Henna Night imprints language, culture on Marquette community

Fulbright logoSaturday, April 6, Marquette hosted a henna night celebration, a traditional engagement party in Arabic culture involving music, dancing, henna and delicious cuisine. 

The event celebrated the engagement of Alexander Fabrizio, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, and Rochelle Christensen, a 2012 alumna. Open to the Marquette community, the event hosted more than 100 guests including the couple’s family members, as well as Marquette students and faculty.

When asked why she decided to attend, Sally Nadeau, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said she wanted to experience something different. “I liked that it was a diverse event that Marquette was sponsoring. I saw henna and thought it would be a great way to have a new experience.” 

The night began with an introduction of the engaged couple and continued with traditional dances by the wedding party. Eventually all guests were invited to join in, while an emcee explained to the audience the traditions associated with each section. Gail Gilbert, assistant director of Marquette’s Office of International Education, explained that the goal was to encourage everyone in attendance to participate. “We wanted to bring more exposure to Muslim and Arabic culture, to have an event that the community could experience while supporting our students.”

After dances in front of the engaged couple, dinner, consisting of lamb, rice, and a number of Arabic desserts, was served. Finally, a henna artist drew a traditional design on the bride-to-be’s forearm, which she proudly displayed to all in attendance. Afterwards, all guests were invited to draw their own henna.

Enaya Othman, an Arabic language instructor at Marquette and organizer of the event, summed up the day, “I thought it was a good way for our students to learn not just the language, but the culture as well. I also wanted to show how Arab and Muslim communities in the greater Milwaukee area and throughout the. U.S. transmit their culture through events such as this.” To learn more about the event and see pictures and video, click here.


International day: a learning event for Marquette students and community

Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla logoOn Friday, April 5, Marquette international students and organizations took over the Alumni Memorial Union to celebrate International Day, an annual event to showcase the cultures of students that come from all around the world. 

From Vietnamese egg rolls to African plantains to Malaysian mee hoon, one of the main ways in which students were able to showcase their culture this year was through cuisine. Students also decorated their own booths with flags, postcards, information about their home countries, and much more.

Each year, Marquette is host to international students from 68 countries, each of which has its own unique history, culture, and traditions. International student organizations such as the African Students Association and Global Village also give students an outlet to develop relationships on campus through cultural understanding.

Adebola Obebe, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, moved from Nigeria to the United States when he was 13 years old. Working at the booth for the African Students Association, he said that one of the things he has come to value in the United States is the openness. “People are really willing to learn about other people,” he said. “For example today is all about people learning about other cultures.”


E.U. plans to ease visa process for visiting students

Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla logoAccording to a recent New York Times article, the European Commission will try to ease the way on visas for students and researchers visiting from outside the European Union, the commission announced in Brussels last week. The new directive would mandate maximum visa-processing periods of 60 days, easier transfers between member countries and access to jobs during the stay.

“Coming to the E.U. for research or study is far more difficult than it should be,” Cecilia Malmstrom, the European commissioner for home affairs, said in a statement. “Mobility benefits the E.U. and our economy through the circulation of knowledge and ideas.”

About 200,00 international students and researchers spend time in the European Union each year. The new directive would take effect in 2016, pending approval by both the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.


"Pay-as-you-weigh" airfare has Samoa Air passengers watching their waistlines

Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla logoSouth Pacific air carrier Samoa Air has recently decided to apply its controversial “pay-as-you-weigh” policy for passengers on international routes.

The policy, described on the airline’s website as “your weight plus your baggage items is what you pay for. Simple”, went into effect in November for domestic fliers. The South Pacific air carrier flies just three aircraft, two 10-seaters and one four-seater and serves Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Niue, Tokelau, the North Cook Islands and Wallis and Futuna islands in French Polynesia. The company’s new policy has recently garnered media attention and had many objecting that it discriminates overweight people and those with health issues.

Christ Langton, Samoa Air chief executive, has defended the policy of charging passengers by weight, arguing that it is the future of air travel. “Customers are getting their heads around the concept that paying by weight is the fairest way of doing it,” Langton said. Read more here.



James Foley, Marquette alum, still missing

Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla logoJames Foley, Marquette alum, was captured in Syria this past Thanksgiving. "Foley, 39, was working in northwest Syria with another journalist when they were kidnapped by unknown gunmen on Nov. 22," his parents said. Foley, a freelance journalist, had been working in Syria for about a year and was contributing videos to Agence France-Press when he disappeared." Foley has been captured before; he was working as a war reporter in Libya. They Libyian government held him for six weeks before releasing him. During his capture in Libya, American government was able to work with the Libyan government to get him out and his parents received updates on how he was doing. This time, there has been no contact.

There was a
gathering for for Foley April 5 at Marquette's Alumni Memorial Union that his parents attended.



CalendarFrom excursions to the Milwaukee Art Museum to holiday celebrations, the Office of International Education offers a wide variety of programming open to all Marquette students. Check our events calendar for an up-to-date schedule of events.

Step up! To host Rwandan genocide survivor, screening of documentary
Monday, April 15
5-7 p.m.
AMU Monaghan Ballroom B

Step Up! To host Rwandan Genocide survivor, screening of documentary Step Up! will host Consolee Nishimwe, survivor of the Rwandan Genocide. Nishimwe will speak about her book Tested to the Limit, which shared her powerful story of survival. And, on Wednesday, April 17, Step Up! will host a screening of the documentary Brussels-Kigali at 6:30 p.m. in Marquette Hall, 100. This documentary follows the 2009 Brussels Assizes Court trial in absentia Ephrem Nkezabera, leaders of the extremist Hutu Interahamwe militias. Is a mourning process possible? What is the state of reparation and justice now that the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda is coming to an end?


