Davidson will join colleges, universities and others worldwide in celebrating International Education Week Nov. 14-18 with food and language and information sessions in a variety of venues on campus.
"It's hard to keep up with the myriad international activities and learning opportunities going on at Davidson," said Study Abroad Director Naomi Otterness. "International Education Week offers us the chance to reflect on how fortunate we are that the college so highly values global education for our entire community."
International Education Week (#IEW2016) is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education "to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences."
Davidson's Dean Rusk International Studies Program has been doing just that since its founding in 1985, which continues to raise Davidson's longstanding commitment to international education to new levels. The program is named for former U.S. Sec. of State Rusk, a 1931 Davidson alumnus and one of the nation's longest-serving secretaries of state.
International Education Week, in true Davidson fashion, is inspiring partnerships across campus.
For instance, an Indian- and Pakistani-themed meal at Vail Commons will provide the venue for an information session on the Davidson-in-India program for 2017. Icing on the cake: Commons is known for ecological sustainability, getting much of its produce from The Farm at Davidson, and an ecological focus will infuse Davidson-in-India this year, too.
Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies Chris Paradise, who is directing the India program this year, will host the information session at 11:05 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 15, in the Commons Annex Room. The special meal will be open to the public, as are Vail Commons dining hours from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
"We love to highlight a variety of world cuisines that many Davidson students have experienced when studying overseas, as well as foods from international students' home countries," Executive Chef Craig Mombert said.
The German Studies Department, with a German Embassy "Campus Weeks" grant, hosts prizewinning critic-in-residence Nikolaus Bernau Nov. 8-16. Bernau writes regularly on culture, urban planning, architecture and museums for the Berliner Zeitung, where he is an editor, and is author of more than a dozen books and nearly 100 scholarly articles.
"He is the authority on all things museum in Berlin," said Dana Professor of German and Chair of German Studies Scott Denham. "He will visit classes, meet one-on-one with our students, and give a keynote lecture on the newly unveiled plans for what will be one of the most important new museums in Europe in our lifetimes–the renovated and expanded New National Gallery in Berlin."
Bernau's free, public lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 13, in Hance Auditorium, Chambers Building.
The Dean Rusk International Studies Program's rolling calendar of events and programming throughout the year covers study abroad, international student services, travel grants and more.
Study Abroad: Some 60 percent of Davidson students study abroad for credit, and three-quarters have an international experience of some sort during their college career. Davidson directors staff study abroad programs in Spain, England, Zambia, Ghana, Cyprus, India, France, Peru, China and Germany. Many students also participate in shorter education experiences abroad that are integrated into courses they are taking on campus.
"This year, we have 200 hundred students studying at over 50 locations around the world," said Otterness. "We have several amazing programs that we sponsor ourselves, led by Davidson faculty, and there are some information sessions during International Education Week where students can learn more about these."
International Students: Seven percent of the Davidson student body come from countries other than the United States. The Alvarez Scholars Program provides scholarship funding for many of them, and the Weinstein Travel Grant awards travel funds for international students to use within the United States.
This summer the International Student Office welcomed 49 first-year students from 28 countries, bringing the total international student population (including F-1 visa holders and U.S./dual citizens living abroad) to 170.
"I am always struck by international students at Davidson for being so adventurous, kind, curious, resilient and engaged," said International Student Adviser Bea Cornett. "I feel so lucky to work with them every day!"
Travel Grants: Dean Rusk travel grants, which include targeted International Sustainability Project grants, are awarded to Davidson students and faculty for research, study, service, internships and experiential learning abroad. A longstanding relationship with the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting offers unparalleled opportunities for published research from projects abroad.
One of the newest grant opportunities through Dean Rusk is called Meet My World. It gives international students the opportunity to share their home country and culture with an American friend, as the two travel together in summertime or another academic break.
International Programming: Dean Rusk programming brings the world to the Davidson campus and community–some examples include the Davidson International Association's popular annual International Festival every fall, and the International Host Family Program, with more than 100 host families providing international students a home away from home in addition to their residence hall and campus life.
Dean Rusk Global Corps student advisers also spearhead international events and programming throughout the year, including a lively signature series of invited journalists, activists, academics and other speakers. Recent topics have included Brexit, ethnic cleansing and ISIS, foreign policy in the 2016 American election, the French government's prison-based deradicalization program, post-Quadafi Libya and a Latin music concert.
For student perspectives on study abroad, view the award-winning Dean Rusk International Studies Program Annual Report (PDF), or visit the My Davidson Summer project for first-hand accounts of students' summer adventures at home and abroad.