International Education Week Highlights International Education and Global Citizenship

A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses

East Campus celebrated International Education Week (IEW) from Monday, November 18 – Friday, November 22, 2019. Faculty, staff and students gathered to learn about the benefits of international education and advocate for global citizenship and cultural awareness.

Future Educators enrolled in the first-of-its kind Introduction to the Teaching Profession course with a unit on Internationalizing the Curriculum taught by Yasmeen Qadri. This course can be taken for Global Distinction credit.

On Monday, November 18, 2019, students gathered to listen to Yasmeen Qadri, professor, education, who described the condition of refugee children around the world and the importance of understanding their culture. This event titled, “Refugees are Welcome in My Classroom: The Plight of Refugee Children,” included student presentations and international treats sponsored by the MAP club. Students learned that international education is not limited to international students but is the responsibility of all students. The future classroom will be a global community, hence citizenship participation is critical at both local and international levels. A panel of social science and physical education professors discussed the impact of race and religion on relationships in international and local communities.

Phi Beta Lambda, a business club on East Campus, organized an “Embracing Cultural Diversity with a Growth Mindset” workshop with Lori Huertas, part-time faculty, psychology, as the keynote speaker on Tuesday, November 19, 2019. Lori is a research analyst and student success specialist at Polytechnic University in Orlando. The importance of a growth mindset to embrace diversity was a focal point of this event, emphasizing:

  • Diverse cultural perspectives can inspire creativity and drive innovation
  • Cultural sensitivity, insight and local knowledge means higher quality, targeted marketing

She concluded her presentation with this statement, “As people develop into global business leaders of tomorrow, they can expect to encounter cultural diversity in the workplace, in the same way it exists in schools and the rest of the world.”


Wednesday, November 20, 2019, marked the Valencia Volunteer’s Hunger Banquet. Participants joined in the conversation about world hunger by learning about different socioeconomic classes in the 1980s. Food was distributed based on the historic “character” and social class given to each participant. Attendees deemed lower class for the activity had three options to eat: rice, mushrooms and Brussels sprouts. The students assigned middle-class ate meat and potatoes as well as vegetables and rice. The upper-class group in the activity feasted on all foods, in addition to seafood and desserts. A discussion then commenced about food insecurity and ways to address this local and worldwide problem.

Later that day, students joined Professor of English Aby Boumarate as he facilitated a session on promoting Holocaust education and classes they could take at Valencia to count toward Valencia’s Global Distinction program.

In addition, the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Lab, located in the Learning Support Center, held its annual IEW event called, “Cultural Conversation Hour” to aid students in practicing their English conversational and pronunciation skills.

On Thursday, November 21, 2019, International Student Services organized an International Fall Festival, which highlighted different fall festivals from around the globe. Students enjoyed live music, food and games. Booths displayed information on short-term study abroad programs in Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as a virtual reality study abroad experience. Students learned about program eligibility, scholarships and program details.

On the final day of IEW, students interested in any study abroad opportunities were invited to attend the “Study Abroad in 2020 Information Session” hosted by the Study Abroad and Global Experience office and Belize study abroad faculty member and Professor of Math Roberta Carew.

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