Students celebrate International Education Month


Photo courtesy of Getty Images. Education concept with a tree of knowledge sprouting from a collection of old books.

Trisha Valdez, Staff Reporter

International Education Month happens every year in November. It is a time to celebrate the benefits of cultural and academic exchange programs around the world.

According to Homeland Security, “This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and U.S. Department of Education (ED) promotes how international education programs: Prepare Americans for a global environment and invite the world’s future leaders to exchange ideas and experiences in the United States.”

According to ED, participating in International Education Month is a way to show the importance of “a world-class education for every student.”

The goal for this month, according to the ED, is to increase global and cultural competencies for all U.S. students. Our students need to be equipped with critical thinking, communications, socioemotional and language skills to work effectively with their counterparts in the United States and around the world.

Understanding and educating students about global knowledge is a way of expanding students’ minds and showing a different perspective.

Expanding the mind, showing new cultures is part of it. According to the ED, if a student knows more than one language, it gives students advantages such as operating at a professional level in intercultural and international contexts.

Being bilingual increases the chances of career success. The ED conducted a survey and found 2,100 U.S. employers, 93 percent of respondents said they value employees who can work effectively with customers, clients and businesses from a range of different countries and cultures.

To learn from and other countries is another goal that the ED wants to achieve during International Education Month. To strengthen U.S. education, it is important to know the cultural differences from around the world.

To compare the differences in education advancement, students worldwide take benchmarks to see how far they have come with their education.

When the benchmarks are taken and graded, the ED looks at the results and compares them with other countries to see what we are advanced in and what we need to work on.

United States Secretary of Education Elisabeth Dee DeVos said, “There’s a lot we as Americans can learn from other countries and how they set their students up for successful lives and careers. Simply copying other approaches will not be sufficient. But forward-thinking states and school districts should take note of effective, innovative practices found all over the world and consider how they can be applied at home.”

International Education Month is an opportunity to enlighten students with new perspectives of the world. To educate them so they can have a better chance of success in the workplace and life.

College of the Desert participated with its own Education Week. The International Education Program (IEP) has planned many events for students to attend including an International Art Competition encouraging students to submit art that reflects the theme, Embracing Global Diversity.

Students are able this month to win three $100 prizes for their artwork. Art includes painting, photography, etc. deadline for submissions is on Nov. 30.

IEP will also be hosting an International Photo Contest. In this contest, students will have to submit any favorite photo they took while abroad. COVID-19 might make it more difficult to get pictures but students may submit any photos from past travels to win a $50 prize.

On Nov. 6, there was a Peruvian Cooking Demonstration. There was a Zoom conference and were able to cook with Peruvian student, Barbara Lira. She shared a family ceviche recipe.

On Nov. 17, there were greetings from around the world, where on Instagram TV, students learned greetings and phrases from around the world.

Nov. 19, was an International Trivia Competition where students, faculty members and family members were invited to participate in a global knowledge test.

Students had the chance to learn something new about culture and apply it to their life. Education is one of the most important things anyone learns in life.

It is important to keep learning and growing, learn about International Education Month, and participate with many colleges to celebrate this month.