International students share culture, traditions this week

Globe with top hat, bow tie and tails - Study Abroad logoIf you are interested in cultures, traditions and perspectives other than your own, soak up everything planned for International Education Week.

The week, recognized at the same time each year in more than 125 countries, is a chance for Washburn and its population of international students to celebrate the richness that the presence of those students adds to the Washburn experience.

“It’s an opportunity for all students to have an international experience right here on campus,” said Tina Williams, study abroad program coordinator. “Meet international students, learn about their language and culture and develop an appreciation for that.”

From Tuesday through Saturday, events are planned to introduce everyone at Washburn and throughout Topeka to the cultures of China, Paraguay and Saudi Arabia – which have the largest student populations at Washburn – and Bolivia, Korea and Turkey, among others.

“Washburn really cherishes and promotes international education,” said Andy Vogel, coordinator of international student recruitment and retention. “The University is a place to share ideas. This week gives them (international students) … the spotlight to impart knowledge.”

Many of Washburn’s international students are here as study abroad students who discovered Washburn because of a partnership between it and their home university. Washburn has such partnerships with more than 25 universities around the world. Others come to Washburn for their entire degree program.

Washburn offers an array of study abroad opportunities to dozens of countries for a everything from a few weeks to a semester or full year, Williams said. And a Washburn Transformational Experience scholarship can make it very affordable. If you are interested in exploring international opportunities, stop by the International House.

International Week Schedule at a glance 

All events are free and open to the public.


  • Enjoy Alfajores cookies and Yerba mate tea from Paraguay from noon to 2 p.m. across from the Corner Store in the Memorial Union.
  • Watch “The Dialogue,” a documentary about American and Chinese relations from the perspective of students from both countries traveling together in Hong Kong and Southwest China. The film will be shown at 7 p.m. in Henderson Learning Resources Center Room 112.


  • This week’s International Programs Brown Bag Lecture features associate professor of sociology and anthropology Sangyoub Park speaking about the surging popularity of golf in South Korea.


  • Sample a variety of teas from China from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. across from the Corner Store in the Memorial Union.
  • The short film “Reel Bad Arabs” – about the unfavorable representation of Arabs and Muslims in American cinema – will be presented twice today. Watch it at noon at Mabee Library or at 7 p.m. in the Blair Room of the Living Learning Center.


  • Enjoy Coffee and Dates from Saudi Arabia from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. across from the Corner Store in the Memorial Union.
  • Students traveling abroad in Spring, plan to attend Study Abroad Orientation at 3 p.m. at International House.


Washburn’s annual Celebration of Cultures showcase begins at 7 p.m. at White Concert Hall and is free to all. Host for the evening is Hamad Nooh, from Bahrain. Hostess is International Club President Anqui Zhang, from China. The event will feature:

  • Musical performances including folk songs from China, Japan and Turkey as well as piano, guitar and choral singing.
  • Demonstrations of Korean Yoyo, Nun chucks, calligraphy and dance from Bolivia and Korea.
  • The event ends with an International Fashion Show.