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Kickoff highlights importance of international education

Staff Writer

Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012

Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 12:11

International education is critical for the “future relations between Americans and people around the world,” according to Nadia Korobova, assistant director of international programs at the University of Northern Iowa.

For this reason and others, UNI celebrated International Education Week from Nov. 12 to Nov. 16, beginning the week with a kickoff event.

“(International education) is important because exchanges are critical to developing mutual understanding and respect (and) building leadership abroad,” Korobova said at the kickoff event on Monday in the Maucker Union Ballroom.

The event was sponsored by the Office of International Programs, the International Students and Scholars Office, the Culture and Intensive English Programs and the Study Abroad Center.

International Education Week is a combined initiative by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education marking the benefits and importance of international education through international exchange and study abroad programs. This year’s theme is “Striving for a Healthier Future Worldwide.”

At the kickoff event, various speakers talked about what International Education Week is, the events that would take place during the week and what role international education has played at UNI and in their own lives.

Kathy Green, director of health services, addressed the theme of this year’s International Education Week.

“I suggest it’s our responsibility to do what we can to support the health of those around the world who do not have our advantages,” she said. “I encourage us to attend to our personal health and to the health of those around the world so that people of all nations have opportunities to achieve their potential and live out their dreams.”

In between speakers, various international performances took place, including African djembe drumming, a Bavarian dance and flute playing.

“I thought the performances were excellent. The drumming of course was very exciting … I also enjoyed the dance the two students did. I thought they were very expressive,” said UNI Executive Vice President and Provost Gloria Gibson.

At the end of the event, four drawings for prizes were held. The first two prizes were $100 scholarships, and they were given to one UNI domestic and one UNI international student. The last two prizes were a $25 gift card and another $100 scholarship, which went to two attendees of the event.

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