Truckee Meadows Community College is one of the most diverse and well-represented places in the region—with students, faculty and staff who have traveled to Northern Nevada from many corners of the world or whose family members hail from distant nations.
At TMCC, there are 45 international students from 19 countries and territories: Bangladesh, China, Colombia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey, Venezuela and Vietnam. In November, the College celebrates a week devoted to all things international, in conjunction with a national week recognizing global education exchange.
International Education Week (IEW) is an annual event sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education, this year from Nov. 13–17. Its goal is for students and future leaders to share ideas and experiences.
TMCC will participate in IEW, hosting interactive map-based activities, social get-togethers, and faculty presentations.
"We recognize that international education benefits everyone,” said Tara Connolly, Professional Academic Advisor and International Student Advisor. “Not only do international students engage in wonderful, life-changing experiences in the United States, they bring the world to Reno and often inspire our local residents to expand their horizons, explore new cultures, learn different languages, and seek their own study abroad and travel opportunities. International Education Week is an annual celebration of these ideals."
The complete schedule of the week’s events can be found on TMCC’s IEW page. These activities to which the entire TMCC community is invited include the following:
- Scratch-off maps, V. James Eardley Student Services Center and Elizabeth Sturm Library
- IEW travel photo contest open to all, Facebook and Instagram sharing
- International-themed book display in the Library
- International recipe exchange
- Presentation on study in France and Spain by Tanya Farnung-Morrison, PhD
- Pastries from Josef’s Vienna Bakery & Café, in the Diversity and International Student Center & Office (DISCO)
- “International Club Celebrates the World” festival with language lessons, henna tattoos and more
- USAC Study Abroad Information Session
- Northern Nevada International Center Information Table
- “Passport to the World” event with University of Nevada, Reno and USAC, help with passport paperwork
- International Faculty and Staff Social
- International Artist Reception and Talk, Eunkang Koh
- Presentation by Gwendolyn Clancy on the many benefits of hosting international students
- “Who are You? Finding your Roots” genealogy session in the Library
- Night of All Nations at UNR with cuisine, art, entertainment and fashion from across the world
International Faculty of TMCC
International faculty—and members of the new International Education Advisory committee—are presenting workshops during IEW. Marynia Giren-Navarro is from Poland, and she teaches psychology and sociology. Elena Atanasiu hails from Macedonia and is a Spanish Instructor. Tanja Hayes, a native of Sweden, teaches economics.
“I’d like to invite all students to a lively one-hour workshop examining what it’s like to be a foreigner in another country—I’m leading it with my colleagues and friends, Marynia Giren-Navarro and Elena Atanasiu,” Hayes said. “Between the three of us, we have some great stories to tell about our experiences moving to the U.S. from our home nations. The workshop is interactive, so there is some fun ‘audience’ participation, as well.”
- When: Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2:30–3:30 p.m.
- Where: Red Mountain Building, room 412
“It’s a unique experience to land in a place where you don’t know the language, practices of the culture, or even have a single person in the country to call for help,” she said. “When all three of us first came here, we noticed many things that were strange to us. For instance, we had a hard time understanding why American bread never molds. I guess we just weren’t used to the level of preservatives used here.”
Other customs were also new to them.
“We also were surprised, and delighted, by free soda refills at restaurants, and other practices that people in the U.S. are used to,” she said. “Also, the three of us are from countries using the metric system, where measurements are in increments of 10. Who can easily remember U.S. customary units of 5,280 feet in a mile or 128 ounces in a gallon? And why?”
The interactive workshop is open to all students and staff, whether American-born or international.
“We hope you’ll come share some of your stories with us,” she said.