(April 26, 2011)--Visitors to the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures will have a rare opportunity Saturday, April 30, to learn about other cultures by directly interacting with people from those cultures. From 1 to 4 p.m., the museum will host "Culture Quest," featuring 21 foreign exchange students representing 17 countries.
"Part of UTSA's vision is to prepare our students for a global environment," said Lupita Barrera, ITC director of education and interpretation at the museum. "How better to pursue that mission than to open dialogue with young people from all over the world?"
While many of the high school-aged foreign exchange students represent countries with long histories in Texas and the United States, some students come from developing and younger nations such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Sierra Leone, Suriname and Turkmenistan.
Each student will speak on an aspect of his or her culture including subjects such as food, education, clothing, traditions, music, holidays, games, economics, language and life at home.
"Culture Quest" will be presented under the museum's dome with tables set up for each country. In addition to the presentations, the students' impressions of life in Texas have been integrated into a multimedia production that will be projected on the 26-screen Dome Show Theater.
"Culture Quest" is made possible through a partnership with Academic Year in the U.S.A., a leading nonprofit organization promoting global learning and leadership through foreign exchange programs and study abroad opportunities. Since 1980, AYUSA has arranged for more than 40,000 students from more than 75 countries to spend a semester or academic year living with American host families.
The event is included with regular admission, free for UTSA faculty, staff and students.
The Institute of Texan Cultures is on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus, 801 E. Durango Blvd., a short distance from the Alamo and the River Walk. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m., Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults (ages 12-64); $7 for seniors (ages 65+); $6 for children (ages 3-11); free with membership, UTSA or Alamo Colleges identification. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit TexanCultures.com.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures serves as the forum for the understanding and appreciation of Texas and Texans through research, collections, exhibits and programs. The museum strives to become the nation's premier institution of contemporary cultural and ethnic studies focusing on Texans and the diverse cultural communities that make Texas what it is.
An agency of the UTSA Office of the Vice President for Community Services and a Smithsonian affiliate, the 182,000-square-foot complex features 45,000 square feet of exhibit space and five recreational Texas frontier period structures. The museum is on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus in downtown San Antonio.
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At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.