Santa Monica College (SMC) will join colleges from across the globe in celebrating International Education Week Nov. 15 through 19 on campus with dance, music, food, a film screening and engaging lectures. All events are free and the public is invited.

A joint initiative of the U.S. Departments of State and Education, International Education Week was first held in 2000 and is currently celebrated in more than 100 countries worldwide. The annual initiative aims to promote international understanding and build support for international educational exchange by encouraging the development of programs that prepare Americans to live and work in a global environment and attract students abroad to study in the U.S., organizers say.

“This is SMC’s 10th annual celebration of International Education Week, and through special events during the week we celebrate our diverse campus community and global perspectives,” International Education Dean Kelley Brayton said. “SMC has one of the largest international student programs in the U.S. with 3,100 students representing more than 100 countries.”

Kelley added International Education Week is “an opportunity to celebrate how our international students enrich our campus, our classrooms, our communities and our lives on a daily basis. SMC’s commitment to global citizenship is reflected in our curriculum, campus activities, study abroad programs, and diverse campus community.”

The lineup of events, all held on the main SMC campus at 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica includes:

€ Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 11:15 a.m. (Art Lecture Hall 214): Lecture – “Sudan: Conflicts, Natural Resources & Global Intervention,” by Najwa Abbas Ahmed, a faculty member of Salzburg Global Seminar who will speak on Darfur, which she says has become a prime example of how local conflict is triggered when international and regional interests get intertwined.

€ Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m. (Science Lecture Hall 145): Film Screening & Discussion – “What’s Cooking?” The film, written and directed by Gurinder Chadha, explores the links between cooking and life. The discussion will be led by film studies professors Josh Kanin and Salvador Carrasco.

€ Thursday, Nov. 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Campus Quad): “Global Citizenship Day,” featuring food trucks from ethnic eateries, booths, raffles and games. Also, SMC’s Global Motion World Dance Company will perform.

€ Thursday, Nov. 18 at 11:15 a.m. (Letters & Science Room 106): Lecture – Afro-Islamic Societies & Women,” also by Ahmed, who will focus on the challenges that women in these societies face.

€ Friday, Nov. 19 at 9 a.m. (Humanities & Social Science Room 261): “Opportunities for Services through the UN,” a discussion also led by Ahmed, who will speak on the role of the United Nations, internship opportunities, and resources and reports that can be used in curriculum.

International Education Week at SMC is sponsored by the Title VIA Grant, along with SMC sponsors including the Global Citizenship Council, International Education Center, Black Collegians, Communication Department, Dance Department, Pan African Group, and the SMC Associates. Private sector sponsors include Lattitude Thai in Santa Monica, Putumayo World Music in New York, and STA Travel in Westwood.

Information, Joan Kang at (310) 434-3962 or