More than 55 international flags were recently raised in the eerily empty Compton Union Building to honor and acknowledge Washington State University’s international community.

International students, scholars and their families on and off campus persevered during a year marked by a flurry of punitive U.S. immigration policies, the inability to travel internationally and the need to distance from others.

To honor the international community, which is currently spread around the world, members of WSU’s International Students’ Council are hosting a virtual International Education Week April 5 through 9 and have dedicated it to WSU’s students everywhere.

International Education Week (IEW) is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of State. Inaugurated by President Bill Clinton in 2000, IEW celebrates the importance and benefits of international education in the U.S. and around the world. Today, IEW is celebrated in more than 100 countries worldwide.

For fun, the week includes a virtual pet fashion show, and Jeopardy night.

ISC President Tri Luu, a graduating senior in Civil Engineering in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture, said, “International Education Week is a traditional event to share the different cultures in our community. Even in untraditional circumstances, we want this to be a time for people to learn something new or gain a deeper understanding of other people, places and practices, and have a good experience along the way. IEW builds a bridge for us all to open our eyes to each other, respect our differences and celebrate our commonalities.”

Asif Chaudhry, vice president for International Programs said, “WSU’s Office of International Programs, in partnership with the International Students’ Council, remains committed to supporting and expanding the inclusive and diverse environment that welcomes people and ideas from all around the world. The spirit of interconnectedness makes International Education Week an important celebration. This year has clearly demonstrated the WSU Cougar family, including the international community, is resilient beyond belief and IEW is an important way to recognize their strength.”