Celebrating UF’s International Education Week, a series of events are being featured on campus to broaden UF’s global footprint.
The theme of the week surrounds international engagement and includes musical performances, international film screenings, educational lectures and a chance drawing through Friday.
David Sammons, dean of the international center, said the week is a national program celebrated at universities all over the U.S.
Sammons said UF has more than 6,000 international students from 137 countries.
“The University of Florida claims to be a world-class institution, and we are,” Sammons said. “I think that being world-class means being globally engaged and connected.”
Sammons said celebrating international education is one path to achieving top-10 status as a university.
“It’s really meant to raise up the importance of international education as a component of modern education and to recognize that well-educated people understand the rest of the world and how it works,” Sammons said.
Mabel Cardec, outreach coordinator in the international center, said one major draw of the activities of the week is to give students a taste of different cultures. A martial arts performance by Cuong Nhu will be held today, and lessons in Hebrew writing style by Michal Katz will be given every day.
“International Education Week opens a window to the world for many people,” she said. “Many students come to UF and just dedicate themselves to their studies and don’t think about the rest of the world.”
Cardec said the Florida Museum of Natural History is making a special offer to UF staff and faculty for the week. This week, admission to the Butterfly Rainforest will be $6 with a valid Gator 1 Card.
Broward Dining Hall is also serving dishes each day this week from countries such as India, Vietnam and China.
Sahar Basaria, president of Belly Gators, and her belly dancing group performed four songs at the kickoff of the week on Monday, including a contemporary performance of Lorde’s “Royals.”
Basaria, a 20-year-old UF criminology and psychology junior, said she believes it’s important to celebrate global awareness in order to promote tolerance and bring together different cultures.
“All cultures are individually in and of themselves beautiful, and it’s important to understand and respect and cooperate with other cultures instead of being focused on the culture you were raised in,” she said.
A version of this story ran on page 9 on 11/20/2013 under the headline "Week celebrates international Gators"