Global citizenship is something we strive to instill in all Cambridge Network students because home isn’t always where we sleep, but often where we stand. This means letting go of one’s geographic borders while embracing a lifestyle where differences are embraced.
Dylan Lyu, Cambridge Alum and 2016 Co-Valedictorian of St. John’s Prep, is an excellent example of a global citizen that inspires everyone to continue their pursuit at expanding human perspectives. Dylan founded his school’s Chinese Ambassadors Club so that students could freely discuss cultural differences and reflect on Chinese culture. His graduation speech reflected on his role as cultural ambassador and the insight he gained from while studying abroad. He not only embraced American culture during his time here but made others feel inclusive to Chinese culture, forming a mutual understanding between himself and his peers, teachers and host family.
A perfect opportunity to embrace global citizenship is International Education Week (IEW), which is being celebrated this coming November 12th to 16th, 2018. It celebrates global exchange alongside international education, encouraging citizens to seek a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences.
Below are some ideas to weave not only into your school but also in your community and residential life of your international programs. Also be sure not to forget other international holidays throughout the year!
Leverage Sponsored Events
IEW sponsors many events around the country that are free to enjoy. They include food festivals, multicultural fairs, family nights, and college information nights. Check out these sponsored events to see if there is one near you! If there are no events near you, but you’d like to start one within your community, you can register your event to make it official!
School & Community Activities
- Host a Potluck – Food is a universal language that should be celebrated as much as possible. Potlucks are often the most popular events and help to enhance the relationship between the school community, students and families.
- Celebrate Traditional Dress – Whether it is one day or multiple themes throughout the week, don’t hesitate to encourage everyone to wear traditional wear from around the world!
- Guest Speaker – Although you can request speakers through IEW, reach out to your staff or community and invite them to speak at a school assembly or class to talk about their life journey. We all have a story to share!
- Essay Contest – Have students write an essay on somewhere they have been or want to travel. Encourage them to use their imagination about things they would do, people they would meet and memories they would treasure.
- Adopt a School – Partner with an overseas school in need of supplies and place boxes around your school and community to collect items to donate. It’s the little things we do in life that can make a tremendous difference.
- Pen Pal – There is no better way to understand another culture than interacting and hearing about their experiences first hand! Find an international school and have your class write postcards to them once each month.
- Explore the Arts – From music to film or dance to literature, bring adventure to the classroom by highlighting international instruments, artists or composers.
- Volunteer – Combining cultures through service is a great way to bolster learning and bonding with your international student. The IEW has volunteer opportunities available to individuals and families.
- Play an International Sport – During recess or physical education, have students participate in something that is not played in the US or has a different element.
- Start an International Club – Cambridge has seen many students start culture clubs or even Model UN. Having a club to celebrate and plan cultural events year-round can increase the already inclusive environment at your school and creating a greater buy-in from the community!
Whether you do something as big as attending or creating your event, to as small as cooking traditional favorites, the most important thing to remember is that you are learning about international exchange and different cultures throughout your curriculum and with your international students. Celebrating differences through education is what makes us global citizens!