I am Global Week: Connecting our cultures

Allie poses for photo

Photo Credit: Gaelen Morse

By Kennedy Ryan
November 13, 2023

Each fall, Brandeis celebrates the global community that can be found on campus with I Am Global Week.

Slated for November 13-18, this year’s I Am Global Week features events hosted by student groups, faculty, campus partners, and the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO). This year’s celebration will include a kick-off and international candy tasting event, the annual all languages dinner where all languages except English are spoken, a global bazaar, and Mela, the largest student run show on campus.

Playing a pivotal role in the success of I Am Global Week are the Global Fellows, a group of students from the U.S. and abroad who meticulously plan, organize, promote, and host the various events that make this week a unique and memorable experience.

Allie Ladjeva ’27 is a first-year student from Bulgaria. As a global fellow, she’s found the opportunity to connect with other international students from around the world while celebrating her own heritage. She spoke with Brandeis Stories about her plans for I Am Global Week and appreciation for the Brandeis community. 

As an international student, how has Brandeis welcomed you? 

I actually felt like part of the community from the very first days. There were great events that gave us the opportunity to meet other international students who were also moving away from their friends and family. We all got to see the campus and get used to it. I also discovered many helpful resources on campus, like academic advising, peer groups, and an incredible counseling center.

It can be challenging moving to another continent, especially as a young person. I was a bit anxious about meeting new people because I didn’t know anyone initially, but Brandeis did a great job welcoming me.

What influenced you to become a Global Fellow? 

Something I want to do in my life is preserve people’s identities. That’s why I want to pursue an independent interdisciplinary major, combining politics, education, and technology. My mission is to help young people worldwide find their passions and be confident about expressing their true selves. 

I saw the global fellows program as a fabulous opportunity to meet new people from different cultures and hear their unique stories. By being a global fellow, I want to show that we can preserve our identity while celebrating diversity. These things can happen at the same time. I was also excited to celebrate my culture by showing people the dances, food, and traditions in Bulgarian culture. 

How will you be celebrating during this week?

I will be displaying children's books from around the world. Additionally, I asked the Global Fellows to share books in their own language that they loved as a child. I will compile the summaries of the different stories and what they mean to the Global Fellows. Most books will be displayed during the Global kick-off event and throughout the week. 

I wanted to illustrate the beauty of these stories and have people go back to their childhood. Children's books help adults return to their childhoods and feel the freedom of finding themselves between the pages of a book again.

Why is ‘I Am Global Week’ important to the Brandeis community? 

I believe it is crucial to celebrate, acknowledge, and actively be involved in the Brandeis community. By seeing and learning about different cultures, we can be more aware of all the different identities worldwide.

As International students, it’s also important to show our own cultures. It helps us form a closer connection with our own identity. Even though we study in a foreign country, we should never forget who we are and where we come from.