International Student Week brings culture through mini language sessions for the Suffolk community


Julia Fusco

Suffolk’s mini language sessions take place in honor of International Student Week.

Suffolk University’s INTO program and the Center of International Programs and Services is organizing mini language workshops for the community during International Education Week, which is taking place from Nov. 16 – 18.

International Education Week in the United States usually occurs from Nov. 15 – 19. The event is an opportunity to celebrate international students and global culture in the states. 

“This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education is part of our efforts to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences,” according to the event’s official website

The week of celebrations had always been in person until last year. Due to the pandemic, there will be no International Night on campus this year.. However, Suffolk’s CIPS still supports other student clubs and organizations hosting the event, such as UNICEF and Fusion Dhamaka.

Referring to international night from previous year, “I usually like International Night. It is usually a huge event here at Suffolk, but because of COVID we have to restrict how many people can get there and stuff like that. Still, usually, you get to enjoy the cultures and their food in typical dresses and dances and stuff, so it’s nice. It’s nice to have all the cultures together,” said Viviana Leyva, Associate Director of International Student Programs and Services at Suffolk University.

This year, the 11 instructors for the mini language sessions consist of students and staff. They will be teaching French, Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Mandarin, Italian, Arabic and many more. The workshops are located on the fourth floor of 73 Tremont. 

“I got to say the word ‘bear’ in Russian last year,” said Sophie Wilson, director of student experiences at INTO Suffolk program.

The instructors are all volunteers who are committed to teaching their culture and spreading their love for their languages all around.

“I want to introduce my fellow students to Vietnamese. It’s a special language using the alphabet but has a wide range of pronunciation and special rhythm,” said Ahn Khong, a second-year Masters of Law student.

CIPS also has a separate event with the Home Away from Home Program during the semester. They pair international students with domestic Suffolk students as a form of a buddy relationship. They usually have a food event, called Lunch and Conversation, every month. American students are able to learn “what students go through when international students come to the U.S.,” Leyva said.

For all domestic and international students, who are still deciding whether to attend this event and learn about new languages and cultures.

“They should come because it’s a great way to share culture and build relationships,” Wilson said. “Since University prioritizes globalization, students can expand their perspectives and experience cultures in Boston.”

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