International students at Florida A&M University are being recognized and celebrated this week through a series of events hosted by the Office of International Education and Development.
International Education Week is a joint initiative by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education designed to honor the benefits of global learning. The official dates of this year’s celebration are Nov. 18 through Nov. 22.
According to the OIED administrative services coordinator, Cedrita Demus, the goal of this week’s events is to raise awareness of the OIED’s resources while providing the student body with a good time.
“It’s always nice to just take a break so that’s really the concept behind most of our events,” Demus said.
So far this week, the OIED hosted an afternoon of live Latin music with the FAMU jazz band on the Quad and a night of international karaoke with a photo booth in the Rattlers Den. There is also an ongoing Instagram photo contest geared specifically for FAMU’s international students to express what they’ve learned about the Tallahassee community. The deadline to enter was 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Iyanu Farukanmi, a Nigerian graduate student majoring in soil and water science, is fond of her transition from her home country to FAMU. She is actively participating in this week’s events.
“Today, I learned to harness opportunities irrespective of how late or impossible it might seem,” Farukanmi said in an Instagram post. “While blending my culture with the American lifestyle, I realized time is subjective to one’s perception of it.”
For international students like Farukanmi, networking on campus is important. Without being able to connect with fellow Rattlers, she would feel alone, she added.
Initiatives like International Education Week exist to make mingling less of a challenge for students.
“I am not home,” Farukanmi said. “This is the only family I have here.”
Victoria Moore, the OIED research program coordinator, wants international students to understand and know that they are a part of the FAMU community.
“The Instagram contest is specifically for our international students,” Moore said. “Through that, we wanted to make sure the students are enjoying themselves because we don’t see them every day.”
The winners of the Instagram photo contest will be announced via FAMU Info on Monday and monetary prizes will be issued on Dec. 2.
For more information on International Education Week, visit the State Department’s website at https://iew.state.gov/