University of Richmond Celebrates New Zealand with Gumboot Throwing, Sheep Cuddling, and Ambassador Visit

Annual International Education Week Open to Campus and Greater Community
November 7, 2022

Pictured above: A prequel kickoff event — Gumboot Throwing — was held Nov. 4. Pictured below: UR student Ella McKee, who is from New Zealand, helped plan this year's event, including the fun and festive gumboot competition.

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — Sample New Zealand cuisine, visit with some sustainably raised sheep, and enjoy International Education Week at the University of Richmond along with Bede Corry, New Zealand Ambassador to the U.S.

The annual program returns at a pre-COVID cadence with events available for the campus and greater community Nov. 14-18. Programming themes for Aotearoa New Zealand Week include:

  • The natural world and sustainability,
  • Female leadership,
  • Indigenous peoples, and
  • Sport.

“Aotearoa” is the Maori name for the country.

ella holding gumboot “This annual tradition has been a valuable way of promoting deeper connection to cultures in the classroom and beyond. UR’s ‘meeting with’ another country during International Education Week emphasizes our commitment to global engagement, dialogue, and cultural exchange,” said International Education Dean Martha Merritt. “Returning to full scale engagement is exciting as this week provides an opportunity for our campus and greater community to learn together about Aotearoa New Zealand as they return to the world stage after the pandemic.”

This year, scholars and visitors will travel to Richmond from New Zealand and Washington, D.C. to offer their expertise, and faculty have geared their teaching toward intersections with New Zealand. Participants can also participate in a variety of fun and social activities, including attending a Cricket exhibition or trying a BODYPUMP class (the popular fitness class that originated in New Zealand).  

Peak programming that is open to the campus and greater community is on Wednesday, Nov. 16, and key events include:

  • Aotearoa New Zealand Fair, 4:30 p.m., Tyler Haynes Commons
    • More than 20 stations will allow attendees to explore a wide variety of community connections to New Zealand, including a business school case study on Allbirds shoes, children’s literature, urban biodiversity, women in STEM fields, and more. Details here.
  • Aotearoa New Zealand Dinner, 6 p.m., Heilman Dining Center
    • Samplings will include lamb chops, Kiwi burger, fish and chips, kumara, and chocolate lamingtons. Full menu here.

Ambassador Corry will be meeting with members of the campus community during a private event.

A full list of events is available here.

Previous years have focused on Chile, India, East Asia, South Africa, and Denmark. Earlier this year, Richmond received the Association of International Education Administrators Innovation Award in Internationalization recognizing innovative approaches to International Education Week programming during the pandemic.