International Educator - January/February 2018 - 17

everything we teach. Technology, as a teaching tool, is
only as useful as how easy it is to adopt and how many
students find it helpful.
On the other hand, technology is changing that
landscape and is the biggest catalyst for change in the
workforce. Technology has helped each generation get
different and better jobs. We focus on teaching students
how to use the most useful technology to do their jobs.
While we use technology to be better teachers, we also
adapt to our students' needs in parallel with the roles
that are in high demand with employers.
As someone who has worked, studied, and lived
in such a diversity of places-from Bangladesh to
Saudi Arabia to Uganda-in your experience, what's
the biggest misconception that people abroad
have about U.S. higher education? And, conversely,
what's the biggest misconception that U.S. colleges
and universities have about students coming from
abroad?
One big misconception about U.S. higher education that
many people have is that there is a linear path to the
best jobs through the highest ranked schools. While the
schools are publicly ranked (and by multiple different
sources), the students are not, and having a good grade
point average from a top school doesn't guarantee them
a job in their field at the end. To get their dream jobs,
graduates have to be well-rounded with professional
networks and experience and realize that most career
paths don't go in a straight line.
U.S. universities are prone to developing misconceptions about international students by simply labeling
everyone as "international," which is far too simplistic
and can even be harmful. It's important not to generalize students based on the continents or countries they
come from, the languages they speak, or their religions.
"International" encompasses so many different
aspects of a student's culture, background, and aspirations that are important to take into account. We have
the tendency to find a rule book or manual to help navigate studying abroad. However, if we flip roles and ask
ourselves how we would write a guidebook for studying
in the United States, we are very aware of the diversity
within the United States and wouldn't necessarily have
rules. The most important thing we can do is to put

Removing the geographic barriers of higher
education by making it available online will help
usher in a new era of global education, global
students, and global citizens. But there must be
an alignment of the skills taught with the skills
needed. And learning must be lifelong, not
confined to a four-year undergraduate program.
ourselves in someone else's shoes and understand that
it is impossible to know all the intricacies of a culture,
other than our own. But respect, interest, and mutual
understanding go both ways.
International students are unwittingly given the huge
responsibility in U.S. colleges and universities to represent their countries, cultures, and, sometimes, even
entire continents and educate everyone else. Your sense
of identity is heightened and you have to pick a box.
Am I Muslim enough to represent the religion? Do I
identify as being Bangladeshi? Can I really be considered
as American when I travel abroad now after spending
most of my life here in the United States? I wrestle with
these questions even now, but I had to make a choice
very quickly when I first arrived in the United States as
an international student. I had to learn what the stigmas
were and how to navigate and advocate for myself. I
remember reasoning with myself that this was the diversity tax of being allowed to be an international student
in a foreign country.
We can help to ease this burden by not expecting
international students to fit into our need of figuring
out cultures within parameters we are comfortable with.
We can examine existing practices of having student
orientation based on ethnicity or assess the purpose of
having cultural centers and academic centers at higher
education institutions. We need to better understand
whether these student services are aligned with how our
international students want to be represented and supported, rather than retrofit these students into our own
preconceived notions of their roles and responsibilities
based on why and how we value diverse cultures. n
This interview has been condensed for brevity.
J A N.+ F E B .18 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

17  



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - January/February 2018

From the Desk of
Frontlines
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Malaysia
Quick Questions
Feature: Recruiting Farther Upstream: U.S. Institutions Are Exploring New Opportunities Among International High School Students
Feature: CASE STUDY: The Business of Global Engagement
Feature: Middle Class Rising: As the Number of Families with Discretionary Income Grows, So Do Prospects for More International Students
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
International Enrollment
International Education Leadership
Forum
In Focus
Feature: Minimizing Risk, Maximizing Results
Advertiser Listings & Index
International Educator - January/February 2018 - BB1
International Educator - January/February 2018 - BB2
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Cover1
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Cover2
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 1
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 2
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 3
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 4
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 5
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 6
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 7
International Educator - January/February 2018 - From the Desk of
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Frontlines
International Educator - January/February 2018 - In Brief
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 11
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 12
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 13
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Global Spotlight: Malaysia
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 15
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Quick Questions
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 17
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Feature: Recruiting Farther Upstream: U.S. Institutions Are Exploring New Opportunities Among International High School Students
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 19
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 20
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 21
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Feature: CASE STUDY: The Business of Global Engagement
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 23
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 24
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 25
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Feature: Middle Class Rising: As the Number of Families with Discretionary Income Grows, So Do Prospects for More International Students
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 27
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 28
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 29
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Education Abroad
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 31
International Educator - January/February 2018 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 33
International Educator - January/February 2018 - International Enrollment
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 35
International Educator - January/February 2018 - International Education Leadership
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 37
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Forum
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 39
International Educator - January/February 2018 - In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Cover3
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Cover4
International Educator - January/February 2018 - SCover1
International Educator - January/February 2018 - SCover2
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S3
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Feature: Minimizing Risk, Maximizing Results
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S5
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S6
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S7
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S8
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S9
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Advertiser Listings & Index
International Educator - January/February 2018 - SCover3
International Educator - January/February 2018 - SCover4
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20131112
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130102
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20111112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110102
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