BC Welcomes the World

The Bellevue College Office of International Education, or OIE in short, invites all BC students, faculty and staff to participate in the annual International Education Week: BC Welcomes the World.

This week-long event was held from Nov. 13 – 16 in C Building cafeteria, C120 and C130. The event focuses on four different regions in the world: Americas, Middle East & Africa, Europe, and Asia from Tuesday to Friday respectively. Activities on Tuesday started in C120 at 10 a.m., and activities during the rest of the week started in C130 at 11 a.m. till 5:30 p.m. Everyone was welcome to participate anytime during the event.

Every day during the event features a Library Pop-Up, where the Library Media Center at Bellevue College showcases many articles, books, magazines, movies and more that the library provides according to the theme of the day. Besides, students and employees can check out books, magazines and more at the event “live check-out” from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Tuesday and 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. during the rest of the week.

Continental Immersion, Tuesday through Friday from 11 to 1 p.m. in the cafeteria, offered people an experience of different regional food and festivities to further participants’ knowledge of the region according to each day’s focus through fun activities and discussion with fellow students. All people are invited to stop by and try something special.

Study Abroad program presented “The World is our Classroom” on Tuesday, Nov. 13 from 3 – 4 p.m., where students could learn about study-abroad opportunities and hear faculty talk about innovative ways of taking their classrooms out into the world. Students could also talk with people who participated in the study abroad program and learn their stories of experiencing cultures. At 4:30 p.m. the same day, OIE presents the immigration hot topics including a general overview on the foundation of U.S. Immigration concepts but then highlights some key policy changes that are impacting international students and other applicants for visas and citizenship in the U.S.

On Wednesday from 2 – 3 p.m. in C130, “Our World, Our Stories”, was designed to support our international students. They came to BC from all across the globe, and they brought a rich complement of cultural backgrounds and worldly perspectives. However, it might be challenging to adapt to a new lifestyle sometimes; therefore, a panel of international students shared some insight on their struggles and what helped them be successful. Everyone was welcome to hear the unique stories and join the discussion.

With the focus on Europe on Thursday, “Inspiring Curiosity” from 1 – 2 p.m. fostered intercultural and global competence on campus. People could learn how to include more intercultural understanding into their work or classroom. OIE invited students, faculty and staff to share a short story about the trials and tribulations of international travel and intercultural adventures during “iStories” from 4 – 5:30 p.m. in C130.

Friday featured Asia with a Japanese fisherman song and dance in the cafeteria from 12 – 12:30 p.m. and a Tai Qi lesson from 12:30 – 1:00 p.m. in C130. OIE invited all to come and join them for a fun movie about the American Thanksgiving while enjoying food relevant to the day from 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. in C130.

“It is absolutely important to learn about different cultures. It’s a small world, we got limited space and resources; we have to know who we are here with in this life, and learn about different cultures and languages, food, games or even jokes, which are the ways people come together and bring us closer to the fact that we are here together, on the earth, living together, using the same resources,” commented Bradley Huggins, Assistant Director of International Student Success.

Eva Juarez, International Student Engagement Specialist said, “International Education Week is a nation-wide event in the U.S., and we are celebrating it like most other schools are. It is really to bring about an awareness to our diverse society.” Juarez continued, “I hope students take away something they didn’t know about a certain culture, and I want them to also understand that a lot of cultures are similar but with some small differences.”