UNI International Education Week opens diverse cultures to students, public

Our View

The University of Northern Iowa’s International Education Week was Nov. 14-18.

It hosted informational tables about Ireland, Tibet, Bosnia, China and Japan, complete with international coffee samples in the mornings.

Afternoon and nighttime activities included speakers, dance and musical performances, films, cricket lessons, a traditional clothing fashion show, international food, cultural games and presentations — all open to the public.

We are proud that continued education on different cultures grows in our community because it is only through the acknowledgement of our differences that we have the opportunity to recognize how similar we are to people all around the globe.

Our very own Nicholas Chizek, the CFHS speech team coach, was the keynote speaker at the kick-off event in Mauker Union on Monday.

Chizek is a former UNI study abroad participant and knows firsthand the value of experiencing different cultures.

In his opening speech, he gave three pieces of advice to future study abroad students, “1. Stay with a host family.

They will integrate you into their lives with so much gusto you won’t want to leave.

2. Don’t be afraid and enjoy your victories wherever you find them.

I luckily signed up for the course that changed my perspective and my future; intercultural communications.

3. Get out there and love you some exploration.”

UNI has over 100 opportunities in over 60 countries for students to take part in this eye-opening experience.

“You can watch a movie, worship a painting or love a book that evokes fear, pain, sadness and laughter, but when you can literally brush shoulders with a person that mirrors that of the artwork, that’s when you make the connection,” Chizek said.

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