Monday, December 8, 2014

Embracing Culture and Learning about Other Countries during International Education Week (IEW)!

Jenny has traveled from her home in South Korea to study Tourism and Hospitality Management - Event Planning at Humber.
Jenny and friend setting up stall
Jenny and friend setting up the Japan stall
November is a busy month for the Humber International Centre busy, in part because of International Education Week (IEW), which is annually marked across Canada and at Humber. IEW is a celebration that Humber uses to encourage its communicty to learn more about different countries’ cultures and share the benefits of international education.


Japan IEW stall
Japan IEW stall
The week started with an Opening Reception for the Global Lens Photography Exhibition at Humber’s L-Space Gallery at the Lakeshore campus. As an international student ambassador, I had an opportunity to give a speech at the gallery about how studying abroad changed my global perspective and my life. I shared the Canadian experiences I have gained through extracurricular activities during high school, meeting new people from different backgrounds, and trying different foods like poutine and maple syrup. Although I was a bit nervous, it was good experience to share what I learned and talk about my journey to people who are interested in studying abroad.


Sushi Stall
Sushi at the Japan stall
The next day, I came to the International Centre early to help Matt, one of Humber’s international student advisors, as well as other student ambassadors and volunteers to prepare for our major IEW event: “Humber Goes Global,” an international fair in Humber’s main concourse.


Traditional Italian Music (Live!)
Each year, the Humber International Centre features five countries at this fair. This year, Nigeria, Japan, Italy, New Zealand and Barbados were featured. Humber has connections to all five countries through its international students or study abroad partnerships.


Other IEW Stalls
Other IEW Stalls
Other IEW Stalls
Other IEW Stalls
As the event approached, all the ambassadors and staff begin to work together as a team to organize food, volunteers and entertainment. That day, I helped set up up easels and tables as well as display Japanese souvenirs and posters on the table. Although I am from South Korea, I know a bit about Japan and was happy to work with Japanese volunteers.  I was interested in learning about their culture. 

Easels holding Japanese pictures and art
Easels holding Japanese pictures and art
When the event started, a lot of people were drawn to the colourful sushi, origami and calligraphy. People participated in activities like writing their name in Japanese, folding papers to make a paper crane and trying sushi samples. I was happy to have people asking questions about Japan and trying sushi while they expressed their interests in different foods.
Sushi
Sushi
Other country booths for Nigeria, Italy, Barbados and New Zealand were also busy with people, interacting with students, providing traditional food and have fun activities for people to understand different cultures with a new global perspective.


Writing name in Japanese
Writing names in Japanese
#HumberIEW was very successful due to the hard work and efforts that Humber’s international ambassadors /advisors put in to make IEW fun and engaging! The International Centre team knows how important it is for students to embrace new cultures, food, people and languages with an open minded attitude. In order to learn, people should accept differences that other countries have, because that makes our world interesting and adventurous. In the end, all countries are unique in their own way; therefore, it is up to us to respect and understand difference to make the world a better place.

Jenny with other #HumberIEW volunteers

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