For bilingual students like Mark Turon, who speaks Polish and English and serves as president of the Multicultural Advisory Committee (MAC), SHU’s International Celebration Month in October is an important event.
“My first language was Polish and I learned English at age 4 or 5, so I’ve always had that international aspect in my family,” Turon said. “So having International Month and celebrating different cultures is an amazing feeling because now we’re celebrating different people, not just the American experience.”
According to Maria Bouzas, director of the Office of the International Programs (OIP), oversees International Celebration Month while individual departments organize their own events.
The celebration consists of fun and exciting experiences that honor different cultures and ethnicities.
It lasts the entire month of October, starting with the Food Truck Festival that took place on Oct. 6 on the University Green, and had a turnout of more than 750 attendees, according to Bouzas.
“Events are created by departments, institutes and student organizations across campus. This year the OIP organized the International Festival, which kicks off the month, in collaboration with the Multicultural Advisory Committee, Student Government Association and Student Activities Board,” Bouzas said.
While the month of October comes to an end, there are still events students can experience before the celebration finishes.
“I would recommend the Japanese Pickles event. At the Japanese Pickles event at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27, in the Walsh Library, students will get the chance to learn about the traditional Japanese meal, washoku, which I am sure many people have seen before, but may not have tried it because they do not know anything about it,” Bouzas said. “This event will give students the chance to learn about the meal and try one element that is part of the meal.”
An additional event Bouzas recommended is the Reception for First Year International Students on [Friday] Oct. 28.
“At this event, students and staff can meet new international students joining the SHU community this year,” Bouzas said.
Another event hosted, at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 27 in room 109 of the School of Nursing, is the College of Nursing’s “Nursing and Healthcare Across the Globe.” Faculty and students in the College of Nursing will make up a speaking panel to discuss their experiences, success and challenges in other countries.
Dr. Marcia Gardner, College of Nursing associate dean for Undergraduate Programs and Assessment, said nurses from across the globe, regardless of background or ethnicity, share a concern for improvement of people’s health.
“Caring for people who are ill, preventing disease, addressing social determinants of health, and promoting wellness are crucial aspects of nursing practice globally,” Gardner said. “We felt that International Month provides an opportunity to explore our shared concerns, examine geographic or population differences and highlight the contributions that nurses and other health care providers make globally,” Gardner said.
Kiah Conway can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.