International Education Week Celebrates Learning in Many Different Languages

Story by Tamara Tiethoff, News Intern
Photo courtesy of

Educación, educação, educazione, utbildning, education–international education. Although there are several different ways to pronounce education, it is continuously defined as “a dynamic concept that involves a journey or movement of people, minds, or ideas across political and cultural frontiers.”  

Due to the vast amount of education opportunities in the world, International Education Week was adopted in 2000. This year IEW is going to take place November 16-20, and will be observed all across the United States and in 100 countries overseas. The main goal of International Education Week is for individuals to reach out to new people to develop a greater understanding of world cultures and languages. It is encouraged for people to share their country’s history, food, holidays, traditions, government, language, and school systems with those who may be unfamiliar. Sharing our cultures with those who have a different background from ourselves will broaden our understanding that international friendships and partnerships are important in the world. IEW also promotes exchange programs for students. International education is for everyone and encourages people to look into various study abroad opportunities. The world is filled with diversity and without expanding our knowledge on various cultures, it is impossible to experience everything the world has to offer.

Around the world, International Education Week is celebrated in many different ways. At the University of Toledo, the dining services are going to be providing a variety of foods from around the world; Italy, Poland, Thailand, Australia, and South America are just a few of the countries they will be preparing dishes from. In Managua, Nicaragua there will be a food fair. At Jamia Milia Islamia University in India, they will be placing a focus on bridging global communities. In Argentina, the ambassador will be reading to elementary students. North Carolina State University will be hosting a passport fair and international tea and coffee day. These are just a few of the many ways that IEW is celebrated around the world.

As a college that engages its students in diverse opportunities, Aquinas has especially emphasized International Education Week this year.  In fact, AQ’s very own International Programs Office will host a week of multicultural education events starting on Monday, November 16 and finishing up Friday, November 20.  Here is a rundown of the events put forth by the International Programs Office:

Week-long Activities:

International Photo Contest:

Cast your vote for the best travel pic and see the vast travels of our AQ community

International Programs AB Lobby
International Programs Info Table: Pick up an application or info sheet International Programs Wege Cafeteria during lunch


Wege International Cuisine: African Cuisine AQ Campus Dining Services Wege Cafeteria during lunch and dinner
Delicious Desayuno: Learn about the Costa Rica program with traditional CR food International Programs JLH 234


Internships in Ireland: A presentation highlighting the Community Aides Internships International Programs Loutit Room



Comparing Communities, Grand Rapids to Luneburg: Poster display International Programs Cook Carriage House
Wege International Cuisine: French Crepe Station and slideshow of France program AQ Campus Dining Services and International Programs Wege Cafeteria during lunch and dinner


German Culture and St. Martin’s Day: Learn about Germany and create holiday lanterns International Programs Cook Carriage House


Wege International Cuisine: German Wurst and Sauerkraut AQ Campus Dining Services Wege Cafeteria during lunch and dinner
Chocolate Kisses: Poetry night with refreshments VIBE Cook Carriage House



Randazzo Craft Market: A portion of the proceeds benefit Rome Program scholarship funds. Cynthia Miskura and International Programs Cook Carriage House

10AM – 5PM

Wege International Cuisine:

Italian Pasta

AQ Campus Dining Services Wege Cafeteria during lunch and dinner
Native American Heritage Celebration: A night of culture and storytelling Center for Diversity and Inclusion and Women’s Studies Center Wege Ballroom


¡Viva España!: Enjoy delicious churros and learn about the Spain Program International Programs AB 231



Randazzo Craft Market: A portion of the proceeds benefit Rome Program scholarship funds. Cynthia Miskura and International Programs Cook Carriage House

10AM – 5PM

Wege International Cuisine: Spanish Paella AQ Campus Dining Services Wege Cafeteria during lunch and dinner
The Advantages of an Irish Studies Minor: A Sabbatical Report Dr. Michelle DeRose and Darcy Vines

​ & International Programs​



Global Dance Party Campus Life: What Up Weekends

​& International Programs​


9:30PM – 11:30PM

Another great way to get involved with learning about the educational value of others on campus might include checking out the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. They host speakers to increase cultural awareness, organize events for campus to engage in cultural traditions, and provide volunteer opportunities to combat social inequalities. As a part of the Center’s mission to promote awareness for diversity, there are several different multicultural clubs on campus, an Excellence in Cultural and Educational Leadership mentoring program (EXCEL), and a diversity assistant program. Additionally, many different international and study abroad programs are offered here at Aquinas. Service-learning trips hosted by Campus Ministry are also another option for cross-cultural exploration. It is highly encouraged that we take advantage of the opportunities we are presented with in order to explore the world around us. Just remember, exploring the world not only takes an open mind but an open heart as well.

As Aristotle once said, “educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”

More information about International Education Week can be found at More information about the diversity opportunities at Aquinas College can be found at

About the Writer…

Tamara Tiethoff - News InternTamara Tiethoff is an avid coffee drinker, a lover of movies and naps and a Pinterest enthusiast. She is from Cedar Springs, Michigan and am a first year student here at Aquinas College. Tamara is in UDM/Aquinas nursing program. Journalism is one of her biggest passions because I love to get the inside scoop on people, places, or events and be able to look at things from a different point of view.

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