International Week brought new and unique presenters to students in order to expand both their knowledge of foreign language and other cultures, according to foreign language department head Michelle Magaña.
This year, this special week took place from March 11 to March 14. Each day in that range featured a different country from around the world. Tuesday was Italy Day, Wednesday was Mexico Day, Thursday was Thailand day, and Friday was Brazil Day.
The main purpose of International Week is to encourage high school students to branch out and travel abroad Magaña said.
“We like to hold International Week each year because we want to inspire students to travel to different places to explore different countries and practice the language that they are learning,” she said.
Sophomore Devin Depaolis said that International Week helps students to learn more about other countries and their cultures.
“The presentations help to teach people about various cultures around the world. It’s interesting to learn about cultures you don’t know about,” he said.
Sophomore David Reid, agreed with Depaolis, specifically saying that presenter Mike Dyer presented on a region that he barely knew existed. Dyer presented on the Basque country, a region that is located on the border of Spain and France.
“Before Mr. Dyer came presented, the Basque country wasn’t even something I had heard of. It was very interesting to learn about an entirely new foreign culture,” he said.
Depaolis also acknowledged that the presenters and presentations are often useful to improve students’ skills and knowledge in foreign language, whether it be French or Spanish.
In addition to the presentations, students are able to try foreign foods in the cafeteria each day, an easy and fun way to learn about another country, junior Ben Bichet said.
Among this year’s presenters were a woman who traveled on the religious pilgrimage El Camino de Santiago, the students who traveled to France over April break last year, and even Principal Patricia Puglisi presented on her experiences in China, Magaña said.
“The foreign food in the cafeteria is an enjoyable way to learn about the cuisine of different cultures,” Bichet said.
For example, this year’s foods included an Italian pasta dish and Thai chicken with rice.
Magaña also added that in order to recruit and have diverse presenters, she covers all the bases by posting in media sources like The Cricket and the principal’s newsletter.
“We really like to avoid having teachers present because we want students to see other people who have traveled, so we try to get as much community involvement as we can,” she said.