Six Steps for Planning an Event for International Education Week
International Education Week (IEW) is on the horizon, and every college or department on campus is encouraged to participate in order to promote global proficiency at the UA. A joint initiative of the U.S. Departments of State and Education, IEW at the UA (November 13 – 17) is spearheaded by the Office of Global Initiatives (OGI), which supports all units as they plan fun, intercultural activities. The goal for 2017 is to make IEW a truly campus-wide event, including as many colleges and departments as possible.
Hilary Beggs, manager of events and logistics at OGI, and Georgia Ehlers, director of fellowships and community engagement at the Graduate College, share six tips for seamlessly developing an IEW event.
One. Take an activities inventory.
“Take a look at events you already have planned for that week; they might have a global focus and could be promoted as part of IEW,” said Beggs. “Even if an event or activity isn’t internationally-oriented, we can add a global component.”
“We work with domestic and international students seeking fellowship funding, and we also manage the Peace Corps Fellows Program and the Peace Corps Fair, so we like to feature students who have gone abroad with fellowships,” said Ehlers.
Two. Identify international advocates.
“Look within your department for globally-minded people,” said Beggs. “Find your colleagues working in the international arena, and then brainstorm ways you can engage faculty, students, and the entire community.”
“You can spend a few minutes online to find out who in your department is interested in global issues,” said Ehlers. “For us, it works to create panels during International Education Week with students providing practical knowledge, such as how they found funding to do international research.”
Three. Create campus connections.
“It’s really important to think about how an event can connect domestic and international students,” said Beggs. “Think outside the box about how you can bring students together to learn from one another.”
“If you can’t travel abroad, you can still make friends with people on campus from all over the world,” said Ehlers. “We all benefit from knowing about each other— whether it’s languages, literature, or the arts.”
Four. Get creative and have fun.
“Last year, UA Libraries hosted a fun event allowing participants to say ‘I love UA Libraries’ in several languages. Students followed cue cards to help them with the phrases. They also displayed a giant map, encouraging people to place tacks on areas where they visited. It was a great way to engage with students,” said Beggs. “You can host an open house, a film screening, a photo exhibit, or a lecture. We welcome all ideas, big and small.”
“Google ‘International Education Week’ and you’ll find tons of event ideas,” said Ehlers. “Pilot something and make it fun. It doesn’t have to be exorbitant. Our dean teaches folk dancing, so we’ve even done that!”
Five. Promote your global prowess.
“Once you’ve solidified an idea, enter your event into the IEW events page at global.arizona.edu/iew. We’ll post the event to campus calendars and promote through other specialized advertising,” said Beggs. “It’s a great way to promote what you’re doing and reinforce how globally-connected our campus is.”
“Just pick a date and time and reserve a room, and the Office of Global Initiatives will help you publicize your event,” said Ehlers. “We also use our college LISTSERV and try to make hand-outs.”
Six. Get involved at any level.
“If you can’t host an event, make a commitment to attend others around campus,” said Beggs. “You can also reach out to us to get involved in other ways; just visit global.arizona.edu/iew.”
“International Education Week expands horizons. It builds CVs, creates connections, and the networking can lead to life-long research interests,” said Ehlers. “It’s worth it to get involved.”