This past week, the US Department of State and the US Department of Education celebrated International Education Week. International Education Week is “an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education is part of [US] efforts to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences in the United States”.
Global awareness is increasingly important for a globally competitive 21st century. In higher education, for example, there is increasing competition for top schools from students abroad. US multinational companies also face challenges in preparing American leaders with the foreign language and cultural awareness skills.
Young children should be introduced to foreign cultures at an early age to foster an interest in global issues and people. Share the world with your children through cultural events to experience the taste of different foods, the sounds of different languages, and the sight of colorful international clothes.
The City of Houston and the World Affairs Council of Houston recently announced globalhouston.org, an online resource for parents, families, and business leaders to experience Houston’s international communities. Events on the site are updated frequently, and the winter and fall are ideal to visit cultural festivals.