International Education Week (IEW) 2022 wrapped up in spectacular fashion on Friday, November 18, as one of the most memorable iterations of the U's beloved annual cultural celebration in recent history.
The week (Nov.14–18) was presented in a hybrid format; with some departments continuing to reap the unique benefits of hosting online information sessions and even a cooking lesson, while others offered a nostalgic return and a glimpse into new-normalcy with fully in-person events.
This year's edition of IEW started off with two back-to-back events: the International Flag Parade, a new tradition hosted by International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS), followed by the Office for Global Engagement's (OGE) IEW Kickoff Party.
Volunteers lined up on Monday morning, each holding a flag comprising the 106 nations represented by the international community at the U, and marched from President's Circle to the Marriott Library Plaza to the bold sound of the Alta High School drumline. At the plaza, the flag bearers stood by OGE’s Chief Global Officer, Brian Gibson, as he delivered an impassioned opening statement for the week.
After which, the kickoff party was lit up by traditional dances from Viva Peru Dance and Ngoma y'Africa Cultural Center. The dancers' lively performances and an interactive dance lesson provided a moment of warmth on a chilly November afternoon.
Throughout the week, the Learning Abroad Office showcased several dramatic photographs in their Lenses Abroad student photography exhibition on the third floor of the Marriott Library. Some of the artists themselves were invited for an in-person reception held on Wednesday.
Thursday saw the return of a beloved community event in the K-Pop Dance Fest, co-hosted by the U Asia Campus and in partnership with food truck veterans-turned Korean cultural ambassadors, Cupbop. Special guests Black Moon Krew performed a three-song set and led a group workshop to the chorus of Purple Kiss's "Nerdy." Early attendees secured goodie bags which included OGE and U Asia Campus merchandise, and vouchers for free items at the Cupbop food truck.
The week concluded with the U's most highly anticipated international event of the year, International Night, in a fully in-person format–a feat that had escaped hosts ISSS and the International Student Council for two years.
The popularity of the event was stunningly evident, as tickets sold out early Friday morning and the A. Ray Olpin Student Union ballroom saw a steady flow of volunteers, performers and attendees throughout the evening. Passionate dance and musical performances captivated audiences, which were followed by a fashion show displaying a wide range of traditional garbs and attire. The event, and week, closed out with an opportunity giveaway and meals catered from Cupbop.
“This year’s International Education Week was a great success and demonstrated the breadth of international engagement at the U. It also shows the high level of interest in the diversity of our international university community,” said Gibson. “The great success of this celebration would not have been possible without the steadfast dedication of OGE staff and that of our partners across the university. We value and appreciate their efforts.”
Some other noteworthy events throughout the week included the celebration of the Mexican Consulate’s 110th year in Utah, hosted by the Hinckley Institute of Politics; a Global Health Leader forum featuring the CEO of the General Hospital of Mexico, Dr. Guadalupe Guerrero, hosted by the Office of Global Health; a film showing and panel discussion on contemporary Mexican cinema hosted by the Center for Latin American Studies; and an information session hosted by Eccles Global.
The University of Utah Asia Campus in Songdo, South Korea also held events which ranged from a workshop on Korean calligraphy to Flamenco dance lessons, and a panel discussion on working in Korea as a foreign citizen as part of IEW 2022, halfway across the globe.
“Our partner offices showed a lot of creativity and diversity in the events they hosted,” said OGE’s Executive Director of Global Program Development, Marketing & Communications, Cheri Daily. “It goes to show that there are so many different ways to go Global at the U, aside from the traditional paths most people think of.”
Those who were unable to attend the week's events can find clips and photos on the Office for Global Engagement's Instagram page (@globaluofu).