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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

March 28, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Opinion

Editorial: Culture clash

Movie screenings, ethnic cuisine and the One World Concert dominated the first week of November, but these activities should not be the only outlet for intercultural learning.

For the past 10 years, international students have hosted International Education Week to publicly share their cultures with the campus community. Despite the weeklong effort to provide a learning experience for all students and faculty, the international community faces ignorance by many toward its cultures.

International students comprise 2.2 percent of the college’s population — and that limited visibility is obvious. As students go about their weekly routines, they often forget to embrace the diversity around them.

International students offer a different perspective on the world and what Americans believe to be “customary.” Thus, the campus community should strive for more inclusivity in daily interactions, not just through programmed, institutional efforts. The mere presence of international students at this college offers an opportunity for dynamic learning.

By connecting with people beyond surface-level associations, individuals can eliminate the superficiality of relationships and engage with international students to create a close-knit campus community and foster more intercultural learning year-round.

The Ithacan can be reached at ithacan@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @IthacanOnline