September 24, 2009

launching an international film series: Sept. 29

The mumblings have started - something about a film series, something international, remote locations, SUBTITLES! All true. The Office of International Programs, along with the Global Film Initiative, are in fact bringing an International Film Series to UNC Charlotte for the 2009-2010 year. And it starts on Tuesday, September 29 at 3:30 PM with Song from the Southern Seas.

According to the Global Film Initiative, Song from the Southern Seas is about two couples, one Russian and one Kazakh, who have been relatively peaceful neighbors for fifteen years. When the fair-skinned Russians give birth to a boy of decidedly darker skin, hidden suspicions erupt and is only resolved by an ironic twist of family and fate.

Director Marat Sarulu explains further, "During the first immigration wave of Kazakh and Central Asian Russians. Many left the region,which created a severe disconnection from a whole culture based upon neighbourhood ties,integration and traditions that had been manifested over centuries. Many fell sick and died during the first years of their immigration. Young people, more resilient, had the chance to survive.Every now and then some would go back home, unable to cope with the different customs,lifestyle, climate of their new land in which they terribly missed their home and their usual circle of friends....I believe that the ideas and the problems mentioned in the script stand out in an even sharper way upon this background of angst. Men all belong to the same race, to the same family, and this is the outcome of my characters’ personal quest.”

The screening is open. Join us for Please direct questions to

September 18, 2009

Longest Running Tradition at 'Niner Nation coming 9/26

Saturday, September 26 is the 34th annual International Festival (IFest) at UNC Charlotte. It is the longest running tradition on-campus and brings thousands of visitors from the community. Efforts to coordinate the massive event started at the end of the 33rd annual IFest. Over 700 hours of student volunteer work are contributed - in addition to time and energy contributed by staff from all over campus.

International student groups and international community groups set up under giant tents in and around the Barnhardt Student Activity Center. Color, arts and crafts, maps, one-of-a-kind jewelry, masks, dolls, clothes,musical instruments and delicious food are everywhere. If you come at 10 AM you are welcomed by the Loch Norman Pipe Band kicking off the festivities with the unmistakable sound of bagpipes and drums. Anywhere in the middle of the day is a smorgasbord of activity, sound and food. The final act, the Manny y Sus Trabucos band ends the day with of rush of adrenaline-infused Afro-Cuban/Caribbean music (on stage at 5 PM).

If you've not been, you need to. It's a free day of events and "travel" on-campus. It's part of celebrating the diversity of 'Niner Nation while recognizing the world beyond. It opens at 10 AM and closes at 6 PM - you can stay all day or come for a couple hours. There's always something going on, food being sold, stories being told, singing and dancing. The schedule of performances is at If you're serious about going global this is the place to start!

September 11, 2009

Study Abroad Fair to South Africa

Studying abroad has given me a new perspective and fresh look at what I want to do after college. Stellenbosch is such a beautiful place; nestled between the wine-lands of the western Cape Province its people and nature alike have been quite welcoming. Cape Town is a huge city; funny how I did not anticipate CT having rush hour traffic - it gets really heavy yet it lightens up when taking a look at Table Mountain. Interesting how my study experience started by simply going to the study abroad fair a couple years back.

I’ve been here for a little over two months now and still can't believe I’m in such a beautiful place. This thought hits me predominantly when I’m driving to and from Cape Town the scenery is breath taking and the mountains which serve as a backdrop to the wineries are so majestic.

There is a plethora of activities around Stellenbosch, there’s always something to do. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur, like to surf, or you just simply enjoy taking in new cultural experience then Stellenbosch will be right up your ally. Being that this is wine country the main road leading to this quaint town is lined up with wineries galore. Also Cape Town is just an hour away, there you will be able to discover a rich tapestry of cultures that have been woven for hundreds of years now.

~Juan Galvez from Stellenbosch, South Africa.

To start your own discovery of the world, stop by the Study Abroad Fair on Tuesday, September 15 from 10:00-2:30 around the Belk Tower. There are plenty of options,destinations and funding opportunities!

September 4, 2009

What's a WACC?

The World Affairs Council of Charlotte, or WACC, as it's more affectionately known, started as an outreach initiative of the Office of International Programs and is now an independent 501(c)3. Today, they collaborate with UNC Charlotte on many initiatives to raise awareness of international trends and issues. Programming and education are key components of their efforts. It's the beginning of a new year and time for introductions, so here's an overview of ways you can get involved with WACC followed by a bit of trivia similar to what you might find in their annual trivia competition.

WACC brings Ambassadors, authors, legislators, business leaders and international aid leaders to Charlotte for business breakfasts, community lunches and most relevant to us, the UNC Charlotte International Speaker Series. In the fall 2009 semester, we'll hear from authors Haleh Esfandiari ( My Prison, My Home: One Woman's Story of Captivity in Iran), Daniel Griswold (Mad About Trade: Why Main Street America Should Embrace Globalization)and Gretchen Peters (Seeds of Terror: How Heroin is Bankrolling the Taliban and al Qaeda).

Networking opportunities are available for young professionals (21-40) through The Magellan Society. On October 15 a group will meet at Pura Vida for a book-club-esque discussion of Rory Stewart's account of his walk across Afghanistan in The Places in Between.

In Spring 2009, WACC collaborated on a young professionals career panel. The feedback from the presentation was positive so we're looking to again host 3-4 young professionals who can provide insight and advice on those next few years after college and in the "real world."

And, should you be interested in building your resume with experience in international education and non-profit management, WACC offers several internship opportunities each semester and through the summer. Get inside programming strategies, learn marketing tips, support fundraising initiatives and network, network, network!

Last, but absolutely not least, is WorldQuest, the international trivia competition alluded to earlier. The event for high schools is held in November and the community is invited to compete in the spring. Over 20 teams of eight players answer questions from a range of subjects including Geography, Flags, Current Events, History, Famous Faces, International Art and a grab-bag of questions in Global Potpourri.

For example:

Question 1: Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September in the U.S. and Canada. A similar recognition takes place in many other countries on May 1st under what name?

A)International Day of Labour
B)Global Workforce Celebration
C)International Workers' Day

Question 2: When was the first Labor Day celebrated in the U.S.?

A)September 7, 1959
B)September 5, 1882
C)September 1, 1902

Answers (1-C, 2-B)

For more information on these programs, to RSVP for The Magellan Society discussion or to get involved, contact WACC at 704-687-7762 or

Enjoy the long weekend!

September 1, 2009

Wine to Water: September 10

In January 2004, Doc Hendley decided it was time to do something about the water crisis facing numerous regions of the world - over 1 billion people today do not have adequate water and sanitation. Taking his bartending skills to local communities, he hosted wine tastings to raise awareness and funds. By August of 2004, Hendley had moved to Darfur, Sudan to install water systems for victims of the genocide. When he returned in 2005 his commitment to providing clean water to remote areas of the world had been solidified.

To date, Wine to Water, a 501(c)3 organization, has worked in Sudan, Uganda, India and Cambodia. Using funds raised through wine tasting events, Wine to Water creates sustainable solutions to the water issues of communities around the world. Hendley's work has been recognized on CNN's Heroes . Check out the video on the Wine to Water webpage for a glimpse of the project in Cambodia.

On Thursday, September 10, Hendley will be sharing his work and international projects with UNC Charlotte at 3:30 PM in Room 380 of the College of Health and Human Services Building. Join us for a presentation on an innovative approach to one of our world's most challenging issues.