An Educational Exchange

International Education Week (IEW) aims to expose students to the opportunities and experiences   studying abroad offers.

International-themed events took place from Monday, Nov. 12 to Friday, Nov. 16 at different locations on campus.

IEW is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education and has

been recognized by both Gov.Cuomo and Chancellor Zimpher, Center for International Programs (CIP) Dean Bruce Sillner said.

“SUNY New Paltz is very proud of being a leader within the State University of New York in international educational exchange,” Sillner said. “This week gives us an opportunity to highlight

the many opportunities available to SUNY New Paltz students to develop global competency.”

The week’s sponsored events were the result of a concerted effort among staff in the CIP, Study Abroad Assistant Kathryn Rich said. Rich said the CIP staff works with both international students and New Paltz students who study abroad to put on the events.

Rich said the events actually began a week earlier than IEW with a joint program. The CIP along with the Career Resource Center (CRC) held a resume-building workshop for students who had already studied abroad.

CRC Internship Coordinator Beth King said the workshop discussed the integration of study abroad experience on a resume and in interviews.

“Students learn some amazing skills while studying internationally including language enhancement, cultural adaptability and flexibility, to name a few,” King said. “The Career Resource Center strongly encourages students to study abroad, if at all possible.”

Rich said one of the major events was the screening of  “Crossing Borders,” a documentary following four American students and four Moroccan students traveling throughout Morocco.

“The film captured the intercultural communication as the students discussed everything from popular culture to politics and religion,” Rich said.

After the film, Hamza Bentebbaa, an international student from Morocco, led a discussion on topics presented in the film.

The Global Café, an event that took place at The Terrace, gave students the opportunity to share their experiences as international students here in the US and abroad, Rich said.

The event began with Sillner presenting Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Philip Mauceri with a framed copy of the proclamation from Cuomo honoring IEW.

CIP also took part in an event co-sponsored by the Department of Black Studies, which was a screening of the documentary “Rise Up,” by Argentinian Director Luciano Blotta. Blotta came to campus to lead a   post-screening discussion.

“The screening also provided Professor La Tasha Brown a great opportunity to discuss the new service-learning study abroad program she will be leading to Jamaica summer 2013,” Rich said.

The CIP also hosted an information session to highlight study abroad opportunities for summer 2013.

Rich said New Paltz Professors Brown, Mette Chistiansen, Anita Gonzalez and Michael Gayle were  also present to speak about programs they are sponsoring next summer.

“[IEW] gave the New Paltz community a chance to celebrate the many benefits of having international students on our campus and what New Paltz students learn when they study abroad,” Rich said.

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