Innovative Ideas for International Education Week 2011

Here are Melibee’s top tips for an innovative International Education Week for 2011:

1)  Join a FREE online international book club event:  Melibee will be hosting a FREE, LIVE video book club event just prior to the start of IEW 2011! We will be reading Carrie Wagner’s “Village Wisdom.” This wonderful book documents her experience in Uganda with International Habitat for Humanity and her return to the country with her young sons many years later.  Carrie will be LIVE with us on November 10, 2011 at 3 pm to share her story and to answer questions that viewers can submit on an internet backchannel.  Schools can simply set up an internet connection with a screen in a large room and have a phone with a speaker to listen into the discussion. Meanwhile, Carrie has kindly agreed to offer a 30% discount on the book to anyone participating in this event.  The discount code is Melibee. Carrie will sign any books that are purchased through her website also! Purchase the book and we hope you’ll join us for a lively discussion about Uganda, global citizenship, service abroad and more!  Click here for more information about this event!

2) Teach peace despite pain:  This year, I would recommend “Killing in the Name.” This short documentary was nominated for an Oscar. It tells the story of a couple’s wedding that was devastated by a terrorist bombing. Despite the death of his immediate family members and friends, Ashraf Al-Khaled chose to reach out to terrorists to educate them about what they are doing “in the name.”  His journey teaches us that peace and education are the better option, despite the tragedy and pain caused by violence.

3) Play an international board game:  Have an international board game like Carrom set up in your student union!  Teach students this popular board game, which is a mix of air hockey and pool, that is commonly see in India. You can order a Carrom board here.  Here is a tutorial:

4) Language lessons:  Offer 15 minute language lessons.  Bring your international students and returned study abroad students in to teach the basics and to wow students with new slang, sounds and vocabulary!  Find the most unique languages that are not taught on your campus and set up the lessons in rooms on the same hallway, so students can pop from one room into the next. This was a HUGELY popular suggestion from the Melibee IEW 2010 post – so give it a try!

5) International Speakers: Consider a Melibee global ed speaker! They have personally inspired me and I promise, they will have your audience putting down their smart phones while they present (the true sign of “engaging”!)  Melibee speakers present on global citizenship, diversity, the environment, Africa, service abroad, social entrepreneurship, life in the FBI, safety abroad, crossing cultures and more!  It is not too late to inquire about a speaker – there are still several dates open for bookings!  You won’t know unless you ask – and you’ll be surprised how relatively affordable they can be!  Some also offer book signings and some will speak in classrooms for free if you book them.  🙂

6) Teach meditation: I recently attended a local Korean Buddhist temple and really enjoyed the meditation.  Meditation helps to focus and center you, and to make you more open.  Contact your local Buddhist temple and ask them to teach a meditation session on your campus during IEW.  Here is a directory of global Buddhist temples.

7) Global eats:  Ask your food service provider to offer a few cooking lessons from different regions of the world during IEW 2011.  In this tight economy, this is an excellent way to share culture and the international language of food!




  1. Bill Chapman says:

    I hope you'll allow me to add that an introduction to Esperanto can add an international dimension to the week. The teacher can learn at almost the same time as the students, or be just one step ahead. good place to start is

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