With a “Gangnam Style” flash dance, a coffee and tea tasting, a panel discussion devoted to understanding world religions and other activities, Hawaii Community College celebrated International Education Week on Nov. 15-16.
The fourth annual celebration was a chance to recognize the importance of enrolling foreign students at HCC as well as the value of sending HCC students abroad, said Sherri Fujita, the coordinator of the college’s Intensive Language Program.
“We’re not doing our students a service if they sit in class with the same students they went to high school with,” Fujita said. “We have to get them to see the world in a bigger way.”
More than 80 students from China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and other countries are enrolled in programs at Hawaii Community College, and the college helps its students study in other countries.
The theme of this year’s International Education Week celebration was “Imagine World Peace.” Event organizers settled on the theme as the news of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi and the uprising in Syria were grabbing headlines, said Fujita.
Greater interaction between students from the United States and abroad, Fujita said, hopefully will lead to greater acceptance and tolerance of different worldviews, and therefore more peace.
“In the end, despite all our differences, people around the world have more similarities than differences, and we want people to focus more on the similarities,” said Fujita.