Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

International Education Week Highlights Cultural Diversity In International Student Community

Erin Koo
Events celebrating international students were held throughout the week.

Oberlin’s International Student and Scholar Services office scheduled events to celebrate International Education Week Nov. 13–17. These events aimed to celebrate the international community of Oberlin and acknowledge our cultural diversity. 

Activities included tabling for international students and faculty, discussions on internationally focused topics, and resource-sharing opportunities, such as an introduction to the Shansi fellowship. The ISSS also organized an international trivia night, as well as an international music night with the help from the International Student Organization. The week will end with an international showcase, in which students will get to showcase their cultures in a variety of ways. These events let students and faculty meet with each other while sharing experiences and resources.

Josh Whitson, the assistant dean and director of ISSS, shared his experience and vision for this event. Whitson said the addition of an international student program coordinator to the ISSS made the events possible.

“To my knowledge, this is the first time Oberlin has participated in International Education Week — definitely in the seven years that I have been here,” Whitson said. “Before [International Student Program Coordinator] Jackie Zubin was hired, I was a one-person office. When we were looking to hire an international student program coordinator, we had the goal in mind to have this person come in and help with more programming opportunities, including IEW. The additional staffing has allowed the office to focus on programming and services outside of immigration. We are looking forward to hosting more fun international events in the future.” 

Ryo Adachi, OC ’22 and coordinator of academic initiatives in the liberal arts, worked with the ISSS office to organize the tabling event. 

“I hope to bring in international students, faculty, and staff to meet each other,” Adachi said. “It is for the faculty to share their experiences which are similar to the students’.”

Adachi’s experience as an international student motivated her to become involved with ISSS.

“As an international student, I appreciated the Oberlin international community,” Adachi said. “I was the chair for ISSS; I was very involved in the international student body. Because I understand it was pressured to adapt first, it is always nice to meet upperclassmen who share similar experiences.” 

Zubin also shared her goals and expectations for organizing the events.

“My goal for this event is to bridge the gap, natural or not, between domestic and international on the bigger picture,” Zubin said. “This event aims to introduce different countries [and] regions. It is an opportunity for all the Obies to open up and learn about the countries represented on campus. It might be surprising to know, but there are 59 countries represented in total in the Oberlin community.” 

According to organizers, more than one-third of the Oberlin international student body will participate in the international student showcase. Over a dozen countries will be featured including Afghanistan, Brazil, Burundi, and India. 

“The international showcase is the most exciting part of this event for me,” Zubin said. “It has the most student participation. It is a chance for all students, faculty, and staff on campus to come and learn about the different countries represented on Oberlin’s campus. There will be performances, snacks, and tables of students from a variety of countries around the world.” 

The international student showcase will be held Friday at 7:30pm in the Root Room in the Carnegie Building.

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