Western goes global with first International Week

By Communications Staff
November 11, 2013

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Western students, faculty and staff will celebrate diversity and learn more about the many international opportunities available to them as the university’s inaugural International Week gets underway, Nov. 12-15.

The week-long initiative will feature more than 60 cultural events, international-themed lectures and workshops, virtual connections to partners and students abroad, and a competition to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. 

“With thousands of international students, faculty and staff, as well as global connections through research, exchange partnerships, internships and our alumni, Western is operating on a global level every day,” said Julie McMullin, Western’s vice-provost (International). “International Week celebrates these global connections, while also celebrating the diversity of cultures on campus and in our broader global community. It’s really about creating greater global awareness.”

Western’s new Strategic Plan, still in the final stages of development, is called Going Global: Achieving Excellence on the World Stage and focuses on both educating global leaders and raising Western’s profile worldwide. International Week events are being organized by faculties and units across campus to focus attention on the international and cross-cultural activities already taking place at the university. 

Highlights of International Week include:

President’s Breakfast for International and Exchange Students

Western President Amit Chakma will kick off International Week celebrations at a breakfast for hundreds of international and exchange students currently at Western. 

9-9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12

The Great Hall, Somerville House

World’s Challenge Challenge

Teams of three students compete to present their unique solutions to global issues. The top six teams out of 30 entries will present in front of Janice Deakin (provost), Charmaine Dean (Science dean) and Brian Timney (Social Science dean). The winning team members receive $1,000 each to be put toward an international learning experience. 

4-7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12

Dr. David S.H. Chu International Student Centre, 2nd floor, Western Student Services Building

Scholars at Risk Panel Presentation

Find out how Western supports academic freedom worldwide through the Scholars at Risk (SAR) Network, and hear from human rights advocate, professor Anna Dolidze, who came to Western from her home country of Georgia through the network.

11 a.m.-12 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13

Dr. David S.H. Chu International Student Centre, 2nd floor, Western Student Services Building

International Exchange Fair 

Students have an opportunity to meet exchange students currently at Western from around the world. Western has exchange partnerships with 85 institutions in 23 countries. 

10 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13

University Community Centre (UCC) Atrium 

Western Heads East Connections 

Western will connect live with student interns and partner organizations in Tanzania and Kenya for presentations about Western Heads East work in those countries. Western Heads East is a grassroots effort initiated by the university to help African communities affected by HIV/AIDS through probiotic yogurt based on Western research. Later in the day, there will also be an opportunity to see how the probiotic yogurt is made and taste it. 

9-10:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14 (yogurt making and tasting from 1:30- 4 p.m.)

Dr. David S.H. Chu International Student Centre, 2nd floor, Western Student Services Building

Cultural Experiences 

International films with English subtitles are running each day from Nov. 12-15 across campus. Conversation groups in Italian, Spanish, German, Arabic, French, plus Cultural Awareness Day on Nov. 14 will enable you to learn 10 phrases in different languages throughout the day. International themed menus are featured in Western's residences and at The Green Leaf Café.

Songs of Many Lands

The Don Wright Faculty of Music Voice Area presents Songs of Many Lands: China, Cuba, Japan, Canada, Czech, Korea, Russia and Finland sung by Western students from those countries or with parentage from those countries. 

1:30-2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15

Talbot College, 101


8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(holidays excluded)


Helen Connell

Jason Winders

Paul Mayne

Adela Talbot

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