BY James Hitchcock
During the week of Nov. 12, Sacred Heart University celebrated International Education Week. International Education Week provides students and faculty with the opportunity to celebrate international education and the exchange worldwide.
Since the year 2000, this weeklong event is recognized on college campuses across 100 countries worldwide. Sacred Heart has marked its 7th year as a participant.
“The International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, whose goal is to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences,” said Wojciech Wloch, executive director of Global Affairs.
The Office of Global Affairs is in charge of organizing International Education Week on campus. The office facilitates, encourages, and initiates the internationalization process here at Sacred Heart. With four areas of service under the office, Global Affairs supports and works with various departments to promote international initiates and effects across campus.
Throughout the week, students had the chance to participate in over 20 activities on campus promoting international education. The Office of Global Affairs held information sessions about their study abroad programs along with live video chats with students from other countries.
Global Affairs provides several notable functions. They extend and communicate Sacred Heart University’s international reach and reputation. They also facilitate and engage individual and institutional connections between faculty, staff, students and alumni with the world.
Other events from the week included an international education themed trivia night at Red’s, a finance study abroad information session, an Interfaith Thanksgiving Service and more.
Many study abroad programs are offered during each semester including a trip to Dingle, Ireland, for students to attend in the spring and summer.
Simply Smiles is holding a mission trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, over spring break. Simply Smiles is a non-profit organization that seeks to provide bright futures for impoverished children, their families, and their communities.
The trip will allow students to interact and help with the kids at one of the children’s homes. Sacred Heart students have been involved in this mission trip for the past 3 years.
“Volunteering with Simply Smile and their home for children in Oaxaca helped me become more aware of global issues and has shifted my perspective. It has helped shape my college experience in such a positive way that I am so grateful for,” said senior Amanda Miller. “There is such a great need for aid in other countries and Sacred Heart has provided us with the resources to do so.”
A second mission trip to Guatemala will be taking place over spring break with the nutrition clinic C.E.R.N.E. A select group of students will get to visit the plantation where they house families and provide schooling and jobs. During their trip last year, students from Sacred Heart installed stoves in each housing facility.
“This year will be my third time returning to Guatemala. Every time I go, I am shown the true importance of love and friendship,” said senior Julianna Morrone, a student leader of the trip. “Spending time with these kids and their families has given me a home away from home, and they will always have my heart with them.”