DMACC Celebrates Sweden for “International Year”

The Nobel Prize, Avicii, Ikea, dynamite, Volvo, Iowa and most importantly, cinnamon buns. This seemingly miscellaneous list does in fact share a common denominator: Sweden.

It is the center of this year’s International Year program at DMACC. The program’s inauguration in 1985 celebrated Japan. At the time the event was packed into one week, and due to interest and logistics it became year-long. Each summer, a committee of faculty members gather to select a country whose culture and history will be studied and celebrated throughout the year with the help of workshops and presentations. The chairman of this year’s committee, Maria Cochran, discussed the program’s role and some plans for the year-long celebration.

Two primary goals of the program are education and celebration. “We want to promote global thinking among our students,” Cochran said. Also, the large population of international students at DMACC gives deeper meaning to the program by commemorating the diversity and heritage of students with a new country each year.

Iowa and Sweden share a rich history, with the state being one of the first places Swedes emigrated to. Cochran said Sweden’s population is relatively small with ten million people, however, 20 percent are immigrants; also the country’s area is only three times that of Iowa. “Given the size of the country, it is pretty prominent.” Cochran said. The list above notes only a handful of cultural influences to debut from Sweden.

Sweden Year kicks off on Wednesday, Sept. 26 in Building 5 with ABBA music, a traditional Swedish craft and cinnamon buns from 11-2. The goal of the events overall is to accurately represent Sweden’s multifaceted culture. One way the committee achieves their goal of cultural education is through the Honors Seminar class held each spring. Cochran said that the class is not exclusive to Honors students; anyone with a GPA of 3.0 or higher is eligible. The class will meet once a week for three hours and cover various topics of Sweden’s culture.

Each year, DMACC solicits the help of graphic design students to advertise International Year by creating logos for a t-shirt and poster. The t-shirts cost $5 and can be purchased at any Sweden Year event or directly from Maria Cochran in Building 2 Office 5U. The funds will be directed back to students through DMACC Pioneer Scholarships. For more information or any questions about Sweden Year, contact Maria Cochran at mecochran@dmacc.edu.

Lastly, encouraging student participation Cochran said, “The success of the program depends on the student body.”

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