The International Club will sponsor the first International Students Week at Quinnipiac University on Apr. 1 through Apr. 7.
“I hope that it’s going to be an open-minded event,” said junior Mariana Pinho, president of the International Club. “People from different ethnic backgrounds are invited to become familiar with the different cultures.”
The week will be filled with many events, all of which are intended to promote cultural awareness among national and international students, faculty and staff. Currently, there are seventy to eighty international students on campus with F-1(student) visas and a few who are here on dependent visas.
Originally from Brazil, Pinho has high hopes for the success of the week. “I want to make it a tradition each year,” she said.
The week begins with Flags Out Day, the official International Day, whereby the International Club will advertise with pamphlets and posters previewing the agenda for the week. On the following days there will be international food served in the cafeteria, in addition to an International Cultural Fair in Alumni Hall. At the fair there will be a display of class projects, music and the sale of baked goods. Pinho said that they would be working with the Red Cross to help people overseas.
The week will conclude with guest speakers and an international movie, which will both be held in Buckman Theater. The guest speakers will include president John Lahey, vice president and dean of student affairs, Manuel Carreiro, and David Ives, executive director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute.
Carreiro will speak about minorities, some cultural barriers that he had to overcome, and his background and achievements.
Ives will speak about his experiences overseas with children and the suffering and hunger that they endured. He said that he will also explain how he organized workshops on peace, including information about Latin America and other Third World countries.
“There is a need for awareness of culture, and people should have such knowledge to achieve their goals,” Ives said.
Ives has traveled to forty-five countries, in addition to every continent besides Antarctica.
“He has traveled to places we did not even imagine existed,” said Pinho.
“I want to help people in other parts of the world so that they can be part of our economic system,” he said.
Pinho said that the International Club began three years ago and that there are approximately twenty-five active members. Future plans for the club include a visit to the United Nations. In previous years, the group went to Ellis Island.
“I want to change people’s views about being different,” Pinho said. “I want people to see the world in every color and to see less of themselves. In that manner, they will realize that there is more things out there. People should learn to expand their horizons with no limits or regrets.”