Living at Loyola isn’t just about getting the New Orleans experience; it’s about getting an international experience. With over 40 countries represented on campus, and a push for that number to grow every year, Loyola is practically a country unto itself.

Loyola celebrates its diversity this week with International Week. International Week isn’t just for international students, it’s a chance for students looking to study abroad to star their journey, it’s a chance for students looking for jobs abroad after they graduate, but most importantly it’s an opportunity for national homebodies like me who haven’t left the country to experience other cultures and learn about international issues.

With events such as a traditional Iranian dinner featuring Iranian poetry, dance and a look into issues facing Iran and the Middle East students who have never left American soil can get an international experience.

The ultimate goal of International Week is to promote international understanding both within our community and around the world. Right now about 30% of Loyola students study abroad. Loyola’s plan for the future is to raise those levels to 70%, but until then the international experience on campus is excellent.

Celebrating the international culture at Loyola isn’t confined to just one week. Loyola promotes intercultural understanding year-round with events such as the Middle East Peace Conference held in the spring or the annual Country Fair held in November where students can see all the countries present at Loyola represented in song, dance and food.

During my time at Loyola I’ve met people from all over the world that I would’ve never had a chance to otherwise. I lived with a Japanese opera singer and now as an RA I have residents from China, India and Central America. Without Loyola I never would have had the chance to be so close to anyone from so far away and that’s what International Week is all about: bringing together people from other cultures.

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