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Rutgers Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs


RECAP: 2014 International Education Week

November 26, 2014

All three Rutgers universities celebrated International Education Week (IEW) November 17–21, 2014, with special activities and events to commemorate international engagement and global outreach. IEW is a joint initiative of U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education that celebrates the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.


The GAIA Centers awarded funds for student groups and others to host IEW events and activities, and serves as a clearinghouse for all IEW information.  

IEW activities and events–including a lecture on UN peace operations in New Brunswick, a yoga course in Newark, and a “Mr. and Mrs. Rutgers–Camden International Pageant”–honored the concept of international engagement, while other activities recognized specific cultures or traditions, including a Vietnamese and Indian cooking class, a Muslim fast-a-thon, and a Brazilian music lesson.

“Some events focused on global issues, like gender equality, cultural psychology, and sex education, while others offered opportunities to taste cuisine from around the world,” Greg Costalas, GAIA Centers’ senior program coordinator, said. He cited an International House of Cookies at Rutgers–Newark and a “Flavors of the World” demonstration at Rutgers–Camden as examples.

The university also hosted UN meetings and coordinated community service trips, along with a unique Peace Corps discussion, as part of the week’s events.

In cooperation with the Peace Corps, the GAIA Centers hosted a two-hour panel session, “Cultural Immersion: Experiences from Here and Abroad” as part of IEW activities.

Two international students currently attending Rutgers, two former Peace Corps volunteers, and a former Peace Corps country director made up the panel to talk about their experience in various communities abroad.

Research paper topics delved into cultural taboos and skills that could only be learned from stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. Perhaps, most importantly, panelists explored the benefits of the Peace Corps and how these global experiences impacted everyday life.

Rachel Bueide, the Peace Corps recruiter for New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, moderated the discussion. A gallery of winning photographs from the Rutgers 2014 IEW Photo Contest was also displayed.

A small reception featured winning photographs from the IEW photo contest. The contest called for photographic submissions of local-global subjects, international architecture, or international cuisine.

During IEW, Rutgers also received the prestigious 2014 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization at a ceremony in Washington, DC.






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