International Education Week

Members of the Global Engagement Office learn how to dance the hula from members of the Pacific Islanders Club

International Education Week (IEW) is an annual celebration of the importance and benefits of international education and exchange. IEW is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education that promotes programs that prepare U.S. students to interact with a globalized environment and that attract future world leaders to study and exchange in the U.S.


We celebrated IEW at University of Montana this year with a series of events during the week of November 12th. The week kicked off with incredible performances by UM students, including traditional Chinese singer Yuna Yin and dances by the Pacific Islanders club. Students from the English Language Institute (ELI) spent their lunch period in the Food Zoo teaching other students about their home countries and cultures. A number of returned study abroad students participated in a live storytelling event where they recounted some of their most memorable moments from their travels, most notably a candlelit vigil for a rare lynx. Marja Unkuri-Chaudhry, Interim Director of Global Engagement and Director of Education Abroad and Partnerships, and Simona Stan, Associate Professor of Marketing, gave a presentation on the unique partnership between UM and the University Lucian Blaga in Sibiu, Romania. The international Student Association (ISA) also held a special thanksgiving celebration and International Students and Scholars (ISS) hosted an international game evening.


Other community groups held events over the course of IEW that further celebrated the importance of international education and cultural exchange, including a unique art exhibit called Year Without a Summer, Art Erupts: From Missoula to the World, which was a collaboration between Global & Cultural Affairs in Arts Missoula and Artist Courtney Blazon.

(Photo: Marja Unkuri-Chaudhry, Interim Director of Global Engagement and Director of Education Abroad and Partnerships, and Sarah Bortis, program assistant of ELI, are taught Hula by members of the Pacific Islanders club.)