November 9, 2004
04-146

Charles Harmon Director of University Relations, Joseph C. Agbasi Student Assistant

Zaccari announces International Education Week

Valdosta State University President, Dr. Ronald M. Zaccari, proclaims Nov. 15 through Nov. 19, 2004, as International Education Week (IEW) at VSU. Currently, the university has 220 international students representing 63 countries.

This is the fifth annual commemoration of the IEW, a joint initiative of the U.S. Departments of State and Education. It's part of the effort to promote programs that prepare Americans for the global environment, and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States.

Secretary of Education Rod Paige and Secretary of State Colin Powell call for the nationwide celebration of International Education Week.

?It has become very clear that broadening our international understanding is critical,? Paige said. ?This will mean renewed efforts to encourage study of foreign languages and cultures, and to provide opportunities for all students to broaden his or her knowledge of the world.?

?People-to-people diplomacy, created through international education and exchanges, is critical to our national interests,? Powell said. ?Americans who study abroad expand his or her global perspective and become more internationally engaged. Foreign students and individuals who participate in citizen exchanges return home with a greater knowledge of our democratic institutions, and America's enduring values.?

?Valdosta State University is committed to bringing an international perspective into our classrooms and educating our community about our world's cultures, peoples, and languages,? Zaccari said.

VSU's Center for International Programs has planned a very exciting week, which has VSU jumping continents each day. Monday will focus on Africa, Tuesday on Asia, Wednesday on Latin America and the Caribbean, and Thursday on Europe. International dishes will be served at the Palms Dining Center the entire week.

Dr. C. Tracy Harrington, director of VSU's Center for International Programs said, ?This is a very important week because it lets our community celebrate international education, remind people about the importance of other cultures and countries, and allows us to better understand the world we live in.?

The ?Round (the World) Tables Conference? will commence on Wednesday, Nov. 17 from 9 A.M. to 3 P.M. at the Georgia Avenue Reception House. VSU professors will be making presentations discussing various international issues.

?By strengthening the global community, we build a greater understanding and improve global prospects for peace,? Zaccari said. ?The 2004 observance of ?International Education Week? offers an opportunity to affirm international education as a way of strengthening mutual understanding with our neighbors around the globe.?

All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to recognize the importance of international education in building a more peaceful world.