TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 30, 2009) From a serene Japanese tea ceremony to a vibrant demonstration of traditional Thai fan dancing, International Education Week at USF was an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.
International Education Week is joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States.
“To be competitive after graduation, students must have an understanding of international culture and education,” says International Affairs Dean María Crummett. “International Education Week is wonderful way for USF students to get involved and excited about the global opportunities on campus and abroad.”
Each year USF participates in the weeklong observance with a variety of activities from international guest speakers to cultural events and student activities.
For example, International Education Week 2009 featured a study abroad fair showcasing programs to over 20 countries. The fair offered information and opportunities for students including, semester exchange, short-term programs, service learning, volunteering, internships and dual degree opportunities.
The English Language Institute hosted its eighth annual International Festival, featuring presentations, posters, exhibits and cultural performances by students from over 40 different countries.
The USF Confucius Institute featured the Chinese Culture Experience, a three day event allowing students to experience a variety of Chinese educational and cultural activities including: kungfu, calligraphy, Beijing Opera costumes, ancient Chinese science and technology, paper-cutting, and Chinese folk music.
The USF Japan Outreach Initiative presented a Koto Classical Music Concert and a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony and Lecture. Kim Pham, one of the founders of Kaleisia Tea Company, demonstrated and discussed the significance of a Japanese tea ceremony.
The Koto Classical Music Concert ended the week’s events on a high note. The koto is a traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument and is the national instrument of Japan. USF was honored to have famed koto player, Yoshiko Carlton, give a demonstration and lecture on koto classical music. Two USF School of Music graduate students performed with Yoshiko Carlton: Bonnie Deeds accompanied Carlton on the violin, and Jose Valentino Ruiz, on the flute.
Other events throughout the week included; an International Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Symposium: The MCH challenges of Niger, an information session on the Boren Scholarship, and Contemporary Art Museum Student Tours.
The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded $380.4 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2008/2009. The university offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 47,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.
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Story by Amanda Gilmer, Marketing and Communications Officer, International Affairs