to describe how another culture has influenced their lives."

The essay should be 500-750 words. All essays should be submitted online by Dec. 1 to be eligible for prizes. Winners will be announced on Dec. 9.

Writer: Amy Patterson-Neubert, (765) 494-9723,

Sources: Michael Brzezinski, (765) 494-5770,

Elizabeth (Betta) Risa, (765) 494-5770,

Michael Starks, (765) 494-9866,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Related Web sites:
International Programs at Purdue:
NAFSA: Association of International Educators:
U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of State

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page