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International Week celebration ranks second nationally

Amateur chefs prepare a delicious dish in a cook-off held during International Week.

Whether they played Turkish backgammon with the Turkish Students Club, watched the musical and theatrical production Asian Fusion, toured the United Nations or simply read the bulletin boards outside their dorms, the Lehigh community experienced the world during International Week.

And with 39 programs crammed into eight days, they had more opportunities to do so than ever.

As a joint initiative by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, International Education Week is designed to promote programs that prepare Americans to live and learn in a global world. Out of more than 200 participating schools, Michigan State University ranked first, offering an astounding 61 programs. The University of Connecticut came in third with 35 programs, and the University of California at Berkeley’s 34 events earned fourth.

Although spearheaded by the Global Union, International Week was university-wide effort, says Bill Hunter, director of the Global Union. This year, 28 organizations—from every college, many departments and student clubs—supported at least one event.

“Departments were calling me in August and September to ask how they could participate in International Week,” Hunter says. “For the right reasons everyone is interested in creating a more global Lehigh.”

Several events centered on the crisis in Darfur, including the Rock for Darfur concert, which raised awareness of the ethnic cleansing in Western Sudan. Later in the week, the Sudanese ambassador defended his country’s actions in the Darfur conflict.

Soon, the Global Union will display a full photo archive commemorating the week.

--Rebecca Straw

Posted on Monday, December 03, 2007

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