Happy International Education Week! We’re celebrating #IEW2017 all this week from November 13-17. Follow along as we celebrate and reflect on our 28 years of international education.
So what is International Education Week? The U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs defines it as: “An opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.”
At Forum-Nexus, we believe in providing a first-class international educational experience to foster an appreciation for the richness of other cultures, by offering unique and life-changing summer programs that encourage the exchange of ideas with individuals from around the world, while creating a community of students (over 3,400 alumni in 28 years) with a passion for learning and exploring the world with an open mind.
We celebrate IEW because it enhances global awareness, develops leaders, facilitates personal growth, encourages cultural tolerance, and adds value to education that can’t be found in a textbook.
A few Forum-Nexus alumni from the past several years shared what international education means to them and how it has impacted their lives. Here’s what they said:
“Although I’ve always been traveling around ever since I was young, studying abroad was a completely different experience. You don’t just get to experience different cultures through the places you visit, but you get to live with international students who expose you to even more cultures than you expected and of course make lifelong friends from all over the globe. International education is an enriching experience from which you learn how to become more accepting, tolerating, and understanding of different ideas, people, cultures, etc. It changes your perspective towards life!” -Nadine K., FN 2011
“ International education is important because being able to study with diverse people and thriving in that kind of environment gives students a boost in confidence that will help in achieving goals. Students are able to gain a new perspective on the world and appreciate the similarities and differences between them.” -Tahir K., FN 2017
“What I most enjoyed about my international experience is the bonds that I made with other students on the trip. I never thought that I would have friends all around the world and now I do. I have formed such authentic friendships with people I had only known from a month, but now they are family to me.” -Jonna F., FN 2016
“My international education taught me classroom content and life skills. It gave me new perspectives, friends from around the world, and a chance to experience different cultures, customs, and environments. It has made me who I am today. I encourage students to study abroad because it is the perfect way to get an international education and all of the benefits that come with it.” – Gabriella L., FN 2012
“International education is important because we live in a world with a rapidly globalizing economy. It is important for everyone to have a general understanding of global cultures simply because of the economic effects that other countries have on every individual. A well-honed international education can also help to increase one’s ability to empathize, which is incredibly important in management or customer service positions.” -Nick B., FN 2015
“An international education program was one of the first things that made me interested in exploring the world; in learning how people from other cultures lived, and what was “normal” or “common” for them, that wasn’t for me. Our communities tend to take many things for granted: costumes, activities, and perspectives that were defined a long time ago in our cities become ingrained in our society and are never questioned again. That’s where learning about the way of living (in all matters) in other parts of the world help us reevaluate our own values and ideas, so we can make a choice not by repetitive patterns, but by consciously comparing and analyzing different perspectives on daily topics, so we can choose what’s best for us.” -Carlos T., FN 2010
“Studying abroad added a priceless value to my education. I wasn’t aware at how little I knew about the world until I went abroad. International education is vital to becoming and being a good global citizen. Now I find myself craving to learn more about different cultures, see different countries, and meet people unlike myself.” -Alyssa F., FN 2014
“Honestly the first thing I think of when people ask me why study abroad is important is that it just makes you so happy. Every day is an adventure and you meet so many different people from all walks of life and they teach you such valuable life lessons. Over the 2 study abroad programs I’ve participated in, I’ve learned how to prioritize the important things in my life, eliminate the excess, chase my dreams, and just live the best possible life I can. And even now at home, rarely does a day go by when I don’t think of some hilarious study abroad moment and smile. Every day, I’m inspired by the memories I have from abroad.” -Deenpreet D., FN 2015
An investment in international education is an investment in yourself. Don’t wait to pursue a highly educational and life-changing experience!