This week, students can celebrate diversity at USC and learn about the benefits of international exchange through International Education Week, taking place Nov. 14-18 on campus. USC’s Office of International Services is hosting various activities held around campus, organized around the theme of “Empowering Youth Through International Education.”
The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education jointly sponsor IEW to promote global study. This year, the USC Office of International Services partnered with several departments on campus to offer a variety of international programming, including film screenings, cooking lessons and a photography contest.
The opening ceremony for the IEW took place Monday at noon at the Von KleinSmid Center courtyard. It was an opportunity for people to take pictures under the flags of the international plaza and to get free sushi, boba milk tea and henna tattoos. The organizers and international students were dressed in traditional attire from their country of origin. They represented countries like Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand and Vietnam.
“We are hoping that the USC community will be able to celebrate with us,” said Esther Lee, associate director of the Office of International Services at USC.
USC students like Saumyamukesh Lathia, a graduate student studying planning, volunteered to dress up in traditional outfits and serve as henna artists.
“Henna designs are an important part of the Indian culture, and I was really excited to see that we had such an event during the IEW,” Lathia said. “As soon as I got the OIS email about the event, I signed up to volunteer right away.”
Onzali Suba, a graduate student studying data informatics, said she was excited about the celebration of cultures from around the world.
“We are getting to know about different cultures, which is great that the IEW is celebrating the global community at USC,” Suba said. “It is also amazing because we get free food.”
Nitya Pydipati, a graduate student studying data informatics, lauded the efforts of OIS for organizing the IEW.
“It is amazing that USC is making an effort to help international students feel at home,” Pydipati said. “It allows others to be exposed to cultures from around the world and also gives everyone a chance to interact with international exchange students at USC.”
More events will take place throughout the week. On Wednesday, IEW organizers will showcase a foreign language film along with an opera by Osvaldo Golijov. The next day, they are offering ‘Unique Eats,” where students can learn to cook different international foods. Students will also discuss their views on the future of global health with a panel of four Global Health Corps alumni. On Friday, fourth and fifth graders from the 32nd Street School near campus will participate in a program called “Around the World in 60 Minutes,” where USC students from China, France and India will teach them about their different cultures, countries and languages.
The IEW closing celebration will be at the Engineering Quad on Friday, 5-8 p.m.