Lamar University will host International Education Week, Monday through Nov. 17, with an array of multicultural activities and events promoting this year’s theme, “Connecting Texas to the Americas and Beyond.” All events are free and open to the public.

“A week is set aside every academic year in November to encourage U.S. institutions to think globally, and to highlight programs and opportunities that Lamar has for our students to go abroad and interact with global issues here on campus,” Jeff Palis, director of global studies and travel abroad, said. “We are also celebrating the diversity of our campuses and the contributions of our international students. This is a celebration that Lamar chooses to be a part of every year, and we prepare a week of activities to fall in line with the goal of creating a visible presence for international students.”

On Monday, Marie- Josée Lepage, director of the Ecole de Langue Francaise et de Culture Québécoise, will talk to students about opportunities to study French in Quebec, Canada, at 2 p.m. in 702 Gray Library.

“There is a new partnership that LU is pursing with the university in Quebec, Canada,” Palis said. “We will be sending a student on exchange to Quebec in the spring and sending a faculty-led group program to learn French next summer.”

Applications are being accepted now for the spring semester. Interested students should visit the study abroad office to discuss program availability.

“When the student goes on an exchange, they pay their tuition fees to Lamar and take classes for the same cost as Lamar tuition at one of our exchange partners,” Palis said. “FASFA pays for tuition here, you then get a tuition waiver at the exchange university. If we have a partnership with France, then their students’ pay at their university and come to Texas for a semester.”

Miguel Chavez, LU history instructor, will lead a panel discussion on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programs, title “DACA: Understanding and Protecting a Unique Component of LU’s Diversity,” at 7 p.m. in Landes Auditorium, located in the Galloway Business building.

“DACA protects undocumented immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children,” Palis said. “The commitment of DACA students to pursue their American dreams against overwhelming challenges has inspired universities, as well as politicians throughout the country, to urge Congress to find a pathway that allows undocumented students to complete their education.”

On Tuesday and Wednesday, a study abroad information table will be set up in front of Gray Library’s entrance from noon to 2 p.m.

“Students can stop by the table to find out about all the exciting opportunities available in 2018,” Palis said.

Mahdi Safa, assistant professor of business, led nine College of Business students to Panama in March and will speak to students about the research conducted in the course, and how study abroad has impacted the academic and professional lives of the students. The lecture will start at 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, in 113B Center for Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship.

On Wednesday, “Cardinals Return Home,” a student panel which will discuss the study abroad experience, will be held at 3:30 p.m. in 120 Reaud Administration Building.

“‘Cardinals Return Home’ is a great way to hear about what happens when the plane lands,” Palis said. “We have students who go all over the world, and (they will) reflect on their experiences of what they learned, and how they were challenged.”

Tara Hoch, Beaumont senior, has been on two study abroad trips, studying tropical sustainability in Belize in January and French literature and film in Paris in June.

“My academic experiences abroad were incredible opportunities for me to gain insight into two cultures very distinct from that of the United States,” the political science major said. “In Belize, I learned about the ways climate, industry and our environment collide in tropical states, and got to explore caves, rain forests and an island off of the Belize Barrier Reef. In France, I witnessed the country’s rich artistic, literary and cinematic tradition, and spent two weeks exploring some of the world’s best museums, famous neighborhoods and incredible cuisine. Both of these trips encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone and into another existence.

“The study abroad trips boosted my confidence, opened my world view, and resulted in some of the most fulfilling friendships in my life. These trips helped me realize I am capable of following my dreams and adapting to new surroundings, be they the tropical rain forests of Belize or crowded metro trains underneath Paris. Through these trips I grew as a person and grew in the scope of my dreams. I have raised my standards for myself in terms of what I believe myself to be capable of, and am now more inclined to seek adventure and risk over safety and comfort.”

“Tlatelolco-Verano del 68,” a movie that chronicles a love story set against the 1968 student uprising during Mexico City Olympics, will be screened for International Film Night at 6:35 p.m., Wednesday, in 103 Communication Building. Miguel Chavez will introduce the film.

  On Thursday, a Lamar Language Fair will be held in front of Gray Library from noon to 2 p.m.

“This is an opportunity for international students to set up booths to interact and teach their fellow students how to say things in different languages,” Palis said.

For more information, call 880-7013, or visit

Story by Sierra Kondos, UP staff writer

Learn more about Lamar University at

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