International Education Week expands students’ understanding of world

By Charlie Wailes | Reporter

This week, Baylor is hosting International Education Week. It is designed to promote and celebrate international exchange worldwide, according to Holly Joyner, assistant director of marketing and communications for the Center for Global Engagement.

Joyner is in charge of International Education Week and said the program began because of the Department of Education.

“International Education Week actually comes from the State Department and the Department of Education,” Joyner said. “Both those departments and the federal government come together and sanction one week every year to kind of celebrate international education.”

From there, Joyner said it is up to universities to decide how much they want to do for the week. Joyner also said four years ago marked a turning point for Baylor’s international education.

“We always had the modern languages, cultures department, maybe the political science department, but we weren’t mass marketing the whole week,” Joyner said.

This is when Joyner said her department decided to get different departments involved to collaborate for International Education Week.

There is a wide range of programs being offered this week, such as Waco Asian Leaders Panel, International Tea and Coffee Hour and multiple study abroad interest sessions.

Joyner said the Center for Global Engagement has been busy preparing for the weeklong event.

“We’ve done posters and marketing, social media marketing, put billboards and signs on campus, and then we’re just targeting different groups,” Joyner said.

Joyner said she hopes students get a personalized experience out of International Education Week.

“I think for the students who are already engaged in international education or international themselves, I hope it helps them feel belonging and feel like that they have value,” Joyner said. “But then I hope for the students who maybe never gone abroad or never maybe gotten a chance to experience international education from this perspective, they can go to something like the International Education Panel that Baylor is putting on, and they can learn about international education from five different international students’ perspectives in each of the different universities that they’ve come from.”

Bo White, director of study abroad, said he hopes International Education Week expands students’ understanding of international opportunities.

“No. 1, that there is quite a bit going on and there are opportunities for them and there are stories to be told,” White said. “The second part is that we’d like people just to participate in some way. That doesn’t mean they have to jump on a plane, but if they would, whether it’s advocacy, mentoring and understanding that there could be a Baylor footprint around the world.”

White said the solidarity Baylor has with other universities taking part in International Education Week is one of his favorite things about it.

“I like it because it’s meant to be a collaborative effort both internally and then other schools do it with the State Department,” White said. “For one sort of concentrated period of time, people are at least made aware of both international opportunities.”

According to the International Education Week webpage, the week contributes to Baylor’s goal of a “Global Baylor.” White said this is accomplished by educating students for worldwide leadership and service.

“Part of the mission is to educate students for worldwide leadership and service,” White said. “I think that people think this is part of the educational aspect — that there are things outside of the classroom, but there are also classrooms overseas that they can take advantage of.”

White said he thinks being in the classroom — whether at Baylor or overseas — is beneficial in worldwide leadership and service.

“Those things are the direct links both to the mission of worldwide leadership and service and also the connecting points that students can actually do their education a little bit differently here at Baylor,” White said.