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UMass Marks 10th Annual Internatiional Education Week

BOSTON -- The five campuses of the University of Massachusetts system will focus a spotlight on international programs and events next week as UMass joins with universities from more than 100 nations worldwide in celebrating the 10th annual International Education Week.

 University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson said that International Education Week has a special resonance at UMass, given the University's emphasis on global engagement.

"The University of Massachusetts sees global engagement as being intrinsically linked to its three-fold mission of education, research and public service. We should not and cannot advance our mission without involving partners and colleagues from every corner of the world. This mindset is particularly important to our 62,000 students, who will live and work in a world of interdependent relationships and shared destiny," President Wilson said.

In recent years, the University of Massachusetts has reaffirmed its longtime commitment to international relations by actively increasing its leadership at the system level and encouraging campus initiatives and activities. Continuing to promote opportunities for UMass students, there are hundreds of programs across the five campuses which allow students to participate in a wide variety of international educational experiences, from attending classes to interning at companies abroad. More than 1,200 UMass students per year have benefited from participation in international study abroad programs in recent years. 

In an effort to highlight examples of the University's diverse work and offerings around the world, UMass launched a database with an inventory of student opportunities and faculty-generated examples of international research, teaching and service.  The searchable database is located at: http://www.massachusetts.edu/international/search.cfm.

"International engagement is fundamental to our mission as a land-grant university. All five of our campuses continue their commitment to preparing students for this global community of which we are all citizens," said Marcellette Williams, Senior Vice President Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and, International Relations. "International Education Week is a wonderful reminder to us all that global relations is a vital component to a comprehensive education, enriching experiences in and out of the classroom."

International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Departments of State and Education.

A new initiative undertaken this past year was the expansion of the official China Strategy (created in 2007) with the inception the UMass China Institute.  The China Institute's purpose is to maximize the potential of the University of Massachusetts and the Commonwealth in responding to the emerging impact of China in the world. It is intended to be a resource for the University and the people of the Commonwealth and offers language, cultural and business training to corporations and government agencies that would like to learn how to better work with China.

President Wilson, who has championed the University's partnerships in China throughout his tenure, said: "The University of Massachusetts is proud of its leadership role in strengthening ties between the Commonwealth and China. This past spring, our close relationship with our friends at Tsinghua University and CERNET was instrumental in CERNET's choosing to open its first U.S. office, the Massachusetts Education and Research Base in Marlborough, which has quickly provided jobs and economic stimulus to local communities in the Commonwealth."

As part of International Education Week, the UMass China Institute, on November 19, will be holding the second of three lectures as part of its After Work Wellness series, which centers on traditional Chinese wellness techniques that people can integrate into their hectic lives.

International Education Week activities at the five UMass campuses include:

Amherst (www.umass.edu)

  • Cambodia Remembered: Angkor Dance Troupe & Film with Talkback Asian Arts & Culture Program; Ranjanaa Devi
  • Current Events in Afghanistan: Inside Perspectives from Afghan Educators Center for International Education
  • Get Your Passport Day U.S. Passport Agency (www.umass.edu/ipo)
  • Faculty International Research Panel Research
  • Work Abroad Information Fair
  • New Asia Film Series: Munyurangabo/Liberation Day
  • Faculty Workshop for Short-Term Programs Abroad

Boston (www.umb.edu)

  • UMB Faculty Study Abroad workshop for AY 09-10 (individualized session continues) offered by the Office of International and Transnational Affairs (OITA)
  • Study Abroad mentoring activities led by both international and domestic students and supervised by the Coordinator of Study Abroad and Exchange Programs
  • UMB Fulbright Scholars' continuous brainstorming with the Office of International and Transnational Affairs (OITA) for UMB's future Fulbright Scholar mentoring program for both students and faculty
  • Hosting international delegates from Vietnam, India, and China for possible new global linkage building
  • A campus wide activity with both international and domestic students: "Illustrate Your Culture and National/Transnational identities."  It is to celebrate International Education Week, UMB is encouraging our student population to express their perspectives about their cultural background/heritage in a creative way. Three tables will be placed in a popular area during the busy hours. One will be dedicated to a visually attractive display of artifacts from various cultures representing the international and transnational spirits. The other two tables will serve as a creative area for all participants - they will be encouraged to use provided art materials to "illustrate their own culture."  The final images will be permanently placed in the new office space (Campus Center 2nd floor) for the Office of International and Transnational Affairs (OITA).

Dartmouth (www.umassd.edu)

  • The Boivin Center for French Language and Culture presents John De Mado, Author, Educator and Vocal Advocate, speaking about the importance of studying language in today's world.
  • The International Students & Scholars Center and International Programs Office are celebrating IEW week by jointly presenting information tables at the Campus Center on Tuesday, November 17 to familiarize the university community with the roles, responsibilities and activities of each office. 
  • The International Programs Office hosting a Q&A panel of study abroad alumni to stimulate the interest of prospective study abroad students.

Lowell  (www.uml.edu)

  • Presentations by International Centers including:
    o Center for Irish Partnerships
    o Center for Asian Partnerships that includes China, India and   Cambodia
    o Center for Latin and South American Partnerships
    o Center for African Partnerships that includes South Africa and Ghana
    o Center for Middle East Partnerships
    o Center for Hellenic Partnerships
  • UMass Lowell Students STUDY ABROAD! Join us for a study abroad panel presented by the true experts. Students who have recently studied internationally will tell you about their experiences and give advice to students who would like achieve this goal.  
  • Student Center Appreciation Day "Postcards from Around the World" & A representation of Graduate and Undergraduate student organizations will be present
  • The UN Film Festival's screening of a new documentary "Tea on the Axis of Evil". Filmmaker Jean Marie Offenbacher will be there to answer questions about her remarkable three years in Syria.

Worcester (www.umassmed.edu)

  • On November 21, UMass Worcester will host the annual International Crafts Fair, featuring Uganda, Ethiopia, Peru, Nicaragua, Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil, Chile and the Dominican Republic. Proceeds benefit artisans and community programs in developing countries.

Contact:  Robert P. Connolly, 774.455.7187

11/12/09

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Communications Staff Directory

Robert P. Connolly
Vice President for Strategic Communications and University Spokesperson
617.548.0238 (cell)
617.287.7073 (office)
rconnolly@umassp.edu

Ann Scales
Director of Communications
617.838.3963 (cell)
617.287.4084 (office)
ascales@umassp.edu

JoAnn Conley
Communications Coordinator/Writer
617.287.5538 (Office)
jconley@umassp.edu

Jan Brogan
Senior Writer
617.287.4027 (Office)
jbrogan@umassp.edu

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