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Archive for November, 2016

International Education Week 2016

Monday, November 28th, 2016

The week before Thanksgiving was devoted to International Education, as Rice celebrated International Education Week (IEW) 2016 with a full schedule of events hosted by various departments and offices all across our campus. Here is a little recap of our wonderful week of celebrating international education and the remarkable international population at Rice University:img_4131

• We kicked off IEW on the previous Saturday with an annual tradition, the Mini Soccer World Cup. In this friendly tournament four teams – Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe – competed for fame and the coveted IEW Mini Soccer World Cup trophy! The teams consisted of members across the Rice community, and included international and U.S. citizen students, scholars, and staff members. In the end, the undefeated Team Africa was crowned as the IEW Mini Soccer World Cup Champions 2016

img_4144• OISS hosted an appreciation luncheon for the Presidents of the international students clubs and organizations at Rice. This event, also an IEW tradition, is a wonderful opportunity for OISS to show our appreciation and gratitude for the work these amazing student leaders do for their respective populations. Their efforts benefit not only the students and scholars from their countries, but also the entire Rice community, and International Education Week is the perfect time for OISS to celebrate their commitment to service. We were also honored to have Mr. Kazimir Karwowski, Executive Director of RCEL, as our VIP guest.

• The wonderful Mayra Onuchic from the Brasil@Rice Office hosted Cooking with Brasil@Rice, and taught us how to make delicious Pão de queijo, Brazilian cheese bread. We can’t wait to try this at home!img_2397

• On the Thursday of IEW, OISS invited 80 international students and scholars to join us for a traditional Thanksgiving lunch. We enjoyed a wonderful meal and great conversation as we discussed the history and meaning of Thanksgiving, holiday plans, and other great topics.

• OISS concluded IEW on the Monday after the week officially ended by hosting an International Coffee Break in partnership with the Graduate Student Association (GSA). International student clubs and organizations from Iran, Brazil, Latin America, Korea, China and India provided delicious treats from their countries/regions. It was the perfect way to conclude Rice’s International Education Week.img_4167

In addition to these events, there were many other activities hosted throughout IEW all across campus. For a complete list of events and participating departments and offices, please visit http://oiss.rice.edu/iew. Thank you for an amazing IEW!!

By Andy Meretoja

Let’s spread the “bug”

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

dsc01125If you want to be a part of something really special, you must contribute to society by doing something you are not paid to do.

I could be convinced this was one of the principles the US was founded on because giving back to the community and helping those less fortunate is one of the unique characteristics of the American culture today. I have not heard of a country that committed so deeply as a nation to helping others, nor have I met a more organized community of volunteers and endless opportunities anywhere else.img_1160

You can see people helping out everywhere; in their kids’ school, or in their communities. Perhaps they are building houses for deserving families, serving hot meals or visiting hospitals and nursing homes. They might be donating money to charities, participating in races and raising awareness for issues that matter to them. One could not help but wonder how and why people are willing to offer money they worked so hard for or use their well-deserved free time for benefiting others, but the generosity of the American people is actually beyond the act of kindness and helping others is their way of living.

As the saying goes, volunteering is contagious and once you get the bug it stays with you. This is proven by not only the growing numbers of those who value involvement with volunteer and civic activities, per the research of the Kinder Institute, but also by our own example. Last year OISS and 16 international students and scholars packed thousands of pounds of produce equaling 8,750 meals at the Houston Food Bank, and we plan to do something similar again. img_1152

If you are ready for a meaningful event that gives you pride and satisfaction, and want to experience one of the greatest American traditions, consider joining us on Wednesday, December 21, 2016. As part of OISS’ Winter Events series this year we are committed again to give back to the community and make a difference the American way.

Take this opportunity to contribute to society, and enrich your cultural experience, guaranteed!

By Agnes Vajtai

 
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