International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the rich diversity, culture, and education that international students from around the globe bring to the University of Central Arkansas. With over 600 international students from over 70 countries at UCA, International Education Week gives these students the opportunity to share dance, music, food, clothing, festivals, and information about their culture. We hope that you will join us at these events below! Please contact Casey Jackson-Aceituno at email@example.com or 501-852-2435 if you have any questions or would like additional information.
During summer 2015, International Engagement partnered with the Faulkner County Library to put on a free culture and education program for children. This 3 month program focused on a different country in Africa each month. International students at UCA from the African Student Association and the UCA Ivoirian Association shared culture, language, music, dance, traditional games, and so much more with children in Conway. In May, the program centered around the Democratic Republic of Congo. Students from DRC shared information about nature, animals, and sang their national anthem for the children. In June, the program focused on the Ivory Coast. Students from Ivory Coast played traditional games that children play in Ivory Coast. They made a common snack and drink of Ivory Coast to share with the children. In July, students from Niger talked about daily life and taught the children a song in French. The program was a huge success and we hope to partner with the Faulkner County Library again in the future.
International Engagement has welcomed 15 new international students to the University of Central Arkansas starting classes in Summer 2015. The new students come from a diverse group of countries including Brazil, Burkina Faso, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Ivory Coast, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam. We are very excited to welcome them to UCA!
The University of Central Arkansas recently announced the students chosen to be Presidential Leadership Fellows for the 2015 – 2016 academic year. This prestigious student opportunity affords students selected the opportunity to serve as student representatives of the President’s Office, while sharing their personal collegiate experience at various institutional events, on and off campus. Presidential Fellows are provided several avenue to become involved with the community and business leadership sectors around Conway. International students Azeem Adebayo and Eveline Dembele were selected to serve as Presidential Leadership Fellows this academic year. Azeem Adebayo of Ivory Coast majoring in Computer Science is excited to be a Presidential Leadership Fellow because it will give him the opportunity to be a voice of UCA outside the university. Through this program he hopes to develop leadership skills and gain leadership experience.
On Thursday May 30th, International Engagement honored graduating international students from 21 different countries at the Graduating Student Farewell. At the Graduating Student Farewell, held twice a year, students are presented with a flag sash representing their home country that students wear at the University of Central Arkansas Commencement Ceremony.
On April 17th, seven representatives from International Engagement attended the State NAFSA (National Association of Foreign Student Advisors) Meeting held April 17th at The University of Arkansas Fort Smith. Casey Jackson-Aceituno, Coordinator of Student Services, co-presented with Linda Thao of the University of Arkansas Fort Smith in a presentation titled International Education Week: Events that Put International Students Front and Center. The presentation discussed the purpose of International Education Week, held each year in the month of November, and the plethora of strategies utilized by International Engagement to increase awareness of the diverse group of international students enrolled at UCA. The focus of the presentation was on the annual IEW event, World Fest. Held each year at the UCA amphitheater, World Fest invited all international students to have a table representing their countries. There is also a ethnic clothing show and ethnic dance show during the event. The presentation concluded with a time of discussion concerning successes that each school has had in their IEW events and ideas for the future of how to improve these events.
On April 15th, 2015, 22 international students from countries including China, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, and Ivory Coast volunteered at the Tacos 4 Life Mobilepack. Tacos 4 Life is a local restaurant that donates a meal each time a meal is purchased at their restaurant. At the Mobilepack, international students, alongside Conway community members, packed over 77,000 meals that will be donated to orphanages in Zambia. The Mobilepack volunteer activity was a part of the International Engagement Bears Without Borders initiative promoting one volunteer activity each month that offers international students the opportunity to give back to the Conway community.
On Thursday, April 9th International Engagement held a College Symposium as part of the Leaders of the World Conference. Each college at UCA was represented at the symposium as well as departments including Student Government Association, Honor’s College, Athletics, and the Intensive English Program. Each International Student Organization was invited to showcase their organization and discuss their presence at UCA. Japanese Club, Korean Club, Kazakh Club, African Student Association, UCA Ivorian Association, Chinese Students and Scholars, and the Indian Student Association were all represented. While offering the Leaders of the World Conference Attendees a snapshot of UCA and its offerings at the symposium, our International Student Organization leaders had the opportunity to meet and share with conference attendees from over 10 nations.
UCA International Engagement partnered with the UCA Ivorian Association for our March volunteer activity. Fifteen UCA Ivorian students went to local organization and dyed Easter eggs with children. The students also put on an Easter Egg hunt for the children. The volunteer activity was part of our monthly Bears Without Borders initiative allowing international students at UCA to give back to the Conway community.
Saturday, February 7th, 22 international students from countries including Japan, China, Niger, and Ivory Coast volunteered at Adopt A Block. Adopt A Block is a community initiative started by the Arkansas Dream Center to visit the same neighborhood in Conway once a month for the purpose of building relationships. The students spent the afternoon playing games, doing crafts, and coloring with children at the Faulkner County Library – the location for this week’s Adopt A Block. The international students that went were excited to give back to the Conway community that has welcomed and embraced them during their time at UCA! This volunteer activity was part of the monthly volunteer program that International Engagement promotes – Bears Without Borders.
Sinaly Karamoko coloring with one of the children that attended Adopt a Block