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Students experience taste of foreign countries during International Education Week

Students experience taste of foreign countries during International Education Week
During the 2016–17 academic year, 423 UNG students studied abroad for academic credit in various programs. Currently, students have the ability to study abroad in more than 30-plus countries for as short as one week to as long as nine or 10 weeks. During the trip, students become immersed in the country and gain a new perspective.

University of North Georgia (UNG) students can taste Korean coffee or sink their teeth into a fresh foreign-flavored pizza from another country. They can try their hand at the intricate designs of a Henna tattoo from India. Or they can view a movie or two about Mexico or Russia.

These are just a few examples of the features planned for International Education Week (IEW) from Nov. 6-17 on UNG’s Cumming, Dahlonega, Gainesville and Oconee campuses.

"The goal for the week is to have students experience as many different cultures as possible and get them interested in study abroad opportunities," said Carly Womack-Wynne, associate director of the Center for Global Engagement.

Carly Redding, assistant professor of sociology and human services, plans to interest students in the full summer semester service-oriented study abroad in India. Since 2014, she has taken about 12 students annually to work with women and children who have suffered extreme economic injustices.

"The students were able to start a special education program in a local impoverished area, because if children suffered with special needs, the community did not have the resources to educate them.  Therefore, we are able to go back annually and assist in working at the school," Redding said. "We also provide life skills programs for the women and children in the community."

This year, though, students will visit Israel, Thailand, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka before India to learn about conflict-resolution, mediation, leadership, and transformation. They will then put those new skills into action.

Womack-Wynne said this trip and any study abroad program can have a transformative effect on students.

"Anytime you are able to help a student experience an element of another culture and use that to break down stereotypes, it can be life-changing," she said.

Co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education, IEW's initiative fits with UNG's international mission to promote programs that prepare students for a global environment and to attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences at UNG, said Anthony Fritchle, associate director of Center for Global Engagement and a retired lieutenant colonel.

During the 2016–17 academic year, 423 UNG students studied abroad for academic credit in various programs. Currently, students have the ability to study abroad in more than 30-plus countries for as short as one week to as long as nine or 10 weeks. The cost ranges from $1,500 to $6,000, depending on the trip.

During the trip, students become immersed in the country and gain a new perspective.

"Students can see how people are different, but more importantly they can see how people are the same," Womack-Wynne said. "Whether we are celebrating a tradition through different holidays or celebrating different cultural elements, we all have those common threads like family."

However, not every student can study abroad. But IEW allows study abroad leaders to share their experiences through various presentations, activities and even food.

"This week is a way for students to experience other cultures and perspectives without leaving campus," Womack-Wynne said.

Some IEW activities are:

Dahlonega Campus:

  • Nov. 7: TEFL Certificate table from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. second floor lobby of Hoag Student Center
  • Nov. 8: Chinese Culture Day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dunlap lobby
  • Nov. 13: Mexico film from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hoag Student Center auditorium
  • Nov. 13: World Kindness Day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hoag Student Center and Dining Hall
  • Nov. 13: Gilman Scholarship Showcase from noon to 1 p.m. Dunlap lobby
  • Nov. 14: Japan table from 10 a.m. to noon Dunlap lobby
  • Nov. 14: Russian language and culture from 7-8:30 p.m. Hoag Student Center
  • Nov. 15: Taste of Korean coffee from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hoag Student Center second floor lobby
  • Nov. 15: Honors Student Showcase and International potluck from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. HNS lobby on second floor
  • Nov. 15: Alleviating Study Abroad Stress presentation from 2-3 p.m. Hoag Student Center AB room
  • Nov. 15: Mindful movie "Lion" at 7 p.m. Hoag Student Center auditorium
  • Nov. 16: Teaching abroad: Navigating the World at 1 p.m. Hoag Student Center ABC room
  • Nov. 16: Walter Blass: A Holocaust survivor's story from 6-8 p.m. Hoag Student Center auditorium

Gainesville Campus

  • Nov. 8: TEFL Certificate table from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Student Center lobby
  • Nov. 8: Art of India tattoo from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Student Center
  • Nov. 13: Peace Corps table from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Student Center lobby
  • Nov. 13: International Pizza from noon to 1 p.m. Robinson Ballroom in Student Center and Nesbitt lobby
  • Nov. 13: World Kindness Day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Student Center lobby
  • Nov. 14: Walter Blass: A Holocaust survivor's story from 6-8 p.m. Nesbitt room 3110AB
  • Nov. 15: International Chocolate Taste from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Student Center patio

Oconee Campus

  • Nov. 9: International Chocolate Tasting from 1-3 p.m. SRC lobby

Cumming Campus

  • Nov. 9: International Dessert Tasting from noon to 2 p.m. lobby
  • Nov. 16: Gilman Scholarship Showcase from noon to 1 p.m. Cumming lobby

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