URI hosts International Education Week, Nov. 11-15, to spotlight global learning

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Maria Kasparian
Maria Kasparian, director of operations for Edesia, a Providence nonprofit that makes peanut-based products to treat and prevent child malnutrition worldwide. Kasparian is with a mother and her child in Niger. Photo courtesy of Edesia.

KINGSTON, R.I. – Nov. 4, 2013 – A peanut-based product that prevents child malnutrition, an international film about the importance of educating girls worldwide, and a nonprofit group that helps orphans in Kenya are topics for discussion during International Education Week at the University of Rhode Island.

The celebration, from Nov. 11 to 15, will give faculty, students and staff an opportunity to explore global learning on campus, regionally and overseas. The event, in its third year, also bolsters URI President David M. Dooley’s goal to make the University more international.

“Many exciting and important topics are being spotlighted this week, which we hope will generate a buzz and empower individuals to continue to pursue global experiences in the future,” says Kathleen Ramcharran, study abroad and exchange advisor for the International Center. “All are welcome.”

One of the highlights of the week is the showing of “Girl Rising,” a documentary that tells the stories of nine girls across the globe and the power of education to change the world. The stories are told with the help of writers such as Edwidge Danticat and actresses such as Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett.

The film, directed by Academy Award nominee Richard E. Robbins, will be shown Wednesday, Nov. 13, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., at the Thomas M. Ryan Family Auditorium at the Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences. The film is free and open to the public.

The stories are poignant and moving: a stubborn Haitian girl who keeps going to class after the country’s earthquake, even though she can’t pay the tuition; an Egyptian girl’s account of her rape; a teenager from war-torn Sierra Leone who is the first in her family to go to school. The film also covers childhood marriage, poverty, and girls’ lack of access to an education in developing countries.

Link for more information to girlrising.com or view the trailer.

Another must-see event is a presentation by Edesia, a Providence nonprofit that makes peanut-based products to treat and prevent child malnutrition worldwide. Maria Kasparian, director of operations, will talk about ending global malnutrition, one child at a time.

The talk, free and open to the public, will be held Tuesday, Nov. 12, from 2 to 3:15 p.m., in Atrium 1 in Memorial Union.

More than 200 million children suffer globally from various forms of malnutrition that put them at risk for illness and death and rob them from growing into their full mental and physical potential.

Edesia works primarily with humanitarian organizations such as UNICEF, the World Food Programme, and the United States Agency for International Development, which all distribute the product. Edesia was founded in 2009 by Rhode Islander Navyn Salem and since then has sent enough of the product to reach 1.5 million children in 35 countries throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Other events include:

  • International Study Opportunities through the National Student Exchange Program. Students can learn about studying in Canada and the United States. A booth will be set up Tuesday, Nov. 12, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hope Commons, 19 Butterfield Road.
    International Flag Ceremony. The Memorial Student Union will unveil flags that represent the home countries of this year’s new class. International food will be served. The event is Wednesday Nov. 13, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Atrium at Memorial Union, 50 Lower College Road.
  • Boren Awards for International Study. A representative from the Institute of International Education will talk about the Boren Awards for International Study, which offers scholarships to study foreign languages abroad. The event will be held Wednesday, Nov. 13, from 3 to 4 p.m. in Room 402 at Lippitt Hall, 5 Lippitt Road.
  • Flying Kites. Flying Kites is a nonprofit group that is building a home and school for orphaned and vulnerable children in the Central Highlands of Kenya. Justine Axelsson, co-founder, will be the speaker. The talk will be Thursday, Nov. 14, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Hardge Forum in the Multicultural Center, 74 Lower College Road.
  • Broaden Your Horizon. Have questions about studying abroad? Advisors will be available to answer questions about study and internship opportunities overseas. A booth will be set up Thursday, Nov. 4, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Memorial Union, 50 Lower College Road.
  • Peace Corps Information Booth. Information about joining the Peace Corps will be available Thursday, Nov. 14, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in a booth at the Memorial Union. Thousands of full-time positions are available in education, health, agriculture, youth development, business and the environment.
  • Intercultural Training: Business in Latin America. Business development expert Sixcia Devine ’99 will share her insights into the challenges, barriers and opportunities for success in the Latin American market. Sixcia is the founder of an international consulting firm that connects clients with Latin American countries and the author of “Tapping into the Hispanic Market.” The talk will be Thursday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. in the Alumni Center, 73 Upper College Road. The cost is $5; the registration deadline is Nov. 7. For details, contact Shana Greene at 401-874-2218.
  • Get A Passport and Travel. Studying abroad or traveling on spring break? The United States Postal Service will be on campus to help student speed up getting their passports. The $110 application fee will be waived for the first 25 students and discounted for the next 75. The event will be held Friday, Nov. 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Atrium 1 in Memorial Union.
  • A.C.E., English Language Institute at URI is hosting an event so the URI community can meet international students and learn about their experiences in the United States. The event will include a display of posters by students who are learning English at the A.C.E. Language Institute. The event will be Friday, Nov. 15, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Hardge Forum of the Multicultural Center.
  • Funding Opportunities for International Study and Research. Learn about regional and national scholarship programs. The opportunities range from short independent programs to advanced research projects and graduate degree programs. The event will be held Friday, Nov. 15, from 3 to 4 p.m. in Room 402 at Lippitt Hall.

For more information, go to the International Education Week website at www.uri.edu/international/IEW or contact Ramcharran at 401-874-2958.