Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

What You Missed At International Education Week 2023 in November

Graphic created by author for Department of State’s “International Education Week 2023”, hosted this year from November 13 through November 17. (Beatriz Trujillo)

First implemented in 2000 by the US Department of State Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, International Education Week promotes mutual understanding and competence globally, interconnecting educators, staff, faculty and now students. Valencia College participated in the week-long event, this year held from November 13 through November 17.

Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA) program alumni were honored with reputable awards such as Pulitzer and Nobel Peace Prizes with 84 Nobel laureates. 

The week is intended to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange between cultures. Through diplomatic learning, bright new opportunities and celebration of exchanges, multi-purpose events are  organized around the United States.  

At Valencia College, the Study Abroad and Global Experiences office hosts events on all seven campuses and online. The events celebrate and honor the multicultural, diverse and accommodating space that Valencia College has become. With travel abroad programs, the opportunities that come from cultural exchanges are endless and offer a variety of options. SAGE also encourages student participation in any of their semester trips. Lengths for international study abroad trips range from a week to a summer semester with flexibile dates to allow Pumas to travel for internship and language acquisition purposes.

International Education Week At Valencia College

Serving as a guiding and diplomatic week-long event, the goal is to highlight the benefits of global exchange and the importance in culture leading to education advancement. 

This inclusive event included several activities such as Zoom panels, film premieres, interaction with the provost, enrichment experiences such as an art and cultural museum hosted at West Campus and a festival of lights hosted at the Orange County Administrative Building.

A panel for “Careers in International Affairs” was hosted on November 15 via Zoom call, by Kenyatta Johnson, Coordinator of Career Development Services for the Osceola Campus at Valencia College, and Briana Suarez, International Admission and Operation Manager of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs. 

As International Affairs are an interdisciplinary field, they prepare students for diplomacy, cultural exchanges and career advancement. It involves multiple domains, such as communications and public relations, business, human rights and law, development and conflict resolution, science and technology as well as many other areas. 

Johnson suggested that students interested in learning ways to better prepare for interviews, and career development in general can make appointments in Valencia College Career Center as well as attending their weekly workshops on Wednesdays which are continually offered during Fall, Spring and Summer terms. 

The workshops are online, helping students with career exploration, development of job skills, transfer planning and usage of platforms such as LinkedIn. 

Briana Suarez explained that there are many ways to prepare for international careers as an undergraduate student, and that extra-curricular activities that spark excitement and deeply interest students should be pursued, as well as professional summer programs such as internships. Suarez stated, “Engaging in topics and extra-curricular activities with commitment is the best thing, as well as looking for internships.” 

As far as internships, they can involve study abroad and international exchanges, enriching students with communication skills and multilingual learning. 

Suarez added: “To prepare for an international career, improving your writing, public speaking, analytical and language skills is crucial.” 

On November 15, the meeting with the Florence University of Arts Admission Director excelled in offering opportunities for students interested in international experiences that would gain them diplomatic and useful skills. And it included Vannia Ruiz, Coordinator of Study Abroad and Global Experiences.

Vannia Ruiz said of the experience, “International Education Week is a globally-recognized initiative that promotes cultural exchange and understanding by preparing our students and faculty to engage in cross-cultural experiences. It also encourages us to collaborate and partner with educational institutions.  IEW also promotes the appreciation for the uniqueness of each individual and their culture.”

Florence University of the Arts

Dr. Ruiz introduced the possibility of internships abroad as well as spending a semester abroad in Florence, Italy.

The city of Florence in Italy, has the SPEL(Special Project Experiential Learning)  Program, which offers three credit hours for 150 hours of work. Allowing students to gain experience in a hands-on learning environment.

Student Viera Marotta shared his experience of studying at Florence University of the Arts.

If the presence of the four campuses, nice apartments, and good localization were not convincing, the degree pathways will.

Known as FUA-AUF, it has more than 4,000 students. Offering 4 year bachelor programs for all types of students. It has a multi-purpose campus, being home to more than 48 degree pathways. Including cultural studies of Art History and Fine Arts. It also has Digital Publishing and Communication with concentrations in Digital Media , E-Publishing and Visual Communication. And lastly, it has a wide range of opportunities for Hospitality, including Hospitality Management and Culinary.

Commonly a 6-day itinerary, short term study abroads’, promote an insightful and enriching journey of unknown cultures, cuisines and history. Occurring mostly in Spring and Summer to a variety of countries, they range from 6 to 7 days. The destinations each have a specialized course, ranging from one to three. The different destinations have purposes, including domains such as Hospitality, International Business, Culinary, Health Service Administration, Service Learning and Honors Disciplinary — available for honors students only.

Besides their academic and language engagement, the experience can help students enhance their skills in real life scenarios that would not be seen in a common classroom. International trips require preparation and re-arrangements on Pumas daily lives but are worth it and meaningful, connecting students from different campuses and majors to learn together.

Other Study Abroad Opportunities 

Other abroad opportunities can be made with the Global Experiences office. Locations have included Grenada, Italy, Costa Rica, Portugal and Germany. 

On East Campus, a presentation was held by Professors Heith Hennel and Jerry Hensel titled  “Summer Program of Study Abroad to Spain 2024”. Both have been to short-term study abroad in many countries in South America and Europe. They have been  specifically working with the Spain study abroad programs twice and will proudly bring Pumas once again in the upcoming June of 2024.

 This short-term study abroad program involves a multi-learning international environment that is specialized for Business Students. The experience is hands-on and realistically affordable. Costs average $2,538.06 dollars including plane tickets and residence.

The course of one credit, “IT for International Business Travel, CGS 2038C, enriches Puma’s perspective of business in different countries and the usage of technology in Spain. Not only suitable for Business majors but most definitely helpful for any students interested in expanding their global experiences and extending their spanish usage. The trip will go through different cities such as Madrid, Teruel, and Valencia.

The students who applied before December 1 will have lifetime experiences through culture enrichment, as they will get to know local students, and interact with them ; students will also experience breathtaking views of the Cathedral of Valencia and Almudena, the exquisite cuisine in Teruel’s Culinary School, a hike on Terracotta mountains and much more. Language and technology learning are extremely beneficial for digital platforms  proficiency, and the bonding with other students will guarantee fun and engagement.

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About the Contributor
Beatriz Trujillo, Reporter

Beatriz Trujillo is pursuing an associate’s degree in Political Science at Valencia College and is a member of the Seneff Honors College. Her passions include journalism, reading about the economy and writing about social and political settings.

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