Events focused on international experience and careers dominate IEW 2021

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Student performers at Bruins Around the World 2021. (Photos: Peggy McInerny/ UCLA.)

With over 40 events and 52 participating campus units, International Education Week 2021 provided Bruins ample opportunities to broaden their horizons and learn about opportunities for international study, internships and research at UCLA.

By Peggy McInerny, Director of Communications

UCLA International Institute, December 3, 2021 — International Education Week (IEW) 2021 at UCLA rose above the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic for the second year in a row. In a mostly virtual program punctuated by a few joyous in-person events, IEW took a deep look at the enduring value of international education and exchange through the eyes of faculty, students and alumni.

Over the course of November 15–19 , some 52 UCLA units hosted 43 individual events attended by hundreds of Bruins (past and present) and the general public. Bruins Around the World, the traditional evening of student cultural performances and activities hosted by UCLA Residential Life, returned to an in-person format this year at Covel Commons — cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd of 162 mask-wearing students.

Other notable events included two UCLA Global Conversations, an international trivia night hosted by the Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars, an in-person martial arts workshop on Hawai’ian Lua and an Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) panel on “Global Perspectives on Anti-Asian Racism.”

The broad array of activities, which can be viewed on the UCLA website for IEW, featured several roundtables with students and alumni on the study abroad experience, navigating different cultures, international careers, leveraging foreign language studies and living abroad in the age of Covid-19.

Events were hosted by such campus units as the International Institute, Alumni Affairs, Anderson School of Management, Luskin School of Public Affairs and its Institute on Inequality and Democracy, Fulbright Scholar Enrichment Program, UC London Office (UC Trust UK), Dashew Center, UCLA Study Abroad/ International Education Office, UCLA Career Office, Burkle Center for International Relations, Peace Corps recruitment office, UCLA Extension and many others.

The International Institute was particularly delighted to host well-attended UCLA Global Conversations with two California politicians: California Attorney General Rob Bonta and Deputy LA Mayor for International Affairs Ambassador Nina Hachigian, respectively, each of whom brings a global perspective to their work.

International faculty, students and windows to a broader world

International faculty and students were an integral part of International Education Week 2021. For example, they shared tips and advice for adjusting to life in the U.S.; conducted a student-organized “Around the World in 90 Minutes” discussion on cross-cultural communication; offered a mini-lecture on optimism and failure (UCLA roboticist Dennis Hong); shared visiting research and post-doctoral scholars’ observations; and offered an excellent “Decolonizing Global Health” video (David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA).

The IEW 2021 roster was rounded out by numerous information sessions on research and education fellowships available at UCLA (e.g., FLAS, Fulbright, Fulbright-Hayes, Taiwan Studies, Chinese language, PEMSEA), together with sessions that addressed global developments and trends.

The latter events ranged from discussions of international languages spoken in Los Angeles to the role of diversity, equity and inclusion in enterprise innovation to the Venezuelan migrant crisis, the impact of colonialism on the modern financial system, refugees and human dignity, the crisis in Myanmar, China’s diplomatic corps, Covid-19 in Bolsonaro’s Brazil, press coverage of the Mexican president and campaign politics in the Philippines.

The enthusiastic support for International Education Week across campus this year was in many ways reflective of UCLA’s status as one of the world’s leading global universities, one whose graduates and research have a global impact. The International Institute looks forward to continuing the IEW tradition next year.

The UCLA commemoration of International Education Week 2021 was made possible by the hardworking IT team of the UCLA International Institute, to whom the IEW organizing partners express their deep gratitude. Led by the UCLA International Institute, those partners are the Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars, UCLA Residential Life and UCLA Study Abroad.

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Published: Friday, December 3, 2021