This year’s International Week is set to launch on Monday 30th of January with a Halal Food Festival and will close on Sunday February 5th after a viewing of Super Bowl XLVI.

Stephen Stokes, the UCDSU International Officer states that the main objective of International Week is to promote the cultural diversity of UCD”. A large range of events have been organised for the week which Stokes believes ‘cater for all nationalities including Irish’. Events have also been organised with International students in mind, such as the day trip to Wicklow planned for Saturday the 4th of February, the trip includes a scenic bus tour of Ireland’s garden county giving students ‘a little taste of Ireland’.

Other events planned include; ‘Mord Fustang’ International House DJ, Salsa dancing, a Pizza eating contest, a Table quiz organized by the International Student Society and movie showings every afternoon in the Global Lounge. There will also be International food served in the Main Restaurant throughout the week.

Stokes believes there are “fun events to cater for all tastes’’ and is determined “to make International Week bigger and better than ever’’. This year’s Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings saw UCD perform well in the International Students category coming out the top Irish university with a ranking of 57. This ranking is related to the number of international students within UCD and reflects the appeal of the university for international students.

A new campaign, called UCD International is also being put into effect within UCD in months to come. This follows Dr. Hugh Brady’s, ‘President’s Report to the Governing Authority’ which unveiled a plan to internationalise the student experience and to reach a target of twenty five percent international students by 2015.

Stokes tells the College Tribune, ‘The growth of International students in Ireland has highlighted further their importance of being an integral part of the Students’ Union movement’. Stokes work as International Officer has included setting up an International Crew which is largely made up of delegates from ‘‘internationally themed societies such as International Student Society, Erasmus Student Network, French Soc, Islamic Soc, Japanese Soc, Russian Soc etc.’’.

Stokes main aim for the week is “ensuring International students feel centrally involved in UCD life”, and he believes, “International Week 2012 is an excellent opportunity for the student body to celebrate our diversity’’.

If anyone would like to get involved they can email or check out ‘UCD International Week 2012’ on Facebook.


Sophie Kelly