Portland Community College is hosting its 10th annual International Education Week with the theme, “Thinking Globally, Inspiring locally,” from Nov. 13-16.
The event is part of a national campaign set by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to bring awareness of global education and international education issues. It is open and free to the public. With 700 students from 90 countries, PCC’s international students make up a large and important demographic at the college and in the community. International Education Week celebrates their contributions to the community and the importance of cultural awareness.
“We are focusing on topics that affect everyone in the world like environment, social justice, economics, student success, and community service and we’re going beyond mere celebrations or festivals to really impact our community with knowledge and cultural immersion,” said Rachel Krueger, PCC International Education Program coordinator. “We have a number of events that are led by our own international students or by faculty or students who have traveled abroad, so it’s a great way to experience the world through their eyes. We’re hoping that it will be unforgettable.”
This year may be the most dynamic of the past 10 years. Scheduled for the week are panel discussions on the Peace Corps, public forums on the study abroad experiences of students and staff, and seminars on the benefits of learning a new language. In addition, there will be fun attractions like speed culturing, live music, world games, chopsticks competitions, and more. Locations for International Education Week include: Rock Creek Campus (17705 N.W. Springville Road), Sylvania Campus (12000 S.W. 49th Ave.), Cascade Campus (705 N. Killingsworth St.) and the Southeast Center (2305 S.E. 82nd Ave. and Division St.).
International Education Week Highlights:
- “Changing Lives One Woman at a Time” is a panel presentation about Fundación En Vía, which combines tourism and micro-finance to fight poverty in Oaxaca, Mexico. By providing interest-free micro-loans to help women in Oaxaca start or expand their small businesses, PCC staff have helped facilitate social change, and experienced a new culture. Recent visitors to this program and region will discuss their trips and what they learned. These panels are set for: 2-3 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 13, Event Center, Rock Creek Campus; 3-4 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14, Cedar Room, College Center Building, Sylvania Campus; 1:30-2:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 15, Teaching Learning Center, Cascade Campus; and 9-10 a.m., Friday, Nov. 16, Room 145, Mt. Tabor Hall, Southeast Center.
- International Night from 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14 at the Community Hall, Administration Building, Southeast Center (2305 S.E. 82nd Ave.). Admission is free. The event features games, prizes, cultural performances, food and vendors. Bring the whole family.
- International Showcases are where students get to show off their cultures with food, educational displays, music and traditional dress. These are set for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 13, in the Building 3 Mall, Rock Creek Campus, and again on Thursday, Nov. 15, in the Dining Hall, Student Center, Cascade Campus.
- PCC’s Got International Talent, sponsored by the Sylvania ESOL and the Office of International Education, is a fun event that features students, staff, and faculty’s talents for songs, dances, comedy, and entertainment from around the world. The event will be held in Sylvania Little Theatre from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale for $2 each at the Sylvania Tutoring Center (CT 206) and the Office of International Education (CT 103).
For a complete schedule, visit: http://www.pcc.edu/about/events/international/
Meet an International Student from Turkmenistan
Melike Tulekova is one of those international students involved with this year’s event. She is from a town called Kerkichi in Turkmenistan. However, this isn’t her first time in Oregon. Tulekova liked the state, all it’s rain and cold, when she was an exchange student at the University of Oregon a few years ago so she decided to return to complete her general education and pre-requisite classes at PCC.
“My friends suggested me to study in Portland Community College,” she said. “Everybody says good things about PCC, especially about the classes, services, openness of people and diversity.”
Tulekova is studying business at PCC and wants to transfer to another university to earn a bachelor’s degree in international business. “I like traveling, learning about cultures and exploring the world,” she added. “I am intrigued by the prospect of bringing cultures and services (to people) on an international level.”
For International Education Week, Tulekova is facilitating an event called “Meet the Professionals” at the Rock Creek Campus Event Center (3-5 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14). The discussion will center on how international students move through the U.S. educational system to obtain advanced degrees and/or get a job in the U.S. It will feature Massoud Saberian, a former international student from Iran who came to the U.S. when he was 19. He eventually earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s degree in Transportation Engineering. He will give his personal advice about obtaining a professional career as an international student in the U.S. and working in Portland.
Tulekova feels very strongly that PCC’s annual week honoring the college’s international students and their cultures gives other students a chance to learn and grow.
“I think this event will help international students to be engaged and feel like a team, and perhaps learn something new,” Tulekova said. “Letting a person speak about his experiences being an international student will encourage and motivate other students. In addition, this is an opportunity to network and create awareness.”