URI hosts International Education Week, Nov. 17-21, to celebrate global learning

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Syrian peace activist, German diplomat, Afghan writer among speakers

KINGSTON, R.I., Oct. 27, 2014 – The role of women in the Middle East and South Asia, a film about the nonviolent movement in Tibet and tips about how to snag an internship overseas are among the offerings during International Education Week at the University of Rhode Island.


The celebration from Nov. 17-21 will give faculty, students and staff an opportunity to learn more about the importance of a global education in the 21st century.


Events will be held in the Memorial Union, Multicultural Center, Edwards Hall and other buildings on the Kingston and Providence campuses. Click here for the full schedule.


One of the highlights of the week is a talk Nov. 18 by Friedrich Löhr, former consul general of Germany in Boston, who will discuss his experience as a diplomat over the last 37 years. The talk, sponsored by the department of textiles, fashion merchandising and design, will be held from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. in the Multicultural Center.


Another event is a talk, also on Nov. 18, by writer Qais Akbar Omar, whose memoir, “A Fort of Nine Towers,” chronicles his family’s survival against Taliban rule in Afghanistan. He’ll discuss Afghanistan’s culture and history and the importance of higher education for women to lift the country out of darkness. Omar will speak from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Memorial Union.


One of the more lively activities will be the unveiling of flags that represent the home countries of this year’s new class at URI. International food will be served. The program is Nov. 21, from noon to 1:30 p.m., also in the Memorial Union.


Other events include:


• The College of Nursing and former nursing students will share their international experiences. Non-nursing student are welcome to attend the Nov. 18 talk, “Going Global: Finding an international program that is right for you.”


• A screening of the film, “Bitter Seeds,” on Nov. 18 and 20, about the human cost of genetically-modified agriculture on farmers in India. The film examines the epidemic of suicides among India’s cotton farmers, deeply in debt after switching to the modified seeds.


• A Nov. 18 session about how students can pay for a study abroad program. Students will learn about financial aid and scholarships, as well as strategies about how to save money.


• A Nov. 19 talk by Syrian peace activist Nora Barré and singer and songwriter Dylan Connor, who will discuss the war in Syria and how it has created the largest humanitarian crisis in recent memory.


• A Nov. 20 panel discussion about women in the Middle East, featuring: Alumnae Susan Luz; graduate student Mona Ali; professor Katrin Jomaa and Ellaha Sharifi.


• A talk Nov. 20 by Shashi Regmi, one of the first female infantry officers in the Nepalese Army. Nepalese refreshments will be served. The talk is sponsored by URI’s Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies.


• Tips on how to get a passport. The United States Postal Service will be on campus Nov. 21 to help students speed up the passport process. The $110 application fee will be waived for the first 50 students who complete applications.


• A gathering of the A.C.E., English Language Institute at URI. The group is hosting a session on Nov. 21 so people can meet international students and learn about their experiences in the United States.


Started in 2000, International Education Week is sponsored nationwide by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the U.S. Department of Education. It is part of a larger effort to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global economy and encourage international scholars and leaders to study in America.


“International Education Week at URI expands the awareness of global learning opportunities, regionally and abroad,” said Dania Brandford-Calvo, director of the Office of International Education. “It also promotes international collaboration among URI colleges and departments, strengthens URI’s role as a center for global education and celebrates the diversity of the URI community.”


Photo above: Woman and child in Nepal. Photo courtesy of URI’s Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies.