From November 16-20, students and grads representing more than 15 different nationalities gathered on campus to celebrate International Education Week, a five-day event that included not only instructional, but also social and networking activities.
The event kicked off on Monday with the Networking Summit, a monthly campus gathering hosted by the Student Community Association as part of New Student Orientation. The Summit invites vendors from nearly 40 local retailers, who bring free giveaways and special offers for students.
On Tuesday evening, students met in the Treehouse (an intimate, on-campus music venue) for the International Talent Festival, and supported 14 students who showcased a wide variety of unique abilities. Performances included an array of musical acts, including multiple singers, a jazz guitarist, and a pair of breakdancers. There was also a comedy illusionist and a Flamenco dancer, among others.
On Wednesday, the International Student Society hosed the annual ISS Thanksgiving Dinner, a popular and well-loved event here on campus, which allows students of all backgrounds and degree programs to dine and socialize in a family-like atmosphere. Then on Thursday, graduates from Computer Animation, Entertainment Business, Recording Arts, Film and Game Development gathered for a panel discussion that included advice or current students and recent grads.
The graduates, who attended either in person or online and represented a range of countries (including India, Venezuela, England, Panama, Iran, and Taiwan) spoke candidly about their work and personal experiences, and answered questions from the audience.
Cesar Sanchez, a Recording Arts graduate who attended the panel, said his favorite piece of advice from the evening came from fellow Venezuelan Alejandro Vicuna. “As Alejandro said, it is very important to show [potential employers] that you are humble and ready to work, and willing to do whatever it takes to be where you want to be. He also said that it’s good to be focused, but it is also good to be open to different or unexpected opportunities.”
“For us international students, it’s a different story than being a U.S. citizen,” said Cesar. “It takes a lot of effort for us to be here, and learning from the experiences of others who’ve already graduated is very helpful.”
On Friday, the week of festivities wrapped up with a campus-wide, international-themed scavenger hunt designed to acquaint students not only with the campus, but also with their peers. In the afternoon, prizes were awarded to the winning teams.
Ariana Lanzon, an Entertainment Business student, said she values such opportunities to connect with and learn from other international Full Sailors. “For those of us who aren’t citizens, we have to really think about how we’re spending our time here. We don’t have time to procrastinate, or to do anything other than what’s best for our careers. And it’s always a good idea to listen to advice from people who have been there before.”