International Education Week energizes VIU campus

November 18, 2011 - 2:45am

Students from more 70 countries energized VIU’s Nanaimo campus Friday at a multicultural festival wrapping up International Education Week.

Dressed proudly in traditional dress from their home countries, the students enthusiastically participated in a fashion show and talent show, entertaining hundreds of spectators with song, dance and colourful spirit.

It was a fitting end to International Education Week at VIU during which students and faculty representing dozens of countries around the world shared their native traditions, foods, dress and cultural perspectives with the university community.

“It was a wonderful week,” said Meg Savory, International Education Week coordinator. “Our goal was to celebrate international education in all its dimensions, and acknowledge the contributions that international students make to campus life.”

VIU currently has 1,687 international students on campus representing more than 70 countries.

“The presence of international students can help expand the horizons of every student, faculty and staff member at VIU and members of the wider community,” said Graham Pike, Dean of the Faculty of International Education.

“International students enrich us in many ways by sharing their perspectives, cultures, and ideas. We can all learn first-hand about their homelands and how their countries are similar to and different from ours.”

International Education Week engages Canadian students as well, added Pike. International and intercultural knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes are increasingly important for students to develop in order to live and work in a complex and interdependent world.

Highlights of the week included international theme lunches served by VIU’s Culinary Institute, and workshops and discussions featuring personal stories from international students about their Canadian experiences. The week wrapped up with the multicultural festival, including talent and fashion show, and a marimba band that helped students get into the spirit.

Tags: In the Community

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