International education week reflects Kean’s values of diversity
By Bhriana Smith | Published on Dec. 10, 2015
Kean University’s International Student Association hosted international education week from Nov 16 to Nov 20.
The week consisted of a myriad of events, starting with an international photo booth on monday Nov. 16. The rest of activities throughout the week included international desert day, international flags and artifacts day, a study abroad information session, a trip to the United Nations headquarters in New York and ice skating at Bryant Park.
The on-campus events were held on the first floor of the Center for Academic Success Building.
“I think it’s great that Kean acknowledges this week,” said Zenzile Liggins, a graduate student in speech and language pathology. “It is a great reflection of what this university tries to promote.”
The aforementioned activities were planned and executed by the International Student Association president, Allan Meria.
Meria is an exchange student from Brazil and a junior at Kean ,who made the once dormant International Student Association active again as of the fall 2015 semester.
The week-long activities were not just geared towards international students, but for anyone that was interested, said Meria.
“I am a very passionate about different cultures, diversity, and traveling to different places,” said Meria. “I was born and raised in Belo Horizonte, Brazil and I have been in America now for three years. I am delighted to lead and support a group which is committed to providing students with the opportunity to explore all the different cultures we have on campus”
“Our diverse executive board is committed to engage education and social learning to a variety of fun activities and programs. I am thrilled of being part of such a special group, with ISA [International Student Association] I am able to live my international passion right here at Kean University.”continued Meria
The trip to the United Nations ,which was held on Nov 21, took the diversity awareness to a global level. The students who were in attendance arrived to the headquarters around 11am, where they were met by a tour guide.
One of the students who was excited about the trip was Jessica Torres, a senior english major at Kean.
“I loved the role the UN has in mediating international issues,” said Torres. “I’m actually applying for the internships that they have available.”
According to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, International Education Week is a national opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. The week of awareness is a joint initiative between the Department of Education and the US Department of State.
The week of cultural awareness has been acknowledged by many people in the higher political echelons of society, including first lady Michelle Obama, who wrote, “Investing in the potential of all young people, through access to a well-rounded, world-class global education, is an investment in our collective future” in a letter found on the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs website.