This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

International Education Week set

Published: November 9, 2009

UB’s annual celebration of International Education Week (IEW) will take to the road this year as the university’s international students visit Buffalo area elementary, middle and high school classrooms to share their culture and educational experiences in their home countries.

Running from Nov. 16-20, IEW is a joint initiative of the U.S. departments of State and Education to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to experience the U.S.

UB students from China, India, South Korea, Taiwan and Iran will go into local classrooms to present their cultures through story-telling, simple language lessons, crafts and presentations about their school experiences in their home country.

“Our goal is to increase the students’ cross-cultural awareness, curiosity and knowledge. It is our belief that the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, illustrate the need for more—not less—cultural sharing, awareness and education,” says Ellen Dussourd, director of International Student and Scholar Services at UB.

Events on campus during IEW will focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan, providing rich cultural content and insightful analysis of the region.

Paula Newberg, director of Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, will deliver the keynote address, “What Next for Afghanistan?” at 7 p.m. Nov. 18 in 106 O’Brian Hall, North Campus.

Another highlight of IEW is the “Culture in Motion” film events, which will include “Afghan Star” (Afghanistan/UK 2009), winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s Best World Cinema Documentary Directing and Audience Award, and “Son of a Lion” (Australia/Pakistan, 2007), an official selection in the Berlin Forum and Pusan Film Festival.

“Afghan Star,” a film showcasing Afghanistan’s first pop-idol TV contest, highlights four young finalists as they risk their lives to become the nation’s top music star. Director Havana Marking explained her surprise at the “positive feelings of hope” emanating from people involved in making the TV show and those watching it. The film, which will be shown at 7 p.m. Nov. 16 in the Student Union Theatre, is free and open to the public, and will be followed by commentary by Afghan students attending UB.

“Son of a Lion,” filmed entirely with native Pakistanis in the country’s volatile North-West Frontier Province, portrays the tenuous relationship between a widowed father who manufactures and sells weapons, and a son who dreams of going to school.

“It is very distressing for Pashtuns to be perpetually depicted as extremists,” says director Benjamin Gilmour, who co-wrote the screenplay with members of the region’s ethnic Pashtun community. “With ‘Son of a Lion,’ I wanted to give these people a platform to express themselves.” This free screening will take place at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 17 in the Student Union Theatre.

UB’s global outreach efforts will be showcased through the “Without Borders” lecture series. Topics of this year’s lectures will include “History Without Borders: Remembered Pasts in South Asia,” “Public Health Without Borders: Health Care in Brazil” and “Social Work Without Borders: Investigating Gender Violence in Pakistan.”

Other IEW events include performances, a photo exhibition and interactive displays. The topics of the week’s events range from Tae Kwon Do and Tai Chi demonstrations, Arab line dancing, and belly and tango dancing, to presentations on holidays in China and Indian classroom culture. The Study Abroad Photo Contest and Exhibition will feature photos by UB students who have returned from study abroad experiences. There will also be a Global Beats Party: Latin Night, with music by the Latin Jazz Project and dance instruction by the Latin American Institute.

IEW events at UB are made possible through support from AT&T, Bank of America, Haylor, Freyer & Coon Inc., HSBC Bank, M&T Bank and UB’s Asian Studies Program, English Language Institute and Office of International Education.

UB is No. 12 among 2,700 accredited U.S. universities in international enrollment, according to an annual report released by the Institute of International Education. The university has exchange agreements with more than 70 institutions in more than 30 countries.