International Education Week

This event aims to promote International Education Week (IEW), November 13-17, which is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education is part of our efforts to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences.

International Students Forum: Tell Your Story, Inspire The World

3pm-5pm, Friday, November 17, 2017

Downsbrough Community Room, Schlow Centre Region Library

(211 S. Allen St., State College, PA 16801)

The United States has the world's largest international student population, with more than 1,000,000 students choosing to broaden their education and life experience in the United States. Many of them have very inspiring stories.

They have striven to understand the foreign culture, get involved in local conversations, and promote mutual understanding between their home countries and the US. They are also the pioneers that are putting the theory, knowledge, practice, experience, and reflection of all nations together to look for development opportunities and solutions to global challenges. Their efforts to promote international communication, education, and cooperation shall not be neglected. 

The event invited international students and young international professionals from different disciplines, races, nationalities, and genders, to share their stories about studying or working aboard, present their thoughts and hopes for the global community, and amplify their voices as the rising generation. 

In pursuance of inspiring current and prospective international students, we had five speakers sharing their stories, including Shaoming Zhu, Abdulrahman Ali Al-kaf, Miaoqiang Dai, Qingyu Ma and Muaitaer Abulaiti.

Shaoming Zhu started the nonprofit organization ‘Foundation of Law and International Affair’ in order to help students and professionals in the fields of law, international affairs, and the intersection between the two. It also aims to yield a platform for international scholarly activities and conducting policy research and analysis of quality.

Abdulrahman Ali Al-kaf expressed how he transformed from an individual that belongs to the introverted group on the spectrum to a person that lives his life and connected to the society. He now reallocates how he spends his time and how he deals with challenges. He served as a coordinator in Penn State’s international student orientation. Currently, he is one of the cofounders of the Students of Schizophrenia, which is an organization that focuses on empowering college students with schizophrenia through raising awareness and offering education.

Miaoqiang Dai gave some tips on how to not only survive but thrive as an international student. First, he suggests to have fun but stay safe. Second, he recommends international students to get involved in the local activities but do not lose yourself. Third, listen patiently, and be prepared to speak up at any time. Fourth, pay attention on what you are doing but also cherish the possibility of doing other things. Fifth, learn more about your homeland, since people regards you as a representative of your own country.

Qingyu Ma provided the audience with a story beginning with his ambitious move to present his master capstone at the ESRI User Conference. After that, he approached two other counterparts, one from US and another from Austria, who also share the same interest in Geography Information System (GIS)  as himself. They launched their business in 2015 and have come up with three major GIS applicable products within two years.

Muaitaer Abulaiti shared her experience as an International student studying Law in Sweden and US. Her story resonated with Abdul’s experience. Muaitaer experiences honeymoon stage, hostility stage, self-adjustment and home stage after she came to the US to pursue her LLM degree. Fresh off board, she was excited about everything. Yet, after a while, she started to feel homesick, encountered language barrier in her courses and mood swings. However, after adjusting her learning methods and being more welcoming to changes, she believes that these challenges have helped shaping her into the person she is today.

For More information about International Education Week and the event, please visit http://iew.state.gov and https://flia.org, or follow us on FaceBook and WeChat (ThinkTankFLIA).