International Educator - November/December 2012 - 33

Gretchen McAllister, an NAU associate professor of teaching and learning, says one of the benefits of the program is that it has led to an increasing number of NAU faculty members working with international scholars. “This is a safe international step for those faculty who are less interested in traveling or living outside of the United States,” McAllister says. “They can have a cross-cultural experience on their own turf. My hope is that this may then lead to them traveling outside of the U.S., which I believe is more transformative.”

A Happy Ending
Though some international students and scholars may be hesitant to branch out into the local community, encouraging them to break out of their comfort zone is the best way for them to have an enriching, life-changing study abroad experience. Cultivating meaningful connections and friendships between foreign students and Americans within the communities surrounding the campus will hopefully dispel stereotypes and offer more accurate representations of each other’s respective cultures. “It’s important when students study abroad and come to the U.S. that they don’t do so in a bubble and that there’s a cultural exchange

“While they’re here, they’re ambassadors for their country. They educate students who don’t study abroad about their countries or cultures.”
that goes with it,” says DiMaria. “I’m in the old camp of why we do what we do for international education, and that is it can lead to positive diplomatic relations. You have a student who comes here from another country, and while they’re here, they’re ambassadors for their country. They educate students who don’t study abroad about their countries or cultures. It provides that intercultural exposure that people wouldn’t otherwise have, and it does that for community members as well who maybe have never been outside of the U.S. When students go back home, they become ambassadors for the U.S. because many of their family and friends maybe haven’t left their countries or been to the U.S.—so it serves as a lifelong investment for the U.S. and for their country as well.” For colleges and universities wanting to create or expand support programs that help build community for international students and scholars, Baker recommends finding “champions” for the activities and programs you want to try. Those champions can be members of the campus community, or local volunteers. Baker and her colleague

Cory Owen, Rice’s program manager and senior international adviser, caution against pushing programs that no one is excited about doing. Don’t sponsor a baseball event, for example, if you hate baseball—either find another staff member or volunteer who can get behind it or try something else. “It’s very important that the person who takes on these events and programs has a heart for it,” Owen says. “That makes all the difference. If you’re going to do something, be excited about it. A lot of these activities are done on the evenings or weekends, and it can be exhausting—but if you go into it with the right attitude, it’s rewarding. [These activities] can be a real bonding experience, and it changes the way I advise students because I get to know them personally. So much good comes out of it.” Conrad offers simple advice: “Listen to the students. Find out what students feel they need and open your eyes to see that need.” SIU formed a Student Programming Advisory Council, made up of both undergraduate and graduate students, to represent the university’s international students and to find ways to facilitate interaction between international and American students. The group meets regularly to keep Conrad and her staff informed about the needs of international students. “These students act as the eyes and ears of the general population to keep us in touch with the changing needs of the students,” Conrad says. Building community for international students and scholars is a comprehensive effort that should involve the entire campus, suggests DiMaria. At Kent State, an International Students and Scholars Integration Committee—with representatives from the campus’ 11 colleges, from each service area and from the student body—meets three times each semester to talk about issues and concerns of foreign students and scholars. Members of the group share ideas about how to meet their needs of these visitors and how to integrate them on campus and within the local community. “Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a university to educate a student,” DiMaria says. “It’s everyone’s responsibility to serve international students and scholars—it’s not the job of one office. At a lot of universities, the international offices become the catch-all for all kinds of issues, and they get referrals for problems because other offices on campus don’t feel trained or prepared to interact with someone who doesn’t speak English or to handle the cultural differences. So having that training and those discussions on the front end and being a resource for these offices so that they can be a more effective resource for international students and scholars is important. It’s institutionalizing how we support international students and scholars and thinking about community in a broader sense.” IE
KAREN DOSS BOWMAN is a freelance writer in Bridgewater, Virginia. Her last article for IE was “Beyond the Comfort Zone” in the March/April 2012 issue.

N O V + D E C . 12 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - November/December 2012

International Educator - November/December 2012
Table of Contents
From the Editors
In Brief
Voices
Transforming Lives
Local Connections
Juniata College Faculty Discovered the World and Students Followed
Partnering
Forum
In Focus
Health and Insurance Supplement
International Educator - November/December 2012 - International Educator - November/December 2012
International Educator - November/December 2012 - Cover2
International Educator - November/December 2012 - Table of Contents
International Educator - November/December 2012 - From the Editors
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 3
International Educator - November/December 2012 - In Brief
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 5
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 6
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 7
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 8
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 9
International Educator - November/December 2012 - Voices
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 11
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 12
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 13
International Educator - November/December 2012 - Transforming Lives
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 15
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 16
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 17
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 18
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 19
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 20
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 21
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 22
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 23
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 24
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 25
International Educator - November/December 2012 - Local Connections
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 27
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 28
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 29
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 30
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 31
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 32
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 33
International Educator - November/December 2012 - Juniata College Faculty Discovered the World and Students Followed
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 35
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 36
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 37
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 38
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 39
International Educator - November/December 2012 - Partnering
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 41
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 42
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 43
International Educator - November/December 2012 - Forum
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 45
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 46
International Educator - November/December 2012 - 47
International Educator - November/December 2012 - In Focus
International Educator - November/December 2012 - Cover3
International Educator - November/December 2012 - Cover4
International Educator - November/December 2012 - Health and Insurance Supplement
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-Cover2
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-1
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-2
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-3
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-4
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-5
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-6
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-7
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-8
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-9
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-10
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-11
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-12
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-13
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-14
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-15
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-16
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-17
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-18
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-19
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-20
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-Cover3
International Educator - November/December 2012 - S-Cover4
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