By Andrea Swiedom Contributing Writer
The Global Education Offic
e at UMF will be hosting a series of events for International Education Week from Nov. 13th to 17th to raise awareness about different cultures, many of which are represented by students and faculty. Activities will incorporate regional foods and beverages, languages and crafts.
While the goal for the week is to educate students about different customs and parts of the world, it will also provide a space for exchange students. “They’re not just here to take classes,” said Lynne Eustis, assistant director of Global Education. “They should be able to share information about their culture.”
Asako Miyazaki, a visiting Japanese professor who will be involved in the language and food- themed day, said, “I want students to be more…more active so they can understand how their culture is different from each other, but also how we can share the culture itself.” Miyazaki went silent a moment to formulate this thought. “And I think, we don’t have to compare, we can just share and enjoy the time.”
To kick-off the week, there will be a presentation Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. in the Fusion Space, run by UMF alumna, Elizabeth Ferry. The presentation will cover her time in Tanzania working in the peace corps.
On Wednesday, during common time, there will be a Francophone event to educate participants about French language, food and culture.
Thursday will offer two opportunities open to the Farmington community. One event is the International Bazaar which will take place in The Landing from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. This is where items acquired through international travel will be sold to benefit the Global Education travel fund. Eustis hopes to see attendees at the Bazaar funnel into the other event, which will feature international foods and quick language lessons from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Dining Hall.
Students who are native speakers of Swahili, French, Japanese, Chinese, Albanian and Spanish will conduct speed language segments. “It’s kinda like speed dating, but its speed language!” said Eustis with a beaming smile. Participants will spend four minutes with a native speaker learning basic phrases before rotating.
While speed language is taking place, there will also be an opportunity to try a spread of traditional foods from Argentina, Tanzania and Japan. Students from these countries have submitted recipe proposals to Sodexo and their staff will select one dish from each country to prepare alongside the typical dinner menu, at no additional cost.
Flor Villarreal, Spanish language teaching assistant from Argentina, submitted empanadas which are savory pastries filled with meat or vegetables and panqueques con dulce de leche which are similar to crepes that are rolled up with a rich caramel sauce.
Just talking about the food from Argentina made Villarreal’s face light up. “We eat dulce de leche with everything, I mean we can have it for breakfast, as dessert, we can just eat it with a spoon!”
Miyazaki submitted recipe proposals as well, which included a s
avory pancake called Okonomiyaki, proving to be a language lesson in and of itself. “Actually Okonomiyaki means, what do you want? Or, what do you like?” explained Miyazaki. The dish allows the cook to add in any vegetable, meat or seasoning into the batter before grilling the pancake.
Finally, on Friday, an International Tea and Coffee Hour will take place from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Fusion space.
Eustis is still planning more events for the International Education Week and will be posting more information about scheduled events and their locations on MyCampus and on bulletin boards throughout campus.