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International Week at GU Includes Lectures, Food and Fun


iWeek 2011 concludes on April 9 with iParty on the Copley Lawn, which will feature international cuisine, musical performances, dances and international trivia.

Former ambassador to the United Nations John Negroponte will kick off Georgetown’s annual celebration of global cultures called International Week (iWeek), which begins on Friday, April 1 and runs through Saturday, April 9.

“iWeek really brings the entire Georgetown community together,” says Riana Terney (C’13), a co-chair for iWeek and member of the International Student Association, which organizes the celebration. “It emphasizes Georgetown’s cultural diversity and gives students, faculty, departments and groups on campus a forum to showcase their unique heritage and cultural identity.”

Cultural Diversity

The theme for this year’s iWeek, celebrating its 18th year, is “One World. One Week. One Georgetown.”

Terney says she and co-chair Rhea Chedid (C’13) chose the theme because it “represents the rich cultural diversity on campus that has meshed with the university’s own heritage and tradition to create a global spirit that is uniquely Georgetown.”

Negroponte’s speech, hosted by the International Relations Club, will be about America's role in a multipolar world, the role of multilateral institutions in Latin America, the future of development in Africa and the influence of non-state actors on diplomacy.

Sharing Passion

The speech by the former ambassador is one of 24 events this year with 31 student groups participating, an increase from last year.

The International Student Association is the main organizer of the event, with support from the Office of International Programs (OIP) and the Center for Student Programs.

Organizers say that there is something for everyone at iWeek, including an international economics seminar hosted by the department of economics, an International Mine Day Awareness Day event, a soccer tournament and movies, dance and musical performances.

“It’s one week where student organizations with different nationalities have a chance to share their passion about their culture and their country,” says OIP’s program and outreach manager Mari Williams. “Students … learn about different cultures outside of the classroom and build relationships with people from around the world.”

iWeek for Everyone

There are nearly 2,000 international students at Georgetown this year, in both undergraduate and graduate programs, representing 130 countries, according to OIP statistics.

The closing event of the week is the iParty, which takes place April 9. More than 20 food tables from different countries will be offered along with music and dance performances.

“iWeek is for everyone – “Americans and internationals alike,” says Cigdem Eskiocak (B’12), president of the International Students Association. “It is a week dedicated to all of us learning from and about each other.”

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