International Education Opportunities at Mesa College


Lora Neshovska , Features Editor

International Education Week kicked off at Mesa College on Tuesday, Nov. 17, bringing worldly appreciation and cultural diversity to the campus. The event began with an international club fair, students’ study abroad testimonials and various scholarship workshops.

The event was designed to raise cultural awareness at Mesa College, as well as to promote the the Mesa College International Students facilitated a cultural and language exchange, which was meant to engage students in a foreign language discussion.

The three-day festivities also featured international games, such as French petanque, parkour and Spanish loteria and pictionary. Furthermore, a foreign-film fest was organized, meant to promote Mesa College’s Study Abroad programs, which will take place in France and Spain this summer.

Part of the event included Mesa College Study Abroad information sessions, which gave current students a glimpse of the international experience. Students who have previously studied across seas voiced their impressions of the program and shared their favorite aspects of studying abroad. The students gave insight on what to expect while studying abroad and culture shocks they experienced.

Dylan Tully, who studied abroad in Spain advised “taking a couple history classes and connecting the dots… how much you see, how much deep history there is and how it relates to us and to everyone else.” Tully actually loved the overseas experience so much that he decided further broaden his global scope by studying abroad in Costa Rica the following summer.

“Just because the culture is different doesn’t meant they’re wrong.” Tully said.

Francisco Zabaleta, the Language Lab director and creator of the Spain Study Abroad program further encouraged students to expand their perspectives by engaging in the international study programs at Mesa College. The event took place shortly after the terrorist attacks in Paris, France. Zabaleta addressed this matter by convincing students that there is no better time to “travel and become citizens of the world.” According to him, ignorance and anger are the reasons behind hateful acts. Ideally, by studying abroad, students will be able to broaden their national and international knowledge.

On the final day of the event, Thursday, Nov. 19, the focus was on faculty training, consisting of workshops on constructing international syllabi and building a study abroad proposal. This day was intended to encourage staff members to participate in the international program. In order to better the program and student experience abroad, it is essential to instruct the educators prior to their involvement in the program.

This event truly united the various nationalities across the Mesa College campus, while spreading the word about further opportunities to expand cultural horizons.