Raising multicultural awareness

A chance to get a better understanding of other cultures is fast approaching at California Lutheran University as International Education Week will be held Nov. 16 – 20.

International Education Week is a chance to raise awareness for different cultures present at Cal Lutheran. There will be activities and events, such as the World Fair, to help promote the week.

According to the Cal Lutheran press release about the event, there are 460 international students enrolled this fall and 11 percent of Cal Lutheran students are native to a different country.

Senior Director of Multicultural and International Student Services and Assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion, Juanita Hall referenced the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs when saying, “International Education Week is a joint initiative of the Department of Education and the U.S. Department of State designed to ‘promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the United States,’” in an email interview.

A big part of International Education Week for Cal Lutheran is the World Fair. The celebration includes different clubs that are a part of the Multicultural Program. Tables will be set up with food where people can go observe and ask questions about other cultures. World fair will be held  Nov. 18 from 6 – 9 p.m. 

“The Saudi club, Indian club, Dance Multi-Cultural, ELS students, Chinese students, Japanese students and Black Student Union will all be attending,” Mao Kohara, co-president of the United Students of the World club, said. “They will have booths and have snacks and people will be able to go around and talk to the clubs about their cultures.”

The United Students of the World is one of the clubs participating in the World Fair event. They are helping put on the event and coordinating with the other clubs that will hold booths at the event with food pertaining to their culture.

“The club I am apart of [is] United Students of the World [and] we put on World Fair. We basically order the main food, of course its cultural food. We get a variety of it so people can have some of everything,” Jessica Rinehart, co-president of the United Students of the World club, said. “We also ask clubs to represent their culture at World Fair. So people can get their food and walk around to the different clubs and learn about the different cultures.”

According to Kohara, they are expecting that anywhere from 300 – 400 students will attend the World Fair. This is also the 17th year Cal Lutheran has supported International Education Week.

“World Fair is a fun place to be. If you haven’t been before I recommend going,” Rinehart said. “The clubs have posters about their cultures and snack foods to share and represent their culture. If you want to learn about the different culture this is the perfect time.”

There will be a chapel service at 11:45 a.m. on Nov. 19. The service will entail students holding flags from every country represented at Cal Lutheran.

“At Cal Lutheran, The United Students of the World, the Office of International Student Services, the ELS Language Center and Study Abroad collaborate to put on the World Fair on Wednesday evening, and an annual International chapel service on Thursday in collaboration with Campus Ministries,” Hall said.

According to the Multicultural Office press release, Gaby Romero, a student at Cal Lutheran, will be speaking at the chapel service. She is an undergraduate student from Venezuela.

Look for International Education Week to begin Nov. 16 and end Nov. 20. World Fair will take place on Nov. 18 outside the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center. The chapel service on Thursday will celebrate the international students who take classes at Cal Lutheran.

Courtney Sooy
Staff Writer
Published November 18th, 2015