How much work goes into making International Week possible?
Because of the teacher strikes last year, International Week is something only half the school has experienced. However, from its message to its organization, there are numerous things that make International Week unique.
“I think [International Week] was started to celebrate the diversity here on campus,” says Activities Director Mr. Fulton. “Different schools call it different things, other schools in Fremont call it Multicultural Week.”
Because International Week is unique in the sense that it celebrates a variety of cultures, there are also a lot of things that go into planning it and making sure it is successful.
“International Week is heavily club and class-council based,” says ASB President Phoebe Urbano (12). “Cultural clubs get first priority on choosing their countries, followed by non-cultural clubs and class councils.”
However, there’s more to it than just deciding on a country to represent. According to Urbano, there are a number of committees that have to work together to make the event possible.
“Our Rallies Committee has been coming up with new ideas to engage more participation in our International Week Rally this year,” she explains. “Our Publicity Committee spent the last two weeks working on a large map in front of SAC as well as digital flyers…The rest of Leadership has worked on flag decorations for the rotunda and rally, setting up tables in the rotunda every day, and selling tickets.”
Club leaders play a pivotal role in helping set the event up for success as well.
“Club leaders usually have to plan a couple weeks ahead of International Week,” says Janine Wang (11), the president of TSA. “[They have to decide], with their officer team, what country they want to represent, what food they want to sell, how much to sell it for, et cetera.”
While those in leadership positions have a lot of responsibilities, normal members can get involved as well.
“During my sophomore year, I participated in API’s International Week performance,” says Aldwin Saguid (12). “This year, as a senior, I’m running JapAnime’s booth for activities and selling food.”
As many people know, International Week was unfortunately cancelled last year due to teacher strikes. However, instead of serving as a discouragement, students this year have used it as an opportunity to publicize International Week as much as possible this year.
“We have half the school that knows what International Week is, and half the school who has no idea… So, our hope this year was just to try to communicate with everybody, the way it’s organized,” says Mr. Fulton. “So I [was] sending out some Loopmails, and we had social media posts about how you would have to purchase a ticket in order to get food… what kinds of things were actually happening, like what the rally was going to be on Friday, and how we just wanted everyone to wear cultural clothes.”
While this year’s International Week was a success, it was also even better than it had been in previous years.
“Many of the events and practices we did this year for International Week is the same as how we’ve done it previously. The game and activity booths and Olympic International Rally are new ideas that are unique to International Week this year,” says Urbano. “Next year, I would like to see our next ASB President, Bella Jiang, encourage more engagement from staff and students who aren’t typically involved in events like these. One thing that should definitely be integrated next year is making International Week mandatory for cultural clubs because International Week is the perfect way to showcase their culture, and they should take that opportunity to display their pride in that.”
International Week is one of the biggest events of the school year. From the food stalls to the activities to the rally at the end of the week, an immense amount of time and effort goes into ensuring that everything runs smoothly, and everyone is able to thoroughly enjoy this rare chance to learn about and experience other cultures through cuisine, games, and dances. “For people experiencing International Week for the first time, it doesn’t hurt to spend a few minutes to walk around the rotunda and see what clubs are offering,” says Saguid. “You may find something you like.”