F&ES Celebrates Diversity with its Annual International TGIF

F&ES Celebrates Diversity with its Annual International TGIF

TGIF (“Thank God I’m a Forester”) is a Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies tradition. The Friday events are hosted by the Forestry Club – a student-run group tasked with organizing FES social functions – and bring foresters together to relax, unwind, and enjoy each other’s company after a week of hard work.

On Friday, the Forestry Club hosted its annual International TGIF – an evening intended to celebrate the School’s diverse student body (roughly 30 percent of F&ES students come from abroad!). Flags and photos adorned Bowers Auditorium and music played while international students prepared dishes from their home countries to share with classmates. Many countries were represented, including Japan, Kenya, Mexico, and Norway – just to name a few.

Yale FES is a truly global school of the environment. This is apparent in its course offerings; classes like international environmental economics, global communication skills, and international environmental law and policy put a global spin on the important environmental issues of our time. Outside of class, Student Interest Groups (SIGs), like the Africa SIG, Asia SIG, and Latin American Student Interest Groups, bring together students interested in tackling the environmental challenges of a particular region.

But perhaps more than anything else, we benefit from the diversity of understanding and experience our international classmates bring to discussions – both inside and outside the classroom. So while annual events like the International TGIF allow us to celebrate our international community in a big way, we celebrate diversity more subtly on a daily basis.