World VIU Days Celebrates What Connects Us

Hassan Al Nabilsi, left, Simon Schachner, Intercultural Program Co-ordinator for the Faculty of Education, and Ashley Wamarite, are participating in the WorldVIU Days’ Intercultural Hip Hop Forum, which is a new addition to this year’s celebration.

October 31, 2017 - 12:30pm

Week of activities showcases global citizenship through discussion, film, music and food

NANAIMO, BC: Each year, Vancouver Island University (VIU) benefits from a strong and growing international student body, and this year is no exception – 2,300 students are currently enrolled from more than 90 countries. International students enrich campus life by sharing their culture and values with each other, and the rest of the VIU community. The result is enormous potential for vibrant cultural exchange that can break down barriers and help students and the broader community understand how much they are connected.  

“While most Canadian universities talk about the importance of international education, I think VIU stands out in the comprehensive approach we take to internationalization across the campus,” said Dr. Graham Pike, Dean of International Education. “Our international students truly create a global community on campus – on any given day, just wandering around campus, you can hear a dozen different languages being spoken. VIU has its own, small global village.”

WorldVIU Days, which takes place November 6 – 12 at VIU’s Nanaimo Campus, is a celebration of this diverse cultural richness. It’s an opportunity for members of all cultural communities to engage with and learn from each other through a week-long series of events that explore how culture influences the way we see the world. The theme for the event, in its ninth year, is Creating a Connected Community. It features panel talks on subjects like building trust and connection through vulnerability, cultural identities and belonging, creating connection through space design, truth and reconciliation, and more. There will also be cultural displays of art, music, dance and food.

New to this year’s WorldVIU Days is the Intercultural Hip Hop Forum. This is a major focus of the week, with five visiting artists from diverse backgrounds demonstrating their own version of hip hop music and dance, and taking part in panel discussions. The forum is an initiative of Simon Schachner, Intercultural Program Co-ordinator for the Faculty of International Education.

“Hip hop music and culture has its origins in New York City, but the genre has become a language and a social force for young people across the globe,” Schachner said. “When thinking of new ideas for WorldVIU Days, hip hop came to mind right away as a unique way to engage our diverse student population. Back when I was a student at VIU, we combined hip hop and political activism. It brought positive energy and creativity to heavy subject matter, which is so important if dialogue and community connection are the goals. Hip hop has incredible educational value not only because it speaks to a lot of young people but also because it has the power to inform, inspire and connect with ‘the now’ of any context - whether in an urban setting, a remote First Nations community, or a refugee camp, the music resonates with people’s experiences.”

The Intercultural Hip Hop Forum will feature Ostwelve, Ndidi Cascade, Nostic, Mo Moshiri of Sweatshop Union and DJ All Good. Montreal’s multilingual soul-jazz global hip hop super group Nomadic Massive will be performing at a “Pre-Party” on Friday, November 3 at the Old City Station Pub.

For a complete list of events, please visit the WorldVIU Days website.

Learn more about VIU’s International Education programs here.



Rachel Stern, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

P: 250.741.2020 | C: 250.618.7296 | E: | T: @VIUNews

Tags: In the Community