From sushi-making to salsa dancing, international Education Week immerses students in different cultures


International Education Week will conclude with events held on Nov. 12 and Nov. 13. (Photo courtesy of Emma Sylvester ’25)

By Bia Brait Amorosino, Staff Writer

International students at Lafayette hail from dozens of countries around the world. Through International Education Week (IEW), the campus community is encouraged to learn more about their peers.

IEW, organized by the International Student Association (ISA), is a week-long celebration of diversity and culture, with events surrounding food, art, music and more. Events this year were held from Nov. 8 to Nov. 13 and ranged from interactive activities to discussions.

According to ISA President Celeste Fieberg ’22, the goal of IEW is to bring students together to learn about and engage with a variety of different cultures. The week of events creates an opportunity for students to learn about where their peers are from and widen their worldview in an interactive way.

“It’s really important to engage with and understand other cultures, specifically when international students from these different cultures are here and present on campus. It is also really important, I believe, in today’s world, to learn about issues and topics that are not only focused on the U.S. but that are really international issues,” Fieberg said.

“I think it’s always important not to get so locked up in your little corner of the world,” ISA Co-Vice President Tara Taggart ’23 said. “I think it’s always better to experience a worldview and think more broadly.”

To begin the week, ISA held an origami event on Monday, where members of ISA taught participants how to fold various origami shapes. On Tuesday, students learned how to make their own sushi in the Farinon Atrium during Sushithon. This past Wednesday, the South Asian Student Association and Salsa Club sponsored two dance lessons. On the same day, students of Grossman House led a movie screening of “Beasts of No Nation,” followed by a discussion with History and Africana Studies Professor Christopher Lee. On Thursday, ISA held an event in their Xposed series about Ethiopia, in which former ambassador to Ethiopia and Burkina Faso for the U. S. State Department David Shinn, Ethiopian journalist Samuel Getachew and South African journalist Martin Plaut discussed the ongoing crisis in Tigray.

Today at 12:15 p.m., visiting Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Nara Almeida will give a talk about sustainability in Europe in RISC 260. Later, at 4:00 p.m., Queer People of Color (QPOC) will host a talk on LGBTQ+ presence and progress in countries around the world, led by Assistant Director for Intercultural Development for Gender and Sexuality Programs Thomas Lee, in the Marlo Room. At 7:00 p.m., there will be a game of Jeopardy in the RISC atrium where participants can win gift cards to the Mojo 516 Cafe.

The week will finish off tomorrow at 10:00 p.m. with the annual When Worlds Collide dance in the Pfenning Alumni Center. 

Fieberg hopes that this week will leave a mark on Lafayette students.

“I hope that after attending some of these events, [students] will be interested in engaging more with the ISA community at Lafayette and the international community at Lafayette. Also, it will inspire them not only to come to future events that are put on at Lafayette but also just engage with these topics in the future and do their own research or get involved in certain ways,” Fieberg said.

“I think all the people that come to the events find themselves having a really good time. And I know it’s International Education Week and sometimes you think of education as being…a long lecture class or something like that. But I think when people come they learn more in a really fun and interactive and engaging way,” Taggart added.