Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Capstone International hosts events for cultural awareness

Capstone International at the University of Alabama will be celebrating International Education Week, and will host a number of cultural and informational events that will be open to all students.

The kickoff event will be tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Ferguson Theater, during which the winner of the study abroad photo contest will be announced.

International Education Week, which is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, will be celebrated at the University through a number of cultural events.

One such event is the “Science of Hot Sauce,” which will be tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. in the Rodgers Library Lobby. The event will host a guest speaker, Dr. Ben Villalón, who will give a talk on the scientific properties of hot sauces and the nutritional and health aspects of chilies, fruits and vegetables. This free event will offer a tasting of salsa and chutney.

The Alabama Academic Quiz Team will be hosting a trivia round tomorrow from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Ferguson Game Room. Anyone who feels they have a good amount of knowledge about other cultures should go and try their hand at competitive trivia.

The student organization Apwonjo will host another event, the Invisible Children Stories of War Face-to-Face tour, which will be tomorrow night at 7 in Gorgas 205. Two Ugandans will speak about their experiences as child soldiers.

There will be a Study Abroad Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday at the Ferguson Center. The fair will showcase 90 percent of all overseas study programs taught by UA professors, and will give students the opportunity to talk one on one with the teachers and directors who have led trips before and who will lead future trips. Students will have the chance to acquire details about the country, program, and class requirements of any study abroad program they are interested in.

Tom Croft, a New Zealand native who teaches in the UA English department, will be leading a trip to New Zealand next June. As a Kiwi who lives in the United States, Croft said he understands and appreciates the value of traveling. He said that the opportunities provided in study abroad programs are one that you cannot experience during a regular UA semester.

“I encourage all students who have the opportunity to travel abroad, and a UA study abroad trip over the summer is a good, safe way to do that. Studying abroad will change your life,” Croft said. “I often think many people think traveling overseas is a difficult thing to do, but these programs make it much easier for students to do.”

Michael Steinberg, who is leading a trip to Iceland next summer, said that because there will be so much information available at the fair, students exposed to opportunities they probably have not known anything about previously.

“It is sort of a crash course in study abroad programs,” Steinberg said. “Most students don’t really think about traveling to Iceland on their own, but when the read the brochure, it suddenly becomes much more interesting and desirable destination.”

On Wednesday night at 7 at the Bama Theatre, there will be a screening of the International Documenting Justice films made by UA students. The four films were made in Uruguay, Rwanda, Cuba, and along the U.S. border with Mexico.

“Most of us don’t often hear stories about people unlike ourselves, but these films give us an opportunity to consider the world from another perspective,” Andrew Grace, director of Documenting Justice said. “This is not a night for those interested only in international education, but instead is a night for those interested in storytelling, film, and thinking about global social issues.”

Holly Buckner, Director of International Academic Programs at the University, said International Education Week is one cohesive celebration of culture. She wants this week to open a dialogue for students to not only recognize the myriad opportunities for study abroad at the Capstone, but also to meet people from other countries at the University. Events such as International Coffee hour every Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Room 121 in B.B. Comer, and the Monday night showings of Bollywood films at 7 p.m. in 10 Alston Hall are all ways to experience different cultures and meet those from different countries who are studying at UA.

“We hope that by taking part in the IEW celebration, we can encourage more UA students to become involved in the global community and start thinking more broadly,” Buckner said. “It is an opportunity for students to start a dialogue about culture and diversity and the differences that impact our opinions and ultimately our worldview.”

UA students and American citizens Jessica Goodwin and Saba Lalani said that going to international events and experiencing cultural diversity is important to college life. They both look forward to partaking in International Education Week events.

“Everybody needs to be exposed to cultural diversity,” Lalani said. “I’m very interested in what other peoples’ culture is like – what they do and why they do it”

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