The Joint Initiative of U.S. Departments of State and Education Promotes Programs That Prepare Students for a Global Environment

October 23, 2013

This week, Wellesley College celebrates its inaugural International Education Week (IEW), featuring language boot camps, study abroad advising sessions, events with international faculty and scholars, and much more.

International Education Week was conceived as a joint initiative between the U.S. departments of State and Education, and is now celebrated annually in more than 100 countries worldwide. The initiative seeks to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States. Different educational institutions and communities host IEW at different times throughout the year.

According to Karen Zuffante Pabon, director of Slater International Center and advisor to international students, Wellesley’s first International Education Week brings attention to the college’s many international programs as well as spotlight its significant international community. “This is an opportunity to highlight the diversity and magnitude of our global population,” she said, “as well as the value for every student in having international and intercultural experiences.”

Wellesley has more than 300 international students from 60-plus countries, who bring with them a blend of interests, cultures, and experiences. The college offers 15 languages, ranging from classical Latin to Swahili and the newest addition, Portuguese. And every year, approximately 45 percent of Wellesley students study abroad for a semester or a year; a significant number learn on the job through global internships; and 40 juniors and seniors participate in the Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs.

On campus, the week’s festivities are co-sponsored by many departments and offices across the College, among them Slater, the Office of Intercultural Education, the Office of International Study, and the Center for Work and Service. Students can have lunch while experiencing “language boot camps” on Wednesday with Chinese, Korean, Italian, and Spanish tables across campus; or attend information sessions about study abroad opportunities, the Peace Corps, and marketing global competency in the workplace; in addition to the many other academics, arts, and culture events scheduled.


Wednesday, October 23: An Art & Soul concert featuring the pan-global sounds of Zili Misik. Houghton Chapel Multifaith Center, 7 p.m.

Thursday, October 24: Newhouse Center-sponsored lunch talk with Francesc Torres, a Mellon Visiting Artist from Barcelona. Newhouse Center, 12:30-2 p.m.

Friday, October 25: Slater Cultural Show. Jewett Auditorium, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 26: A Conversation with Ang Lee and James Schamus. Alumnae Auditorium, 10:30 a.m.

Sunday, October 27: So You Think You Can Dance? cultural dance workshop (with appetizers!) Tishman Commons, 6-8:30 p.m.

Monday, October 28: Wellesley-in-Aix reception with resident director Monique Fecteau, faculty, and program alumnae. Slater International Center, 4:30-6 p.m.

Tuesday, October 29: The Tanner Conference, including a host of panels and presentations about Wellesley experiences abroad. Academic Quad and Science Center, all day.