In today’s interconnected world, universities have become melting pots of cultures, bringing together students from diverse backgrounds and countries. At Brigham Young University Idaho, we pride ourselves on fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment for all students, including our vibrant community of international students. To celebrate their unique perspectives and experiences, I am excited to launch the International Student Spotlight project. This initiative aims to raise awareness about our international students and their countries of origin, creating a sense of inclusivity and fostering cross-cultural exchange on campus.
By featuring international students and their countries of origin, I aimed to create awareness and increase knowledge about different cultures. The spotlight displays served as educational tools, enabling students, faculty, and staff to learn interesting facts, traditions, and histories of countries around the world.
Identifying and Recruiting International Students: During this phase, I reached out to international students, inviting them to participate in the project. I aimed to have representation from various countries to showcase the true breadth of our international student community. This took about 20 hours as part of the time spent putting the project together. I spent some time researching the different backgrounds of students and how to reach out to them.
Gathering Information and Conducting Interviews: This was the most involving part or the project as it took 30 hour total to conduct interviews with the selected students to gather information about their backgrounds, cultures, and unique experiences. I am very picky so I have to drop quiet a number even though I spent the time to interview about them. These interviews provided valuable insights into their personal journeys and helped us capture the essence of their countries. Using the gathered information and visuals, I designed visually appealing spotlights that showcased the international students and their countries. I designed and edited to ensure each spotlight accurately represented the student and their unique culture. This took a fair share of about 30 hours as I edited the pictures.
I worked with the International Office to seek approval and explore the possibility of incorporating the International Student Spotlight project into future semesters’ welcome programs. We held and hour or two long weekly meeting as the international student representative counsel each week to discuss matters regarding international students and this was part . This amounted to about 18 hours of this project. This collaboration aimed to create a sustainable and long-lasting impact on campus. It is my prayer that is project is approved because it will be a big deal for international students and the school. I hope to foster a greater appreciation for the diversity that exists within our student body. Through cross-cultural exchange and understanding, we can create a stronger, more connected campus community.