By Abigail Loop
Baylor is set to celebrate diversity on campus Monday by participating in International Education Week.
Baylor’s Center for International Education will host events on campus and invites everyone to participate.
The first event will start at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the Mayborn Museum Special Exhibit Room with the Baylor Roundtable International Thanksgiving Dinner for international students, which is the main event of the night. During the day, other events will occur, such as a Baylor in China interest session and Caribbean food will be served at Brooks Dining Hall.
Melanie Smith, international student relations coordinator, said the purpose of the week is to celebrate international education and exchange and the Thanksgiving banquet is set to kick it off.
“President [Ken] Starr will attend and so will Baylor Round Table Members, a historical women’s group made up female faculty and wives of current male professors,” Smith said.
According to Baylor Admissions, more than 80 foreign countries are represented at Baylor.
Smith said this week is a chance for people to learn more about students who come from different countries. While the banquet is not open to the public, Smith encourages all students and faculty to attend the remainder of the free events that will occur.
“This is a vital part of Baylor education,” Smith said. “You should visit another country or leave with an international friend by the time you leave here.”
Events occurring across campus during International Education Week will continue until Nov. 15. Study abroad interest sessions, international food served at dining halls, presentations by guest speakers and special events such as the “Traditional Tea and Japanese Journey” presented by the Baylor Japanese Honor Society, will all be a part of the week.
Yuko Prefume, senior lecturer of Japanese and adviser of the Japanese Honor Society, said by participating in International Education Week society members are spreading knowledge of their culture.
“It is really important for people to participate in this week,” Prefume said. “People will become aware of things other than what they know. I’m sure most people don’t know about Japanese culture, and sharing it is important.”
Randy Penson, associate director of the Center for International Education, said he hopes for both American and International students to attend the events of international Education Week.
“We want as many people involved as possible,” Penson said. “We’d like to grow and get students and faculty on campus and show how important it is to learn about one another and break barriers.”
Penson said students don’t even have to leave the country to have an international experience and learn about different cultures.
“By joining international stuff here on campus, you can get an international experience,” Penson said. “IEW should be year round. It’s important to learn and appreciate different cultures.”
More information on International Education Week events that are set to occur can be found at http://www.baylor.edu/cie/