Tag Archives: Melibee Global

International Education Week – Celebrate with Melibee Global!

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In honor of International Education Week, I wanted to pass along a Melibee Global article to give you ideas to celebrate. International Education Week reminds us to be inspirNational in our everyday lives – to learn from others, to seek understanding, to embrace diversity, and to have a traveler’s mindset.

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Thank you to Kyle Rausch from Melibee Global for the great ideas!

“The fall semester is now underway for institutions across the U.S. and before you know it November will be here, and along with it, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’  International Education Week (IEW)! IEW 2016 will fall on November 14-18 this year, and while many institutions find this a great time to host their study abroad fair or have international student clubs table at the student union, we here at Melibee have been brainstorming more creative ideas for you to try on your campus. Check out some of our team’s ideas below and share how your institution will be celebrating the power of international education in the comments.

1. International Pictionary

Create a simple international version of Pictionary: forget the traditional game board, instead, come up  with some basic categories like “emotions,” “slang,” “daily living!”  Invite students to the game and pair an international student with a domestic student and have them play against another team. Just as in traditional Pictionary, no talking is allowed, but you can throw in the possibility of letting domestic students speak if they only use words they might know in their international partner’s native language. Hang the most culturally-revealing images on the wall in a common area with a photo of the players and their home countries – each with a short reflection on what they learned!

2. World Distance Signage

Do the students on your campus know where you offer study abroad opportunities?  Do they know where your study abroad office is located?  Create a sign like the one in the image with the distances between your campus and your study abroad program locations!  Put it in a high traffic area on campus with a sign that points to your education abroad office.

3. Chopped: International Campus Edition

Put a new twist on the global café concept and instead of simply having international or cultural groups prepare traditional dishes for your campus, make it a competition!  Campus or local chefs could come together to pick out two countries at random and then compete to make a dish inspired by the flavors or traditional dishes of those countries.  The panel of judges could be students…better yet, international students from the countries that are selected!

4. Explore Your Ancestry

We all come from somewhere and it shapes our identity. Short of each of us researching and constructing a massive family tree, there are ways we can ponder who we are and why we are the ways we are. Melibee offers exploration of identity through some unique speakers such as Santos (Glocal Soul Identity in a Global and Local Context),  Michael W. Twitty (Kosher/Soul: Black/Jewish Identity Cooking), and Jennifer Hamady (Voice Across Cultures).  Of course, we offer lots of unique speakers that are ideal for IEW and other events, too. You can see the full roster here.

5. International Campus Recipes

Food…it’s one of everyone’s favorite ways to get acquainted with another culture.  Hence another foodie idea! Capture the diversity of your campus by creating a recipe book to represent all the various countries and cultures on your campus.  Ask for submissions from everyone: staff, faculty, and students.  Encourage them to share their favorite food from another country, the recipe, and what memory is attached to that recipe. Partner with your campus dining services to share the recipes and to cook the food too! Publish the recipes online or in print and sell it for donations to go towards study abroad scholarships. Then you can host an event during IEW that features some of the recipes in the book freshly prepared!

6. Pokémon Go Abroad!

One of this year’s biggest fads is Pokémon Go and there are numerous ways in which your campus can leverage its popularity, even during IEW!  Most campuses are hotspots for Pokémon Go activity, so find out where all the Pokéstops are on your campus and make sure to host some of your IEW events near a Pokéstop and drop some lures to encourage students that play the game to stop by your event.

Many Pokémon are based on wildlife in the real world, and often wildlife that is regional specific.  Host an art or photo campaign (with works created by students) that compares the fictional characters with their real life counterparts and educates students on their native environs.

Have some Pokémon gyms on your campus?  Schedule a window of time where Pokémon Go’s three teams can do battle at one of your campus gym spots with the team who holds the gym the longest during that period of time winning some sort of international prize (think simple international swag: create Pokémon/International themed t-shirts, water bottles, sunglasses etc.)

In addition to some Pokémon being more common or rare depending upon the region you are in, some Pokémon can only be found in certain countries/regions of the world.  Have your students abroad tweet or Instagram the rare Pokémon they’ve caught while abroad using a branded hashtag and the #IEW2016 hashtag.

The possibilities are endless–if you don’t know where to start, ask some students who play the game–they’ll have ideas!  For some of the basics on the game, check out this website.

7. International House Hunter: Dorm Edition

What are student accommodations like in other countries?  Host an exhibition curated by a team of domestic and international students about what residential life is like on international campuses.  Have a photo gallery set up to give your domestic students the insider’s view of what other countries’ residence halls look like compared to those of the U.S.  At each installation, have international students and information about exchange partners on hand.

8. International Dog Fair

Does your institution bring puppies on campus during finals week for stress-relief?  If not–this is a hit with students!  Host a “Dogs From Around the World” event for the dog lovers on your campus.  Since different breeds hail from different countries around the world, you could have various breeds represented by different countries that students could pet and play with, learn about, and couple that with other international information about that country, including your study abroad program opportunities.

There you have it! Eight unique ideas to get your campus engaged with International Education Week 2016! Share you ideas or how your modifying these in the comment section below – and happy #IEW2016!”

Delicious Ambiguity

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Earlier today I read Melibee Global‘s blog and came across a post about delicious ambiguity. For some reason, everyone in my life (including myself) is facing ambiguity. We are facing many changes, new beginnings, and uncertainties related to the future. As a planner similar to many of my loved ones, it is easy to feel anxious and constantly worried about what will happen next.

With summer vacations underway, longer days, and more opportunity for reflection, I wanted to pass along some Melibee Global words that strongly resonated with me.

