Graphic designed by Jordan Schmitt

Ohio University Hosts International Education Week

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ATHENS, Ohio — Grusha Amatya is an international student advisor who is new to Athens. She is originally born and raised in Nepal.

“Respect is being kind and polite at the same time, regardless of age, ethnicity, culture, or gender. It is acceptance regardless of differences,” Amatya said to a breakout room. The group discussed matters of respect and compared international student experience with United States students as a a part of Ohio University’s international Education Week.

Another international student, Amrit Bahadur Thapa, described respect as, “Accepting another person as they are – language, appearance or anything else doesn’t matter if we accept them as intelligent, capable human beings.”

Ohio University aims to teach students about global affairs and respect through its International Education Week, November 15 -19.

Hosted through the university’s Division of Diversity and Inclusion, International Student Union, International Student and Faculty Services and Office of Global Affairs, there are a wide variety of virtual and in-person events slated for the week.

The week featured a conversation surrounding “Global Perspectives on Making Respect Visible.” The event was presented in a hybrid format with participants on Microsoft Teams and an in-person audience at Baker Ballroom at the Athens campus.

A screen grab of the "Global Perspectives on Making Respect Visible" presentation captured on Wednesday, Nov. 17.
A screen grab of the “Global Perspectives on Making Respect Visible” presentation captured on Wednesday, Nov. 17.

Director of International Services and Operations Diane Cahill explained the goals for the event.

“We really want at Ohio University to facilitate a sense of belonging for international students,” she said. “We want to make sure we are growing every year in providing support for international students.”

According to Ohio University staff reports, this year the university has witnessed a growth in the international student population, with a 28% increase in its first-year class.

Duane Bruce, Interim Associate Director of the Division of Diversity and Inclusion, explained their department’s collaboration with International Student and Faculty Services. Bruce explained Ohio University’s “Make Respect Visible” campaign, which is an effort to fully incorporate campus community expectations surrounding respect into the university’s brand.

“It is a call to action to the campus community when it comes to engaging across differences,” he said. “Last April, the Board of Trustees unanimously voted on implementing the Inclusive Excellence Strategic Plan.”

In regard to international students, the plan outlines goals of recruiting and retaining diverse populations, creating a sense of belonging for the international student population, infusing diversity into all aspects of campus life, and collecting data. In order to collect data, the division has implemented a campus climate survey that university students and employees can complete.