Chinese lions, Mexican dance and Indian yoga are all in the lineup for MISTI Week, a showcase of MIT's international program offerings that kicks off Sept. 18.
The annual celebration of the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) highlights the increasing importance of international education at MIT, said Bernd Widdig, director of the MIT Germany Program and MISTI's associate director.
The week's events will expose students to a variety of cultures while introducing them to MISTI, which matches undergraduate and graduate students with professional internships around the world.
"An international experience is not just a valuable addition to a student's resume, it's also one of the most educationally meaningful, intellectually stimulating and fun things students can do during their time at MIT," Widdig said.
Established in 1994 to give MIT students work, study and research experience in another culture, MISTI currently runs eight country programs -- in China, Japan, India, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Mexico -- as well as pilot programs in Africa and Singapore.
MISTI educates students in the language and culture of a host country before placing them in positions.
MISTI is the largest international opportunity program for students on campus, sending roughly 200 students abroad per school year.
MISTI Week will start with a cultural fair on Sept. 18 featuring Indian dance, Mexican mariachi, Chinese lion dance, Japanese taiko drumming and Spanish flamenco at the Student Center beginning at noon.
Throughout the week, both graduate and undergraduate students will be able to attend panels and discussions, including "First-Hand Perspective on International Careers" on Sept. 19, where representatives from different industries will discuss the pros and cons of working outside the United States. The panel will run from 7 to 9 p.m. in Room 4-370.
Another highlight of the week will be a screening of "An Inconvenient Truth," Al Gore's documentary on global warming, on Sept. 22. The film will be followed by a discussion with Professor Ernest J. Moniz, co-director of the Laboratory for Energy and Environment and co-chair of the MIT Energy Research Council. The event begins at 6 p.m. in Room 26-100.
MISTI will also hold orientation sessions for its different programs throughout the week.
For more information, visit web.mit.edu/misti.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 13, 2006 (download PDF).