International Week affects all students on campus

Karen Jennings

The international student population at Iowa State rose by 464 students this semester.

International Week, which begins Friday, serves as a way for students to experience other cultures and enhance communication among ISU students, faculty members and the Ames community.

Put on by the International Student Council, International Week welcomes all students to get involved and get new perspectives on international students and their cultures. 

There are 19 founding members of the International Student Council who attend each event throughout the week. They allow students to further their knowledge on the events or anything related to International Week.

“I think it is a very good program,” said Yong Chin Pak, martial arts instructor and senior lecturer in kinesiology. “It’s a great chance to meet foreign people. You learn how to open eyes.”

International Week lasts through Nov. 19, and features many cultural activities. Annually, about 200 students attend International Week, but the week’s organizers look forward to a larger increase each time the week comes around. 
In the past, students have not paid much attention to International Week, said Maurice Aduto, member of the International Student Council and junior in animal ecology. 

“Most students and faculty members are unaware of what is going on,” Aduto said. “By ignoring it, they do not know the importance of it.”

International Week celebrates Iowa State’s large diversity. Students who attend the events throughout the week often come away with new insight into various cultures at Iowa State.

“The program gets students to get to know each other interaction-wise, socialize and create friendships,” Aduto said. “It also gives students the opportunity to learn about other cultures and tradition. It is an educative learning base.”

By getting involved in the week, students will be able to help international students feel like they belong. 

“International students, don’t be afraid to get to know your American students,” Pak said. “Socialize. Not just in your community, but with everyone.”

Being a part of International Week provides students with the opportunity to change their outlook on people of other nationalities. 

“Within International Week, you learn performance, recognition of nationalities, and you can get to know other peoples’ countries,” Pak said.

To expand International Week, students are doing what they can to get the word around school. Everyone from the president of the student body to the students involved in the program have done their best to spread awareness this year. 

The outside perspective that international students provide can be beneficial to the education of ISU students. 

“Having students from different parts of the world involved is interesting,” said Ashvin Sudhaharan, events coordinator for International Student Council. “Coming together to create something makes it better than doing it alone. People will grow together; close this gap we have. Everyone will come together and it will no longer be about one culture.”