This week, the University of Mississippi is celebrating International Education week, a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of State to highlight the importance of international education.
The Office of Global Engagement hosted a celebration of diversity and the global reach of education in the Circle on campus. Representatives from the School of Business, Study Abroad and different language programs each have tables set up to explain and show the importance of international education.
“We’re here mainly celebrating differences in students and education abroad on campuses and in businesses and nonprofits all around the world,” said Blair McElroy, Senior International Officer and Director of Study Abroad.
The university offers five language majors and 10 language minors, but students don’t have to major or minor in a language to study abroad.
“Students can go anywhere in the world, as many times as they want, and all majors are welcome,” said McElroy.
From tables showing traditional East-African clothing and culture to a table offering students to partake in “Fika,” the Icelandic tradition of drinking coffee and enjoying pastries. International Education Week seeks to bring awareness to students so that they can consider studying abroad, no matter how far into their college career they are.
“I think that it’s a really great way to expand your horizons, and kind of get out of this sense of what you’re used to,” said Mikaela Taylor, University Relations Associate for Middlebury.
The Study Abroad office at Ole Miss offers guidance and advising to help students choose which program is right for them. There are study abroad programs that any student can participate in, regardless of their major.
“Studying abroad makes you a stronger person, and it makes you more resilient and a problem solver,” Cara Vandermiller, the Program Manager for International Business Seminars, said. “Studying abroad is good for any career.”
Ole Miss Study Abroad offers scholarships, help with applications to study abroad and guidance on which courses to take when studying abroad.
“By taking that commitment and challenging yourself to grow personally in your language skills and your intercultural competence, you also are able to engage with the community a little bit more,” Taylor said.