International Education Week

Each year, the U.S. Departments of State & Education sponsor International Education Week (IEW). IEW is a celebration of the importance of international education in the United States. During IEW, the Office of International Services works with units around the university to host several cultural programming events. 

IEW Logo

November 16-20, 2020 

Monday, November 16

09:00 – 10:00 a.m. Cultural and Academic Transition
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Hosted by international student, Nigam Bopanna, and sponsored by New Student Programs. One of the most common challenges international students face is dealing with “culture shock”. In this event, we would like to cover the various cultural shocks and academic challenges that international students might face during the initial months in the US and how to deal with such challenges.

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Presentation by the State Department’s Diplomat in Residence for the Midwest, Ron Packowitz
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Learn about diplomatic careers and internships at the U.S. Department of State. Foreign Service officer Ron Packowitz will share highlights from his 20-year career representing America abroad.

Tuesday, November 17

10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Peace Corps Presentation by Nyassa Kollie, former Peace Corps Volunteer
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Learn about the history of the Peace Corps and how you can apply to serve the U.S. abroad.  

12:00 – 1:30 p.m. Global Brigade Reunion with Dr. Phyllis West, Dr. Nicole Koonce and our GSU Brigaders
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Connect with Global Brigade coordinators and alumni to learn more about the work that has been done abroad at GSU and the impact we are making around the world.

1:30 – 2:00 p.m. The Spirit of Service and Global Service Learning Scholarship Announcement
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Join us as we discuss how service abroad can translate into service locally. We will share with you the good work that our very own GSU students are doing in their communities and announce the winners of the Global Service Learning Scholarship.

2:30 – 3:30 p.m. In the era of Bad Bunny: An interactive discussion on the rise of Latino influence on the American music industry in the 2010s.
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A short presentation will be presented followed by an open discussion on the topic. Participants are encouraged to share a song that has had an influence on them or on the music industry. 

Wednesday, November 18
10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Do you want to be a global citizen? How a pandemic can prepare you for study abroad.
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Presentation by Dr. Henrietta Boudros, Communication Disorders, on the transferable skills learned during the pandemic, how they prepare you for study abroad and your future career. Discussion to follow.

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Voices of Fall/Voces del otoño
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Bilingual Poetry and Prose Reading and Conversation hosted by Dr. Rey Andújar with special guest writer Oswaldo Estrada. 

Speaker Bio: 
Oswaldo Estrada is a Peruvian-American writer and literary critic. He is a Professor of Latin American Literature and Culture at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has authored or edited over a dozen books of literary and cultural criticism. His book Troubled Memories: Iconic Mexican Women and the Traps of Representation (SUNY, 2018) won the 2019 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award. This year, he won the International Latino and Latin American Book Fair Prize for Las locas ilusiones y otros relatos de migración(Axiara, 2020). And he has received two major awards from the 2020 International Latino Book Awards for his collection of short stories, Luces de emergencia (Valparaíso USA, 2019, 2020), and for his edited volume, Incurables: relatos de dolencias y males (Ars Communis, 2020). 


Grant info: This event is funded by the Department of Education Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Grant and is part of the College of Arts and Sciences project, Making Spanish and Global Studies Accessible to All at Governors State University (Dr. Novia Pagone and Dr. Jelena Radovic-Fanta, co-directors). 


6:00 – 7:00 p.m. GSU Exchange Program Info Session with Kansai University in Japan
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Learn about how you can do a semester in Japan while paying GSU tuition. Meet with Kansai University exchange program coordinator, Miyako Sato.

Thursday, November 19

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Showcase of GSU’s International Film Festival Short Films
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Opportunity to watch and discuss international short films from this year's Chicago Southland International Film Festival. 


STICKER / Winner: Best of the Fest

Country of Origin: North Macedonia
Director: Georgi M. Unkovski (Professional)
Genre: Dark Comedy / Runtime: 18:45

Synopsis: After an unsuccessful attempt to renew his car registration, a father falls into a bureaucratic trap that tests his determination to be a responsible father and attend his daughter’s pageant.  A commentary on the abuse of power in North Macedonia with a comedic turn in the relentless pursuit & harassment by the local police of a father as he just tries to get to his daughter’s performance on time. 


Gando / Winner: Best Documentary

Country of Origin: Iran
Director: Teymour Ghaderi (Professional)
Doc / Runtime: 7:56

Synopsis: Young girls in the Sistan and Baluchestan provinces of Iran have to walk far from their village to get drinkable water from a pond because of the lack of a water supply.  However in most of these ponds there are a kind of Iranian crocodile called Gando which commonly attack humans leaving many of the children with lost legs or hands.  This documentary is told in the first person by 9 year-old Hawa who survived an encounter with the Gando.

4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Mohan to Mahatma Gandhi - Life & Legacy
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Presentation and discussion led by Dr. Sriram Sonty on the life and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi.


Friday, November 20

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Netflix Watch Party “Digits”
Join us in watching the episode "Digits" from a docuseries called Connected and chat along with your peers! All you need to participate is a Netflix account and Netflix Party extension. Visit to use the extension. Email for link to join the chat room. Sponsored by ICO and GPN student clubs.

For more information, please contact