International Education Week: Recognizing the Benefits of Global Education

Nov. 13, 2017

Dr. E.P. Scarlett High School international students at Bow Falls

By Megan M. and Madison N., Grade 12 students at Dr. E.P. Scarlett High School

International Education Week (IEW), celebrated annually since 2000, takes place this year from November 13 to November 17. During this week, people around the world celebrate the benefits of international education and student exchanges. IEW draws attention to the myriad of activities undertaken by individual schools, colleges, associations, and businesses around the world, designed to promote the value and significance of language skills and global learning. These activities range from student and teacher exchange programs to international school partnerships, from agreements with foreign governments to Language Learning programs. In all cases, institutions and organizations seek to promote higher education opportunities, and the educational benefits of cross-cultural contact.

In keeping with the core values of IEW, each year the Calgary Board of Education opens its doors to students from around the world; these students participate in a variety of educational programs across the city. The CBE’s International Student Program offers a wide range of academic courses across more than 200 schools. Staffed with highly trained teachers and educational support staff, the CBE ensures that students have a strong academic career and a valuable life experience to return home with. As a proudly global-minded organization, the CBE seeks to craft rich, meaningful cross-cultural learning opportunities for residents and international students alike.

Students celebration International Education Week with Japanese Rice Ball Fundraiser.


At Dr. E. P. Scarlett High School, in the S.W. of Calgary, there are close to 70 international students from places such as China, Korea, Brazil, Italy, Vietnam, Taiwan, Spain, Japan, Columbia, and Germany. Janice Finkbeiner, Scarlett’s International Student Coordinator promotes the International program, explaining that the students “bring the world to us”. International exchanges are rich learning experiences not just for the visiting students, but also for Canadian students. International students have two options when coming to Scarlett, the first being for a single semester or year cultural exchange, the second being for an academic purpose to improve their English skills as well as improving their chances of acceptance into a North American or European university.

The benefits of participation in global learning opportunities are vast and include an improved understanding of varied cultures and ways of living, a more meaningful knowledge of international politics and world affairs, greater richness of academic experiences, and the building of economic relationships. Around the world International Education opportunities are comprised of programs that prepare students for an increasingly global and multicultural world.

As a multicultural society, Canada offers an accepting and equal culture for students coming from around the world. With many benefits, such as a safe welcoming environment, access to an exceptional education, and the beautiful Rocky Mountains at our doorstep, Calgary in particular is an ideal location for international students, providing unparalleled opportunity to expand social, cultural, and geographical horizons. The CBE, a recipient of the CBIE Board of Director’s Award for Comprehensive Internationalization, is recognized for its innovative programming opportunities, and continues to lead the way in K-12 Global Learning opportunities.