International Education Week raises awareness on global issues

MSU, in cooperation with a federal initiative to raise global awareness among young people, will hold the 12th annual International Education Week Nov. 17-21. International Education Week is held at numerous college campus around the country, with a new focus each year. This year the focus will be global water resources, emphasizing the importance of conserving aquifers and other water supplies for the future.

Director for Academic and Technical Programs Yvonne Rudman has organized many of the events for International Education Week and looks forward to educating students and the greater Bozeman community on the importance of water conservation. On a grander scale, Rudman said the goal of International Education is to educate students on issues that exist in our ever-more-connected world. “The event from year to year raises awareness for our students to be more prepared for the 21 century,” she said. Rudman believes that in the future increased global interconnectedness will make knowledge of international issues increasingly important to people all around the world.

Rudman believes that water will become one of the most sought after commodities in the future. “Water is the new oil. Water per gallon is more expensive than oil now,” Rudman said. Areas of the globe are already experiencing shortages of water; ancient African cities in existence today, glacier-fed rivers in India, and even some places in the American Southwest are losing water reserves vital to the survival of these areas, both on a physical and cultural level.

Throughout the week, the students attending events will learn about things they can do to conserve water. Rudman emphasized that it is everyone’s responsibility to protect the globally-connected water cycle from waste and pollution. “Water is tied into a global cycle . . . if water systems are polluted or depleted in another part of the world, it comes back to affect us here also,” Rudman explained.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Alansi Abdulwahab of the University of Nebraska, will speak on Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. and will cover the growing problem of maintain sufficient water supplies in Sana’a, the capital of his home country, Yemen. The city of 1.7 million has been in existence for 2,500 years, using the same aquifer to supply its citizens with water for the entire history of the city. Now, amid increasingly arid conditions, this life-giving aquifer is shrinking at a rate of 20 feet per year.

Those interested in the events during International Education week are encouraged to attend. The SUB will host all of the film showings and speakers, except for one event geared towards children that will be held at the Bozeman Public Library. For more information contact MSU Office of International Programs by phone at 994-4031 or by email at

There will be several film showings and informational events, as well as two speakers.  By hosting these events, the International Services department and university as a whole hopes to educate the community on global water issues and the ways that everyone can help maintain water supplies for generations to come.


All week:

MSU Library Display


Monday, Nov. 17:

Procrastinator Theatre 7 p.m.

“On Thin Ice”

Travel with Conrad Anker to the Himalayas and back to Montana as he explores glaciers and their critical role as the world’s main source of fresh water. (50 min)

“The Panihari Woman”

Tale of a Rajastani ‘water woman’ who faces hardship then triumphs in providing her family with water in the northern desert of India. (30 min)

Local Filmmaker Abinand Devan and colleagues Sudhi Rajagopal & Juan-Carlos Ortiz

Tuesday, Nov. 18:

SUB 233 12 p.m.

Sharing Water Education Across the Globe

Morgan Close, Project WET, International Program Manager

Wednesday, Nov. 19:

Union Market-SUB, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.



Information Table by Bonnie Goodman of Bozeman Veg Society

SUB 233 12 p.m.-1 p.m.


Dr. Anne Camper, MSU Professor of Civil Engineering

Thursday Nov. 20:

SUB Ballroom A, 7 p.m.


Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, a city of 1.7M people has been in existence for 2500 years. Sana’a’s aquifers are dropping at the rate of about 20 feet/year. If this rate continues, the aquifers will be depleted by the end of the decade.

Dr. Alansi Abdulwahab Fulbright Visiting Scholar & Director of the Water & Environment Technological Center & Asst. Professor, Civil Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineer- ing, University of Science and Technology, Sana’a, Yemen.

Friday, Nov. 21:

Bozeman Public Library 10 a.m.

Project WET books on international water education for children