CCBC celebrated International Education Week in Essex, Dundalk and Catonsville November 14 - 18. Events included music and dance performances, seminars on travel and culture, and the International Festivals.
At the International Festivals student education became more than books and papers. Students had the chance to try numerous dishes and desserts from all over the world. Musicians were also present at the festivals to create an energetic environment for students to mingle as they explored different cultures from the comfort of our campus. Catonsville’s International Festival, which occurred on Wednesday, focused on the countries and cultures of South America. Festivals happened the next day on both the Dundalk and Essex campuses.
Performances included a Latin guitarist, a steel drum trio, a belly dancer, and a few other musical guests all of which brought extraordinary, cultural experiences to our campus. The Live performances seemed to be enjoyable breaks in between classes for many busy students.
Throughout the week, many smaller events also took place. These events included Wanderlust Adventures on How to Travel the World, a presentation of immigration stories, a seminar on Islamic Epistemology, and many more. All of these events encouraged students to study other cultures and to travel other parts of the world.
International Education Week encourages students to get involved in the many opportunities to study the world that surrounds them. Many of these opportunities are available to students through the International Student Services, ESOL Department, and The Global Advisory Education Board. These departments are focused on providing students with the opportunities they need through study abroad programs and the International Club.
Nellie Pharr-Maletta, Assistant Director of CCBC’s International Student Services, explains that, “International Education Week celebrates the diversity of our student body and acknowledges the global nature of living, learning and working in today's society.” It is a core CCBC belief that students should learn how to accept and understand other cultures in order for us to create a learning environment in which everyone feels accepted and understood.
Traveling abroad can have incredible benefits for a student as an individual and as a professional. Not only does one experience amazingly offer a different perspective, but a person who travels also obtains a very useful set of skills. Students who travel can learn to communicate despite language differences, organizational skills, adaptability skills, and many other abilities employers look for in new hires.
Madeline White, a student at CCBC who’s traveled to Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Bermuda, explained in an interview that a student who travels, “can better understand the world we are living in and may develop a better appreciation of the life we’ve been handed. Learning about another place first-hand is much more enlightening than learning in a classroom.”
At the Wanderlust Adventure event held on Friday the 18th in the Administration Building on the Essex Campus, Deidra Mathis spoke of her own experiences traveling and encouraged students to do the same. She explained the most common reason students are hesitant to travel when she said, “even though traveling can be exciting, it can be expensive.”
She then continued to share the ways a student can make it happen despite financial issues. Students were encouraged to save up their money, speak with students who have also traveled to where one wants to go, research the programs provided by our school, and to find scholarships and grants that can help one study abroad. “I like to encourage students to travel the world and experience new things,” said Mathis as she closed her presentation.
We live in a world filled with billions of people that live in hundreds of countries and belong to thousands of cultures. So, it is important for young and developing minds to explore more of these cultures than what they can find in their own community. We are all part of the human experience and cultural understanding and appreciation can help us all become a more peaceful and enjoyable race.
The International Student Services Office encourages students to get involved. The ISS sponsors and hosts fun trips, workshops, and activities. Contact them for more information at 443-840-5005.