“While we all go through shifts in our lives at home, they often seem to be even more difficult because we’re HOME. We are in our own culture and in the US culture, planning and forcing an outcome is our norm. We are goal setters. We live with the burden of constantly progressing. We forget about the fine art of BEEing sometimes.

When we are abroad, we are often more excited and open about embracing the ambiguity. Waking up in a new place and not knowing exactly what the day will bring, what will inspire, what will be learned (even if it means getting lost in the process) somehow holds value to us. It becomes a great traveler story for later!

But in our home culture not knowing can be excruciating. It causes us to lose sleep. To make poor decisions. To lose our composure. To cry. To be frustrated.

Yet somehow in those moments of uncertainty when we’re abroad, we learn how to embrace that delicious ambiguity.

Know that we all go through these moments in life where we want to resist change, myself included. Instead of beating ourselves up, we can ask ourselves what we’ve learned from the experience. There is always a lesson.

Choose to learn the lesson and to take the adventure. Life is so much more beautiful when we do.

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Source: theleadershipcontract.com

As you travel and return home, consider what grounds you and makes you feel comfortable with the changes you will face in the near and distant future. I have found that spending time in nature, reading, going to church, yoga, and most other forms of alone time help me feel grounded. I hope that we all will perceive our future changes as delicious ambiguity, the essence of life.

New Eyes: Travel Changing Perspectives Through Yoga

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Check out my #NewEyesTravel feature on Melibee Global!

As I described in my previous post, New Eyes: Travel Changing Perspectives in Seville, Spain,  Melibee Global launched a series that encourages us to share how travel has changed our perspectives. Given that the premise of inspirNational is the new mindset we develop from living like a traveler, I was excited to contribute. Every trip and every destination I have visited has contributed to how I view the world. Below is my story on Melibee Global about how yoga has changed my perspective.


While traveling, I have gained a #NewEyesTravel perspective through yoga. I have learned that no matter where we practice yoga in the world, we will experience similar (if not the same) yoga poses. I was comforted by this realization when I took a floating yoga class in Hawaii for the first time on a paddle board. I was also comforted while doing yoga on the rooftop of the Cariari Bed and Breakfast in Costa Rica, which was my first experience taking a yoga class in Spanish. While I was in a completely different country and communicating in my second language, the course provided the same physical and spiritual benefits. Yoga reminds us that we can all be united in spirituality.

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Interested in participating in the #NewEyesTravel conversation? As Melibee Global says, “simply share an image on social media and write a few words about how that image of your travels changed your perspective. Please use #NewEyesTravel so that we can find your incredible images and stories!”

New Eyes: Travel Changing Perspectives in Seville, Spain

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Earlier this month, Melibee Global launched a new series – New Eyes: Travel Changing Perspectives. The series encourages us to share how travel has changed our perspectives. Given that the premise of inspirNational is the new mindset we develop from living like a traveler, I was excited to contribute. Every trip and every destination I have visited has contributed to how I view the world. Below I am sharing one of my most interesting New Eyes experiences in Seville, Spain.

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Touring Real Alcazar in Seville, Spain provided me with a new perspective on religious diversity. I was fascinated by the architecture in Real Alcazar, which included symbols representing a multitude of religions, from Islam, to Judaism, to Christianity. I learned that throughout centuries of history, Real Alcazar was the residence of royalty of several religions. As the palace changed ownership, and the leaders changed religious backgrounds, they maintained the religious symbols of previous generations. To me, this is an ultimate form of respect. In one of my Spanish poetry classes in undergrad, I learned that Cordoba, another Spanish city, is “The Ornament of World.” It received this special name because it supported Islam, Judaism, and Christianity at the same time during a period of religious unrest throughout the world. The religious diversity, tolerance, and acceptance represented in Seville and Cordoba are concepts that we should apply in the modern world today.

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Interested in participating in the New Eyes conversation? As Melibee Global says, “simply share an image on social media and write a few words about how that image of your travels changed your perspective. Please use #neweyestravel so that we can find your incredible images and stories!”

Rethinking Holiday Gifts on #GivingTuesday

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In the spirit of #GivingTuesday, I am sharing one of my favorite holiday gift guides I have seen this year.

Source: Thunderclap

Source: Thunderclap

Melibee Global, a resource for international education and study abroad news, information, resources, and advising, wrote The Alternative Holiday Gift Guide 2014, with creative ways to give sustainably this holiday season. The guide suggests the following:

“1. Give experiences, not things. Consider how you can support your local community, through gifts such as memberships to museums or parks.

2. Share what you’ve got. Examples might include volunteering, donating to charities, or fundraising.

3. International innovation. Melibee offers a variety of tools that encourage international and cultural knowledge and growth. [Note: Given my interest in international education and my inspirNational blog, I love this idea!]

4. Red and green. Think ecological and environmental. Check out your local library for a used book sale. Support local charities and organizations by finding vintage, kitschy, and sometimes antique pieces at charity shops and thrift stores such as Oxfam, Barnardos, Salvation Army, and more. Buy from local artists and craftspersons and shop for handmade gifts at art and craft shows, galleries, or stores that showcase local artists’ work.”

Read the full Alternative Holiday Gift Guide 2014 here.

I now feel inspired to think twice about my holiday purchases and am reminded that the spirit of giving does not have to be tangible. I look forward to refocusing my energy this holiday season to share experiences with loved ones.

If you are traveling throughout the holidays, my Guilt-Free Souvenir Shopping post may also provide good ideas for how you can purchase souvenirs or gifts while traveling without feeling remorse.

I hope this provides food for thought for you this #GivingTuesday and as you are shopping throughout the holiday season!