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Kwantlen celebrating cultures and global connections

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 1:11 PST, Thu November 24, 2022

A celebration of global cultures, international connections, and intercultural learning is underway at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) campuses this week.

International Focus Week encourages global engagement and offers an opportunity for students considering studying abroad to connect with others from around the world. It’s how KPU is marking International Education Week, which is celebrated worldwide each November by supporting international engagement efforts while showcasing the impact that international education has in preparing students for the world.

“It is a reflection of the spirit of cooperation and collaboration among various stakeholders across Canada to join forces to highlight the importance of international education,” says Ada Lee, global learning and partnerships manager for KPU International.

This is KPU’s 13th annual International Focus Week. Yesterday, KPU Elder in Residence Lekeyten led an opening ceremony for a global engagement fair at the university’s Surrey campus. The event featured numerous information booths, including ones supported by exchange students from Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Germany, Spain, and Australia. Visitors were also offered samples of international food, tea from around the world, and caricature drawings.

Today (Nov. 24), Kwantlen’s Richmond campus is hosting a global café with more intercultural engagement opportunities for students, along with games, prizes, and snacks.

Opportunities for students to engage with the world are important as global competencies, intercultural communication, and the ability to be a cultural navigator are critical in today’s workforce no matter the career path, says Lee. 

“Global citizenship not only helps students find perspective and understanding within a globalized world, but also helps them in the workplace when they work with either diverse clients locally, or international projects,” she says.

Lee adds that global learning experiences such as semester exchanges, field schools, collaborative online international learning, and virtual internships are great experiential learning opportunities.

“Students and faculty are able to build global competencies (and) adaptability, and experience immense personal and professional growth,” she says.

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