“The UN: From Canadian Eyes” Ambassador Guillermo Rishchynski
Tuesday, April 16
4-5:30 p.m.
OIE Program Center, Holthusen Hall, 4th Floor

Marquette welcomes Ambassador Guillermo Rishchynski, permanent representative of Canada to the United Nations to discuss, “The UN: From Canadian Eyes.” Ambassador Rishchynski will discuss the importance of the United Nations in pursuing security in the 21st century. The United Nations is a space where all nations of the world can work collectively to confront common challenges and pursue shared objectives through consensus and diplomacy.


International Poetry Reading
Tuesday, April 16
11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Raynor Library, Lower Level, Beaumier Suites B&C

Come celebrate National Poetry Month. Bring your lunch to the library and relax as you listen to poetry from around the world. If you would like to read a non-English poem, contact Dr. Jason Meyler to schedule a reading time.


"Telling your story: Interviewing Skills" Workshop
Wednesday, April 17
3:30-4:30 p.m.
OIE Program Center, Holthusen Hall, 4th Floor

Become familiar with the interview process in the U.S. and develop your interview skills during this hour long workshop! Specific emphasis will be placed on identifying and articulating the unique qualities and skills that you as an international candidate possess. This event is limited to 24 participants and professional dress is required. Refreshments will be provided. RSVP to Brenda Rodriguez at by noon on Monday, April 15.


Egypt and America Post January 25th Revolution
Tuesday, April 23
5:30-7:30 p.m.
Raynor Library Beaumier Suites B & C

Marquette welcomes the Honorable Maged Refaat Aboulmagd, consul general of the Arab Republic of Egypt, in Chicago to discuss, “The Prospects Between Egypt and America Post January 25th Revolution.” Two years after the Egyptian revolution, its effects are still being felt in the Middle East and globally. The Consul General’s presentation will cover what really took place in Egypt during the revolution and how the recent developments will affect future U.S.-Egyptian relations and U.S.-Middle East relations at large. A reception will follow.

Aboulmagd has been a diplomat with the Egyptian Foreign Ministry since 1989 and held positions in Belgium, Bahrain, Russia and Nigeria, as well as with the Permanent Mission of Egypt to the United Nations. Aboulmagd’s other special assignments and UN-related experience include serving as an alternate representative to the UN Security Council and as an observer with the UN Observer.



"Working in the U.S.: Fitting into the U.S. Workplace Culture" Workshop

Wednesday, April 24
3:30-4:30 p.m.
OIE Program Center, Holthusen Hall, 4th Floor

Meet international alumni who are currently working in the U.S. and learn about U.S. workplace culture in the hour workshop. Come prepared to ask questions to the alumni about their work experiences. This event is limited to to 24 participants and professional dress is required. Refreshments will be provided. RSVP to Brenda Rodriguez at brenda.rodrigue​ bu noon on Monday, April 22.


Saying Goodbye: Packing your Suitcase and Preparing to Return Home

Friday, April 26
1-2:30 p.m.
OIE Program Center, Holthusen Hall, 4th Floor

Prepare for leaving Marquette, returning home and connecting with Marquette alumni at this special luncheon for students who will be graduating in May or August. During this luncheon, you will learn about "re-entry shock," brainstorm strategies for transitioning back to life at home, and create a plan for maintaining your English skills and cultural knowledge once you return home. Marquette's international alumni network and connecting with other alumni will be discussed. Theis event is limited to 24 participants and lunch will be provided. RSVP to Brenda Rodiguez at by noon on Monday, April 22.


Beyond the Veil

Saturday, April 27
5:30-6:30 p.m.
Islamic Society of Milwaukee, 4707 S 13th St. Milwaukee, WI 53221

What do we really see when we look at Muslim women's clothing? Take part in a lively discussion with cultural experts and community members. Food and refreshments will be provided. For questions, contact Sponsored by the Arab and Muslim Women's Research and Resource Institute.



Scholarships & Conferences

Check out our scholarships and conferences webpage dedicated to keeping up-to-date listings of scholarships, fellowships and academic conference opportunities available to undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and staff. Click on the links below for details and the complete listing.

Fellowships, Scholarships and Conferences

- Apply for IELTS Research Grant Funding
- Apply for Ping Doctoral Research Fellowship




Renowned International Scholar Talks to Marquette About Intercultural Competence

south africa flag

On April 2, the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Office of International Education welcomed Dr. Darla Deardorff to host “A Dialogue about Measuring Intercultural Competence.” Deardorff spoke with more than 50 Marquette faculty and staff members in an engaging discussion covering the questions around how we define, teach and asses intercultural competence within higher education.  

In setting up a measurement tool for intercultural competence, Deardorff explained the importance of setting clear goals and specific, measurable learning outcomes, including defining all terms. There are more than 100 assessment tools available that each measure in a different way. Institutions must identify the right tools to assess their particular learning outcomes. Deardorff stressed the need to utilize both indirect and direct evidence in assessing our students. She also expounded on the importance of using the assessment data collected to provide feedback to students as they journey on their unique intercultural development path.  

As a professional in the field for more than 15 years, Deardorff has received numerous invitations from around the world to speak on her research on intercultural competence and international education assessment.  Her intercultural competence models developed through her research are being used worldwide by such organizations as the Bertelsmann Foundation in Germany, Cariplo Foundation in Italy, and NVAO in Europe. She currently serves as executive director of the Association of International Education Administrators, a national professional organization based at Duke University. She is also a visiting professor at Leeds-Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom, an adjunct professor at Monterey Institute of International Studies, is on faculty of the prestigious Summer Institute of Intercultural Communication in Portland, Oregon, and on faculty of Harvard University’s Future of Learning Institute. Dr. Deardorff holds a master’s and doctorate from North Carolina State University where she focused on international education.


Office of International Education
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881