This week the Office of International Programs will host its  annual International Education Week. 

“We have some really wonderful international students here, and they have the most amazing cultures and stories to tell,” Alison Reed, the administrative assistant in the Office of International Programs, said. “This week of events gives us a chance to shine a little light on that, and I think it’s an extremely special time for them and for SFA as a community.”

At 2 p.m. Wednesday there will be a “Tastes of the World” event in the Baker Pattillo Student Center plaza. Thursday there will be a mini-fair for study abroad programs in the BPSC Spirit Lounge. To finish out the week, on Friday there will be the SFA World Cup tournament at noon in the Health and Physical Education Gym. 

Any student can attend these events, even if they are not involved in the international programs. However, all teams interested in participating in the World Cup on Friday must enter by contacting Kenneth Felts at or by calling 936-468-6631. Teams can be made of students, faculty, staff and community members. The matches are open to anyone who wants to watch.

“We’ve only done a full week of events for the last three years, and we’ve hosted the World Cup Soccer Tournament and the Coffee Kick-Off each time, but we try to change things up each year to keep people on their toes and excited about the week,” Reed said. 

The International Education Week events highlight not only international students, but their cultures.

“Our international students come from Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, the Caribbean and the Middle East—almost every part of the globe,” Heather Catton, director of the Office of International Programs, said. “Even if students aren’t able to travel abroad, our international students are an amazing resource for learning about new cultures and customs.”

Throughout the week, the presentations focus on different countries and what makes them unique. One way this is explored is through food. 

“The International Food Festival is always the best,” Catton said. “Every culture has its own flavors, and you can learn about people through their food.”

Although the Office of International Programs is highlighted one week a year during International Education Week, the office has programs going on throughout the whole year. 

Students interested can join International Student Association, host a foreign exchange student and attend any event put on throughout the year.

“International Education isn’t just about one week a year,” Catton said. “There is always something going on that students can participate in.  I hope the enthusiasm for International Education can continue throughout the year.”

(1) comment

Being an international student in the US isn't easy, given our complex culture and language. Events like this can make a big difference. A new award-winning worldwide book/ebook to help anyone coming to the US is "What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More.” It paints a revealing picture of America for those who will benefit from a better understanding, including international students. Endorsed worldwide by ambassadors, educators, and editors, it also identifies “foreigners” who became successful in the US and how they contributed to our society, including students.
A chapter on education explains how to be accepted to an American university and cope with a new culture, friendship process and classroom differences they will encounter. Some stay after graduation. It has chapters that explain how US businesses operate and how to get a job (which differs from most countries), a must for those who want to work for an American firm here or overseas. It also has chapters that identify the most common English grammar and speech problems foreigners have and tips for easily overcoming them, the number one stumbling block they say they have to succeeding here.
Most struggle in their efforts and need guidance from schools’ international departments, immigration protection, host families, concerned neighbors and fellow students, and books like this to extend a cultural helping hand so we all have a win-win situation. Good luck to all wherever you study!

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