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The State Department has been designating one week in November as International Education Week (IEW) for the past few years. This year the dates for International Education Week are from the 15th to the 19th of November. Institutions (educational and otherwise) across the United States are observing IEW by organizing various events. A list of these events can be found on the State Department’s website (linked above).

Bucknell University is celebrating International Education Week 2010 with renewed vigor this year as well. The Office of International Education and International Student Services are collaborating with other departments to present the most complete picture possible of the importance of international education.

For me, the planning of this year’s IEW events at Bucknell has been an interesting journey to say the least. While there are many programs being presented to the relatively small campus community, it remains to be seen to what degree the students, faculty, and staff will participate in these. One strategy that the two offices have employed this year is to rely heavily on existing energies within student organizations and academic departments to drive the programming efforts. For example, the four International Movie Nights are each sponsored by a different student organization, and the International Education Week Photo Contest is being run in collaboration with the Peer International Educators group. Having these partnerships has allowed the organizing offices to use their limited resources more efficiently.

I am looking forward to being a part of this year’s IEW at Bucknell and cannot wait to report on the level of student engagement throughout the week. I hope that on November 20th, I will be able to say that the efforts to internationalize Bucknell, and US higher education institutions in general, are clearly justified.

Check out Bucknell University’s International Education Week page on facebook!