By contributor Drew McLachlan


International Education Week 2013. Photo courtesy Mackenzie Sillem

VIU students are invited to take a trip around the world this week through World VIU Days, a week of events celebrating international education held on the Nanaimo campus.

Formerly known as International Education Week, World VIU Days is celebrating its fifth year of festivities, running from November 3 to 7.

“We want to show VIU students that the whole world is on our campus,” organizer Mackenzie Sillem said. “You don’t need an expensive plane ticket to meet people from all over the globe­—you can just step into a classroom.”

Events range from educational to entertaining, and each day will also feature live music in the upper cafeteria, performed by Eric Harper, Ryan Power, and others.

Events include “Between Worlds: Belonging in a New Culture,” an interactive workshop exploring culture shock and reverse culture shock, and is open to all students, whether they are international students or planning on moving across cultures in the future, taking place November 5 from 11:30 am-1 pm in bldg. 356, room 109.

“Authenticity in Italian Cuisine” is a discussion between Chef Marcella Ansaldo and anthropology professor Imogene Lim regarding the role of cuisine in national identity and comparing North American perception with actual regional cuisine, which takes place November 5 from 1-3 pm in bldg. 355, room 211.

VIU field school presentations will be hosted by both nursing and geography students who studied in Nepal and Belize, respectfully, on November 6 from 1-4 pm in the Royal Arbutus Room.

The guest presenter this year will be Twesigye Jackson Kaguri, community crusader, author, and founder of the Nyaka AIDS Orphan Project, the Ugandan-based organization devoted to ending deprivation and poverty through community development, education, and healthcare. Kaguri will be speaking about “Innovative Ways to Change the World” on November 5 from1-3 pm in bldg. 255, room 211.

The week of events culminates with the World VIU Festival, a celebration of international education which will feature cultural exhibits, performances, and a world fashion showcase, all hosted by VIU students.

“Most feedback we’ve received is about the festival,” Sillem said. “This can be a very stressful part of the semester—if you arrived in August or September, now is the hardest and most emotional part of cultural adjustment. People can just come to the festival and dance or socialize. They don’t have to worry about their role as a student or anything else, but just have fun.”

For a full schedule of events, visit the World VIU website.To get involved or volunteer, email Leslie Puska at