Wednesday, May 14, 2008

International Week Brings New Points of View

Micah Brown

From international speakers, "World Cup" soccer and different types of food, International Week at Ohio University is the place to be for all who want to learn about the international community. International Week is the way the Athens community welcomes the people from around the world to showcase their cultures, flags, experiences, clothes and food.

It began as a way to introduce the international perspective to Ohio University and the Athens community, but what organizers discovered was that International Week became a way to help make Athens a second home for many of its international guests. It showcases numerous cultures and ethnicities through its week long schedule of events. This year organizers kicked off the week on Sunday, May 11, 2008 with a Soccer World Cup Game on the South Green Fields. The teams were divided into the various countries that the players represented, just like a real tournament. The competitions will occur all week.

International Week is a project of the university's Office of International Student and Faculty Services. ISFS Student Advisor and International Week coordinator Amanda Yusko says "My job is to talk to people from around the world and help them with all their academic needs, cultural, social, help out with everything, plan great events like this. So every day is international week for me."

International Week is “a testimony to connect to the world and how they feel that they are part of a global community not just this small town in Southeast, Ohio, says Josep Rota, the Director of International Studies at Ohio University. Rota adds that it also works in collaboration with the International Student Union and the Office of Education Abroad.

International student Haroon Sherzad talks about his experience.

Many of the international students and faculty participate in the week’s events and they say that they get more from the week than they can describe. Drummer and associate professor of music Paschal Younge says that after being here for seven years and participating in the International Week’s World Drumming Party for the third year, he wishes more people were involved in this multicultural activity. The World Drumming Party brought out many locals and their children to play drums on the West Portico of the Templeton Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium.

Associate Professor of Music Paschal Younge adds his unique perspective.

Angie Pyle, mother of two boys, says the rhythmic event “is perfect for my son because he’s a drummer and I am a drummer and he has a little drum set at home.” She adds that she loves to expose him to lots of different drum techniques and the Drumming Party would be perfect for him.

ISFS PACE student worker Stefani Greathouse adds that the week's main purpose is to help make the Ohio University community aware of the world community. She says that the week allows for all to "have fun together like the street fair." The International Street Fair is the final event of the unique week. This Saturday, May 17, 2008 the street fair will host performances by the International Jamming, Athenian Eastern Dancers, Capoeira, Indonesian Saman Dancers and the Japanese Student Association. With the street fair being its largest event, Yusko says that they are trying to incorporate 30+ countries.

At the end of the week ISFS will finish the Soccer World Cup tournament with its final game on the South Green Fields.

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