International Educator - September/October 2011 - 50

FOREIGN STudENT

Affairs

By Karen doss Bowman

c

Helping International Students Thrive on U.S. Campuses

OLLEGE LIFE CAN BE A DIFFICULT ADJUSTMENT FOR ANY STUDENT. But for inter-

national students, the additional challenges associated with living and studying in a foreign country—especially without family or friends close by—can be daunting and intimidating. While struggling to grasp unfamiliar cultural values and practices, many international students also have to navigate tasks such as renting apartments, applying for jobs, and obtaining social security numbers and drivers’ licenses. During their stay, they must adhere to strict immigration requirements and regulations to maintain their visa status. At the same time, they strive to achieve success in the U.S. classroom.
To help international students cope with the myriad challenges they face in the United States, international offices at many colleges and universities have programs designed to help them adjust to the U.S. higher education system and American lifestyle. Making connections across campus—with faculty, academic advisers, and other resources—increases understanding throughout the community of the difficulties international students encounter and what kind of assistance they may need. “As international educators, helping our students succeed is one of our main priorities, along with helping the greater university community to be more global overall,” says Alisa Eland, an assistant director in the Office of International Students and Scholar Services at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (UMN). “We want to help them meet their academic goals so they have a positive overall experience … If they have been successful here, they will have a better chance of making a positive, meaningful contribution wherever they go. If they have been helped along the way, hopefully, when they are successful, they will reach out to help others along the way.” alisms and slang their U.S. peers use in everyday conversations. But their need for academic support goes beyond building fluency in English. The U.S. approach to higher education, in many cases, is vastly different from what most international students have experienced. Because so many international students are accustomed to following a prescribed, major-related course of study, many are confused about—or even resistant to—taking general education or elective courses. And many are apprehensive about an educational philosophy that encourages—and often requires—students to speak up in class, express personal opinions about course content, and collaborate with classmates. Sara Demko, director of student international services at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, helps international students to adjust these often intimidating classroom expectations through the first-year course she co-teaches, called “Transitioning to College.” Designed to help international students acclimate to living and studying in the United States, Demko includes a classroom activity in which students practice speaking out during classroom discussions. “We teach them how to jump in and talk during the discussion,” Demko explains. “It helps them get over their fears.” Academic integrity can be another challenge for many international students who come from countries where the concept of plagiarism or unauthorized collaboration (where students do homework as-

To help international students cope with the myriad challenges they face in the United States, international offices at many colleges and universities have programs designed to help them adjust to the U.S. higher education system and American lifestyle. The unfamiliar u.S. classroom

For many international students, understanding and speaking English often is the greatest struggle associated with living and studying in the United States. Even those who are proficient in English likely will have difficulty understanding the regional colloqui50  



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - September/October 2011

International Educator - September/October 2011
Contents
From the Editors
In Brief
Building a Literate World
In Sync:  The Peace Corps and International Education
Expanding Cooperative Education Across the Globe
Education Abroad
Foreign Student Affairs
Partnering
A View From Out Here
Forum
In Focus
Supplement: A 360º View
Supplement: Making the Numbers Work
Supplement: International Recruitment and Enrollment Listings
International Educator - September/October 2011 - International Educator - September/October 2011
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Cover2
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Contents
International Educator - September/October 2011 - From the Editors
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 3
International Educator - September/October 2011 - In Brief
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 5
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 6
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 7
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 8
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 9
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 10
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 11
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 12
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 13
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Building a Literate World
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 15
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 16
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 17
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 18
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 19
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 20
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 21
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 22
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 23
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 24
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 25
International Educator - September/October 2011 - In Sync:  The Peace Corps and International Education
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 27
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 28
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 29
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 30
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 31
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 32
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 33
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 34
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 35
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Expanding Cooperative Education Across the Globe
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 37
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 38
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 39
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 40
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 41
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 42
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 43
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 44
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 45
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Education Abroad
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 47
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 48
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 49
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Foreign Student Affairs
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 51
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 52
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 53
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Partnering
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 55
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 56
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 57
International Educator - September/October 2011 - A View From Out Here
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 59
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Forum
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 61
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 62
International Educator - September/October 2011 - 63
International Educator - September/October 2011 - In Focus
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Cover3
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Cover4
International Educator - September/October 2011 - CoverS1
International Educator - September/October 2011 - CoverS2
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Supplement: A 360º View
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S2
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S3
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S4
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S5
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S6
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S7
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S8
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S9
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S10
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Supplement: Making the Numbers Work
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S12
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S13
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S14
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S15
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S16
International Educator - September/October 2011 - Supplement: International Recruitment and Enrollment Listings
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S18
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S19
International Educator - September/October 2011 - S20
International Educator - September/October 2011 - CoverS3
International Educator - September/October 2011 - CoverS4
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