Bhakti Shah waves India's flag during last year’s International Street Fair. This year’s fair, the culmination of OHIO’s International Week, will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 19, on Court Street in Athens.
Photographer: Chris Franz
Apr 7, 2014
By Angela Woodward
The Ohio University and Athens communities are gearing up for International Week, with this year’s festivities paying tribute to the unique relationship forged between the two through the cultural diversity OHIO’s international community brings to the area.
OHIO’s International Week will be held April 14-19 at venues throughout the Athens Campus as well as in the community. International Week is sponsored by OHIO’s International Student Union (ISU) in collaboration with International Student and Faculty Services (ISFS), the Office of Education Abroad, the Center for International Studies, and the University’s student senates with support from Event Services. This annual celebration of OHIO’s global heritage also receives tremendous support from the city of Athens and the Athens City-County Health Department.
One of the largest town-gown celebrations of the year, the theme of this year’s International Week is “The World in Athens, Athens in the World.”
“We want this year’s International Week to celebrate our wonderful international cultures and really what a unique community we have here in Athens,” explained Krista McCallum Beatty, director of ISFS. “Here you have this combination of a major university that has strong academic programs that draw people from all over the world to this little town that is incredibly welcoming to all of these individuals.”
Ohio University boasts a history rich in international diversity that began in 1895 when it welcomed its first international student, Sakitaro Murayama of Japan. Today, the University community includes more than 1,700 international students from more than 100 countries.
“For this year’s International Week we really want to focus on some of the unique experiences our international students have because of the community and the unique experiences the community has because of Ohio University’s international population,” McCallum Beatty said.
International Week’s opening celebration aims to focus on those unique experiences with a panel discussion scheduled for 6 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, April 14, in the Baker University Center Theatre. Titled “Discover the World in Athens,” the event will feature a panel of international and domestic OHIO students and members of the Athens community who will discuss how the University’s international community has shaped their educational experiences and contributed to the local quality of life. The event will be followed by an international dessert reception.
The remainder of the week will include annual International Week favorites as well as events tailored to the theme of this year’s celebration. All events are free and open to the public.
The International Student Union will kick off its celebration of International Week with the ISU World Cup, which brings one of the world’s most-popular sports to OHIO for a friendly competition. Teams will compete from 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, April 11, at Peden Stadium with the competition’s finals slated for 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday, April 13.
ISU activities continue on Tuesday, April 15, with Global Scoop, a culinary delight featuring flavors of ice cream found in other countries. This historically well-attended event is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. in the Bobcat Lounge at Baker University Center.
Another popular International Week event, ISU’s Talent Show, will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 18, in the Baker University Center Theatre. The talent show will honor cultures from around the globe, showcasing international students’ talents through singing, dancing, musical performances and more.
OHIO’s Office of Education Abroad is also organizing several events during the week.
The International Photography Contest Open House will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday, April 14, at Court Street Coffee. According to Keely Davin, senior study abroad program coordinator, each year the Office of Education Abroad sponsors a photo contest for students, faculty and staff who traveled abroad the previous year. This year’s contest generated more than 200 entries, and the winners of the contest will be announced and their photos will be on display during the open house.
The Office of Education Abroad is also hosting two events designed to highlight the study abroad opportunities OHIO offers to its students.
The IEP’s “Last Chance for Fall” information session will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, in Baker University Center 231 and will feature information on study abroad programs being offered next fall and beyond.
On Thursday, April 17, the Office of Education Abroad and the Office of Multicultural Student Access and Retention will hold their “Diversity in Education Abroad” student panel from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in Baker University Center 231. The event will feature OHIO students who have studied, interned, worked, taught or volunteered abroad.
“This event will highlight the diverse population of OHIO students who have studied abroad,” Davin said.
“A Taste of Study Abroad,” will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 16. The event is relocating this year from the Grover Center Atrium to Baker University Center Ballroom A.
An annual favorite, “A Taste of Study Abroad” will include international cuisine from throughout the world as well as information on international education opportunities available through the University and its affiliates. According to Davin, about 20 to 30 programs and providers are participating in the event and will provide information on options for studying, interning, teaching and volunteering throughout the world.
International Week wraps up Saturday, April 19, with one of the biggest community events of the year. The International Street Fair is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Court Street in uptown Athens.
This daylong celebration of multicultural diversity will feature international food and performances, as well as a plethora of fun and free activities.
“I think people think of the Street Fair for the food and then the performances,” McCallum Beatty said. “But you can go the Street Fair and have a great time and not spend a dime. All of the groups involved in the Street Fair will have a free activity.”
For example, the Arabic Student Language Association will write your name in Arabic for you. ISFS in conjunction with the Office of Education Abroad will have materials available for children to make flag mobiles, and the Japanese students will be doing origami.
“International Week is meant to be a celebratory week,” McCallum Beatty said. “For people who are new to cross-cultural experiences, I hope that this can be a first step out of their comfort zones to realizing how much fun it is to learn about and explore other cultures. International Week provides opportunities to look at the world from another perspective in a fun and, at times, yummy way.”
For more information on International Week, visit http://www.ohio.edu/internationalweek/.
Ohio University’s International Week kicks off Monday, April 14, and runs through Saturday, April 19, and will include:
Friday, April 11
ISU World Cup, 4:30-10:30 p.m., Peden Stadium
Sunday, April 13
ISU World Cup Finals, 3-9 p.m., Peden Stadium
Monday, April 14
International Photography Contest Open House, 2-4 p.m., Court Street Coffee
Opening Celebration: Discover the World in Athens, 6-8:30 p.m., Baker University Center Theatre
Tuesday, April 15
Global Scoop, 2-4 p.m., Baker University Center Bobcat Lounge
IEP “Last Chance for Fall” event, 4-5 p.m., Baker University Center 231
Wednesday, April 16
A Taste of Study Abroad, 5-7 p.m., Baker University Center Ballroom A
Thursday, April 17
Diversity in Education Abroad event, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Baker University Center 231
International Gender Roles panel discussion, 6-8 p.m., Baker University Center Theatre
International Craft Night, 9-11:30 p.m., West 82 at Baker University Center
Friday, April 18
Talent Show, 7-9 p.m., Baker University Center Theatre
Talent Show Reception, 9-11:30 p.m., Baker University Center second floor
Saturday, April 19
International Street Fair, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Court Street
For more information on any of these events, visit http://www.ohio.edu/internationalweek/schedule.html.