BY HIEN NGUYEN
Being an International student, I have always felt welcomed by Augustana’s community. University life is not just about studying but socializing and trying out new roles that I have never thought I could have back home in Vietnam. Integration matters, especially in this fast-changing world, yet it is not assimilation. Everyone comes from different places in the world and have different stories to tell and participating in International Week, which starts on Feb. 4, lets us share our unique cultural stories.
What is I-Week?
Let’s first get an idea about what I-Week is. International Week (or I-Week) is a signature event of the University of Alberta. Established in 1986, I-Week strives to create a place for everybody to “hear each other, see from new perspectives, and find solutions together”. It gives students the chance not only to represent their regions and explore cultural diversities but also to address ongoing issues which are happening around the world.
A meaningful event
This year, I-Week will be in the first week of February with the theme of education. Education is not a new topic, yet there is still much to be discussed. While many of us can afford higher education, there are many children out there lacking educational support. Therefore, our campus is trying to donate the money gained during I-Week to the Sahakarini association- a charity that provides funding for projects that assist education and community development for children in countries such as India, Zimbabwe, and Brazil.
Busy and funny
Yes, why not? There are many activities happening during the week. Starting Monday, Feb. 4, an EXPO will run from 12 – 4 p.m. and it will be a bombshell! If you think this is just an exaggeration, come to the Forum first and check it out. This year, 24 tables will be set up by students from different countries. We have representatives from Asia (such as Korea and Pakistan) and Africa (Ghana), as well as Indigenous students and language clubs, that will bring a new atmosphere to this annual event.
Soup supper and flag raising will take place on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Professor Feisal Kirumira will talk about Black History Month from 1 – 2 p.m. If you want to chill a bit, consider watching “The Pathfinder” with the Nordic Club on the same day from 6 – 9 p.m. On Friday, you may want to try some delectable desserts sold at the bookstore from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Which will be followed by an award ceremony for the Tournament of Nations. The week will then close with a Board Game Night.
A tip: Don’t forget to check the cafeteria menu! You may even find dishes from your home country appear unexpectedly. A familiar flavour from your continent can brighten your day! Take this one-of-a-kind chance so your stomach won’t blame you for treating it badly later.
We need your involvement
A lot of my friends love pizza. By coming to the I-Week and voting for a continent, country, or region that you are interested in, you will give them a chance to win the Tournament of Nations challenge. Last but not least, wear some fancy garments, take five photos, and try your luck in winning $50 on a photo contest. See you next week!