Thank you for joining us to celebrate International Education Week in the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department at the University of Florida! In this series, we learned about the experiences of international students and how those experiences have shaped their approaches to academics, research, and more.
To close out our week of highlighting outstanding international students, we welcome Ehran Safaei, a nutritional sciences Ph.D. student from Iran. His research focus is on how the ketogenic diet affects musculoskeletal health in older adults. When asked about his background, Ehran reflected on the beauty of his home.
My mom is from Tabriz, and my dad is from Tehran, Iran’s capital. I spent a significant part of my upbringing, a full 12 years, in Tehran, where I completed my school education.
I was born in Tabriz, Iran, and lived there for about 14 years. Nestled amidst the striking landscape of the Quru River valley in Iran’s historic Azerbaijan region, Tabriz is a city of cultural richness and natural beauty. The residents are fluent in two languages, with Azerbaijani being their primary tongue and Persian being their secondary language for most people.
Tabriz is renowned for its masterful craftsmanship, including hand-woven rugs and exquisite jewelry, as well as delectable local confectionery, chocolates, dried nuts, and traditional cuisine that captivate the taste buds of Iranians. Wandering through Tabriz is like taking a journey through time, as its well-preserved historical sites offer glimpses into Iran’s architectural evolution, with notable influences from the Ilkhanid, Safavid, and Qajar eras.
One standout attraction is the grand Bazaar of Tabriz, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which serves as a living testament to the city’s rich heritage and bustling commerce. Tabriz weaves together history, culture, and natural beauty to create a captivating tapestry of experiences for all to enjoy.
The Power of International Education
After this week of international student highlights, it’s tempting to summarize the takeaway as ‘international education is good’ and leave it at that. Yet education on the global stage is about more than exploring the places students have been. It’s about the active and thoughtful journey of opening your perspective and allowing the experiences of fellow students to shape your understanding of being a global citizen.
Some students know early on that they want to travel everywhere and experience many cultures, like Ha Nguyen. Others travel far from home to attend university, like Tingting Gu and Ehsan Safaei. Even others have learned how to feel at home regardless of how far they are from their home country, like Santiago Cardenas Pinto. No matter what they have discovered, students engaging in international education develop knowledge and respect for different viewpoints. What better place for this discovery to occur than on a university campus?
In the UF FSHN Department, we are honored to celebrate international education and our amazing international students. Thank you for joining us this week!
Check out our other features on exceptional international students for International Education Week!
Thank you to FSHN Academic Specialist Chelsea Patrick for gathering student responses.