Monday was the first day of International Education Week. The week is a joint celebration initiative between the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. In order to celebrate the week, Ohio University’s Office of Global Affairs, or OGA, will promote international education throughout the week.
“This year we are celebrating our global resilience,” Ji-Yeung Jang, interim executive director of Global Affairs, said. “We are also recognizing that a lot of those global engagements and connections have never stopped ... through virtual engagement.”
Jang said OGA will have events recognizing the accomplishments of instructors and students who have had a global engagement.
There will be an alumni panel where international alumni who currently live overseas will share their experiences. They will talk about the impact OU’s education has had on them and how it has been incorporated into their everyday lives.
Jang said there will also be an Education Week Gala, which she believes will be the highlight of the week.
Jang said that the week will be based on the campaign “Make Respect Visible.” OGA is editing that campaign to include international people on campus. The OU campus has about 1000 international students and numerous international faculty and staff.
“We want to bring global perspectives on this campaign,” Jang said.
Jang said the office wants to answer questions like “What does respect mean from the global and international perspective?”
The week will educate students on the topic and help everyone recognize the importance of international education and perspective. Jang said every day of the week will host an event.
OU masters student Laila Granderath is from Germany and is currently studying abroad for her second time. Through studying abroad, she has been able to recognize the importance of global perspectives.
“I feel like (studying abroad) helps you a lot,” Granderath said. “First of all, to be more independent, be more confident but also get so much experience and see another part of the world. Also getting to know new people, and I think it just broadens your horizons a lot. So I think it’s a really great opportunity.”
Jang said OU wants its students to be global leaders in a society of interconnectedness.
“In order for our students and alumni to be global leaders, you need to have this global knowledge,” Jang said. “You need to have global competencies. You need to be able to communicate with different people with different backgrounds. You need to have this intercultural intelligence, and the attitude that you want to be appreciating. You want to have this compassion for the things that are happening.”
OU alumna Allie Sprenger uses the skills she learned while studying abroad in her current job. Sprenger studied abroad in Hungary through the OU Global Consulting Program, or GCP, during the summer of 2018.
“We can’t just take one approach to everything because it is a global company and you have to broaden your mind to it, and I think GCP really helped me understand,” Sprenger said. “90% of my interviews are me just talking about my GCP experience, especially with a global position … because I’ve worked with people out of the country.”
For those wanting to involve themselves in International Education Week, they can visit https://www.ohio.edu/iew.