BY CORIE LYNN
With students and faculty looking on, FHSU President Dr. Tisa Mason and Hays Mayor Sandy Jacobs signed proclamations recognizing International Education Week at FHSU and in the city of Hays.
This event marked the kick-off of a week of cultural celebration and education.
As the kick-off began, guests were welcomed by a group of students from FHSU’s Chinese partner schools singing over Zoom.
A video providing more information on Sias also began the event, with the university’s founder Dr. Shawn Chen speaking on the partnership then followed.
Carol Solko-Olliff, Director of International Student Services, lead the kick-off.
“Our goal is for all students to feel welcome here and part of the tiger family as well as part of the Hays community,” she said.
As she addressed the kick-off’s guests, Solko-Olliff explained that FHSU’s international students come from 28 countries with the majority of the students coming from China, Senegal and Paraguay.
According to Solko-Olliff, International Education Week celebrated at the university is part of a national event designed to bring cultural awareness to communities and colleges.
“We are excited to have activities planned, which will allow international students and staff to share their cultures, as well as panels and presentations from international-related topics,” she said.
Such events include an international food and fashion night, presentations to high school students and information on study abroad opportunities.
During the kick-off, international students spoke on the opportunities and sense of family they have found at FHSU.
Luciana Mendoza, a student from Paraguay, began her first semester with FHSU online. This year is her first time studying on-campus.
“Once again, I felt nervous and lost, but that didn’t last long,” Mendoza said. “I started having the most memorable experiences and opportunities I’ve ever experienced in my life.”
She now is an international student welcome leader and a Unibuddy ambassador.
Mendoza described the decision to study at FHSU as the best decision she ever made.
International Education Week at FHSU will continue through Friday.
The celebration’s next events include an International Alumni Panel on Wednesday and an art display by the Academy of Math & Science on Thursday.