International Education Week (IEW) 2019 is upon us! This week of recognition began in 2000 and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the U.S. Department of Education. It is observed the week before Thanksgiving each year and is celebrated across the United States — and in more than 100 countries around the world! This year, the celebrations will be November 18th through November 22nd.
International Education Week is an opportunity for au pairs to share their cultures with their host communities and highlight the benefits of international educational exchange programs. It’s also an opportunity for host families and children to share what they’ve learned from this incredible cultural exchange experience!
Here is a list of some activities that you and your au pair can do to celebrate International Education Week (IEW):
- Encourage your au pair to reach out to a local school or library to teach children a few simple words in their native language or read stories from their home country.
- Bring your au pair to your book group or an organization you’re involved in and have him/her talk about her country, challenges, differences and similarities.
- Help an international non-profit organization collect supplies for a school, clothes, shoes or books for the students, and even sports equipment for their school.
- Organize a cross-cultural potluck with other families in your area.
- Schedule an international movie night.
Get creative — and share!
- Put together a video and share it on your social media channels. It can focus on:
- Language learning (ex: your au pair teaching your child(ren) basic terminology in their native language, like Daisy did with her host son, above.)
- Talking about your and their cultural exchange experience
- The most surprising thing you and your au pair have learned about one another’s countries or cultures
- How an international exchange experience has impacted you, your au pair, and your family
- Write a short poem, write-up, or story as a family about cultural exchange and international education and share it on your social media channels