Over 80 international students from countries as varied as Nepal, France, Japan and Russia are currently enrolled in Hawai‘i CC programs. When domestic and international students are combined, there are over 40 national heritages represented at the college.
In addition, Hawai‘i CC recently increased its commitment to internationalizing the campus and curriculum by becoming part of the American Council on Education’s 11th Internationalization Laboratory Cohort.
“By internationalizing our campus and helping students study abroad, we provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to successfully compete in an increasingly global community,” said Elizabeth Niemeyer, a counselor at Hawai‘i CC and member of the International Education Committee. “International Education Week is a chance to celebrate our diversity and to highlight the importance of a global outlook.”
International students also benefit Hawai‘i Island economically. In the 2012-2013 academic year, international students at Hawai‘i CC contributed $1.5 million to the Hawai‘i Island economy through tuition, fees and living expenses, according to an annual report by NAFSA: Association of International Educators. Statewide, the economic impact is $108 million, according to the report.
The theme this year for International Education Week at Hawai‘i CC was “Global Sense” with activities focused on experiencing the world through the five senses. Events included an International Tea and Coffee Tasting, Calligraphy Demonstrations, a Mochi Pounding Demonstration, and presentations by faculty members who have worked abroad.
Students at the University of Hawai’i Center, West Hawai’i in Kealakekua celebrated International Education Week with a recipe exchange, a Portuguese horseshoe competition, and student presentations on how their heritage has influenced their lives.