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Parfait Bassale coming to PCC’s International Education Week

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Singer, songwriter, educator and researcher Parfait Bassalé is headlining Portland Community College’s 11th Annual International Education Week from Nov. 12-15.

The weeklong celebration of culture and diversity titled, “The Whole World Sings,” is part of a national campaign set by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to bring awareness of global education and international education issues. It is open and free to the public. With more than 700 students from 90 countries, PCC’s international students make up a large and important demographic at the college and in the community. International Education Week celebrates their contributions to the community and the importance of cultural awareness.

During the week, Parfait Bassalé will visit each PCC campus to speak about his life experiences and his research on his song-centered approach to education.

“It’s our week,” said Da Hyun Kim, a PCC international student from South Korea. “It is about all of the people from outside the US and a time for us to be appreciative and proud of our cultures. There are a lot of people who aren’t originally from America here. So it’s time to think of their background and history, and at the same time learn about other countries. America is a melting pot and it’s a week that celebrates it.”

During the week, Bassalé will visit each PCC campus to speak about his life experiences and his research on his song-centered approach to education. He will perform several of his original songs in these interactive workshops. Bassalé lives in Portland and performs and creates curriculum for students, educators, counselors, mentors and community leaders. Born in Benin (West Africa), he began using music to process his emotional states as he faced challenges related to migration early in life (language barriers, cultural differences and integration).

His workshops will be held: 1-3 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 12, Event Center, Rock Creek Campus (17705 N.W. Springville Road); 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 13, Fir Room, College Center, Sylvania Campus (12000 S.W. 49th Ave.); noon to 2 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 14, Great Hall, Southeast Center (2305 82nd and Division); and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, Nov. 15, Room 03, Student Center, Cascade Campus (705 N. Killingsworth St.). All workshops are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

International Student Profile: Da Hyun Kim

Da Hyun Kim attends the Rock Creek Campus where she’s been involved with ASPCC and the International Club for the past two years. She’s one of the two dozen international students involved in the planning and production of this year’s International Education Week. She has been in the U.S. for almost three years and plans to have an international studies and business marketing focus at a university once she transfers.

Da Hyun Kim.

Her big event she’s coordinating is the “Two Hour World Tour” where international students showcase their cultures through info tables, music, food and traditional attire.
“It’s 100 percent based on volunteers help,” she said of the tour, which will be held from noon to 2 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 13 in the Building 3 mall, Rock Creek Campus. “We have volunteers from each country. Students will explain what they have gone through to get here and how they live.”

Kim said being involved in the planning has got her enthused about her own culture and spurred her on to learn more about the countries of her fellow students. Another event she is organizing is “Hi Tea,” based on the concept of the English High Tea. But in this version (also held on Wednesday, Nov. 13, from 2-4 p.m. in the Rock Creek library), international students and the public can come and sit, enjoy refreshments and hear the students talk informally about the discrimination they’ve experienced through an international lense.

“We’ll talk about our opinions, how we feel discrimination and how we perceive it,” Kim added. “I’m really excited about it. It will be like friends hanging out.”

International Education Week’s Highlights:

“Crisis in the Congo: Uncovering the Truth,” Documentary and Discussion –This is a 30-minute documentary that explores the role that United States allies Rwanda and Uganda have played in the humanitarian crisis there. Analysts in the film examine whether U.S. corporate and government policies contributed to and exacerbated the instability in the heart of Africa. The film screening will be followed by a discussion featuring PCC Congolese students. Coffee and tea will be served. (3:30-4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 12, Room 03, Student Center, Cascade Campus.)

“Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World” Film Screening and Discussion – This film, part of the Muslim Journeys collection (a set of books and films available at each PCC campus library), introduces art in various forms, from calligraphy to palaces, and serves as “a window into Islamic culture.” A panel of PCC and Portland-area experts will provide insights and discussion. (11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 12, Performing Arts Center, Sylvania Campus.)

“International Extravaganza!” – Celebrate the international diversity of PCC as studentsl showcase their cultures and countries with information tables, music, food, traditional attire, games and live entertainment. (11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 12, Student Center cafeteria, Cascade Campus.)

“Cultural Exhibits and Displays” – Students will present informational displays and food samples from a variety of cultures and countries. Stop by to enjoy and to learn about PCC’s diverse students. (10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 12 through Thursday, Nov. 14, Great Hall, Southeast Center.)

“International Fashion Show” – Come learn about the cultures of the college’s diverse students at the Rock Creek Campus. This year’s talent show will feature documentary video clips of students who will describe similarities and differences between the U.S. and their countries of origin. Several students will also represent their countries in traditional attire. (7-9 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 14, The Forum, Building 3, Rock Creek Campus.)

“Speed Culturing” – Come learn about the cultures of other PCC students at a fast paced and fun session of speed culturing with a musical theme! All are welcome to participate. Events will be held all over PCC, including: 11 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, Nov. 13, Room 201, Mt. Scott Hall, Southeast Center; 3-4 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 14, Student Center cafeteria, Cascade Campus; and 2:30-4:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 14, Event Center, Building 9, Rock Creek Campus.

“PCC’s Got International Talent!” – Students, staff, and faculty will showcase songs, dances, comedy, and entertainment from around the world. Tickets are on sale for $2 each at the Sylvania Tutoring Center (CT 206) and the Office of International Education (CT 103). Proceeds go to the ESOL Fund, which helps non-credit ESOL students purchase tuition and books. (Noon to 1:30pm, Friday, Nov. 15, Little Theatre, Sylvania Campus.)

“Student Development in Spain and Morocco” – Travel vicariously through Narce Rodriguez (Rock Creek’s dean of student development) who will share her experiences in Spain and Morocco. Hear about what she learned and how she is integrating it into her work at PCC. (11 a.m. to noon, Friday, Nov. 15, Room 102, Building 3, Rock Creek Campus.)

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, is the Public Relations Manager at Portland Community College. A graduate of Portland State University, James has worked as a section editor for the Newberg Graphic, Wo... more »

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x by lgjhere 7 years ago

Being an international student isn’t easy, given our complex culture and language. Events like these can ease the way for many. A new award-winning worldwide book/ebook to help anyone coming to the US is “What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More.” It paints a revealing picture of America for those who will benefit from a better understanding, including international students. Endorsed worldwide by ambassadors, educators, and editors, it also identifies “foreigners” who became successful in the US and how they contributed to our society, including students.
A chapter on education identifies schools that are free and explains how to be accepted to an American university and cope with a new culture, friendship process and classroom differences they will encounter. Some stay after graduation. It has chapters that explain how US businesses operate and how to get a job (which differs from most countries), a must for those who want to work for an American firm here or overseas. It also has chapters that identify the most common English grammar and speech problems foreigners have and tips for easily overcoming them, the number one stumbling block they say they have to succeeding here.
Most struggle in their efforts and need guidance from schools’ international departments, immigration protection, host families, concerned neighbors and fellow students, and books like this to extend a cultural helping hand so we all have a win-win situation. Good luck to all wherever you study!