Celebrate International Education Week with Your International Student!

This year, International Education Week (IEW) will be held November 14-18, 2016. The week is dedicated to celebrating the benefits of studying abroad and how it broadens horizons and creates global citizens. IEW is a joint effort between the U.S Department of State and the U.S Department of Education to empower youth through international education. As host parents of an international student, this week could be a great opportunity to celebrate diversity with your student and your community. Below, we’ve outlined some ideas you could use during this week to embrace international education and learn more about different cultures.

Leverage Sponsored Events


The IEW has many sponsored events around the country that are free to enjoy. These events include food festivals, multi-cultural fairs, family nights, and college info nights. Check out these sponsored events to see if there is one near you! If there are no events near you, but you’d like to start one within your community, you can register your event to make it official! Here are some great pictures of past IEW events!

Volunteer with Your Family


Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community, and connect with each other. The IEW has volunteer opportunities available to individuals and families. You could do things such as meeting with leaders from other countries, connect with other hosts, work at events, and more! If there are no IEW sponsored volunteered opportunities in your area, look into volunteering at any local organization with your international student that promotes unity within your community. Combining cultures through service is a great way to bolster learning and bonding with your international student.

Host a Pot Luck Dinner


Hosting a dinner where each guest brings a traditional dish is a great way to learn about different cultures. Food is a cornerstone of every heritage and should be celebrated as often as possible. This could be as large or small as you’d like! Whether you invite kids from your student’s class, your neighbors, or just cook for your family, food is a great way to bond and share stories. Ask your international student what their favorite dish from home is and cook with them, and cook your favorite dish for them!

You can choose to do something as big as attending or creating your event, to as small as cooking something new for your family, the most important thing to remember is that you are learning about international exchange and different cultures with your family and your international student. Celebrating differences through education is what makes us global citizens! The IEW created a Facebook Event you can join, and a Facebook Profile Overlay to show your support for this week! If you share your pictures and ideas with us on social media, we will re-share to our page!


*Hero image via the International Education Week Official Site