Student-led trivia event kicks off International Education Week

International Trivia Night—with all tables full of pizza and refreshments provided—occurred on Monday Nov. 16. This event kicked off International Education Week, which is happening from Monday Nov. 16–Friday Nov. 20.

The United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs formally sponsors this annual commemorative week. It is meant to specifically observe the importance and value of international education and intercultural relations. At Geneseo, the Office of International Programs uses the week as a time to carry out programming that spreads awareness of why international education is beneficial and about broad intercultural knowledge and what study abroad opportunities are available.

“Geneseo started celebrating International Education Week in 2012 and we’ve now had programming annually since then. It’s always the week before Thanksgiving break,” Study Abroad advisor Emily Froome said. “On a national level, 2015 is the 16th year IEW has been celebrated, but we only started formal programming at Geneseo in November 2012.”

Geneseo’s original International Trivia Night in 2012 was conceived as a collaboration of the Office of International Student and Scholar Services and Study Abroad, both part of the Office of International Programs. The event was repeated in 2013, but underwent a hiatus in 2014. For this year’s IEW, the study abroad mentors considered replacing it again with a mixer, but finally decided to bring back the trivia event, anticipating more lively and expedient fun.

Hosted at the Knight Spot, International Trivia Night was an animated event. Turnout was exceptional and the energy of student participants—visibly ready to play—was remarkable. The trivia game consisted of the conventional five levels of difficulty for each of the question categories—which included geography, culture, history, travel and a “potpourri,” or randomized category. The diversity of questions allowed for a wide-ranging edifying experience for attendees.

“This week being International Education week, International Trivia Night was a fun way to just educate students in a casual way about some general knowledge of the topic,” Study Abroad mentor junior Daria Craciun said. Seasoned in the gains of international education, Craciun spent a month during the summer after her freshman year in Amsterdam and—hooked on the study abroad experience—spent another month in Greece the summer after her sophomore year.

Craciun and two other mentors, juniors Sarah Simon and Alex McGrath, were instrumental in the event’s production and operation. The three of them were responsible for creating all of the trivia questions as well as organizing all event details.

In teams of three to six people each, trivia participants seemed to become engrossed in the competition as well as the lessons and travel tips. The entertainment ultimately concluded with four winning teams because second place came to a tie. Prizes consisted of gift cards to an assortment of establishments, with varying amounts in accordance with standing. Overall though, International Trivia Night was a victory for all those who partook—not only because of the free food, but primarily as a result of the learning that occurred through the spirited game.

“I think this was the best International Trivia Night we’ve had so far. It was definitely the most competitive and I think the best attended,” Froome said. “I think most of this was due to the fact that students were organizing this event, rather than us staff members. Overall, I think it was really successful.”