International Educator - May/June 2015 - 73

|

INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENT
By Dana Wilkie

A Remarkable Resource-
International Alumni
TWICE A YEAR, Eduardo Ulloa sits in a roomful of American University graduates-international students who may soon return to their home countries to find jobs or continue their
studies-so he can prepare them for what they're about to encounter.

Alumni are
key players
when it
comes to
recruiting
and retaining
international
students
at U.S.
universities.

70  

Their approach to the world-from their newfound
sense of independence to their humor-may now be dramatically different from that of the people they left behind.
It could be jarring to discover that they no longer enjoy
the living space they'd grown accustomed to while abroad.
They may find it hard to blend in, and may even feel alienated from the friends and relatives they once knew so well.
"Having left Colombia right after high school, most
of my adult life had been spent" in the United States
says Ulloa, who earned his bachelor's in finance and accounting from Bentley University, an MBA from George
Washington University, and a graduate certificate in
international economic relations from American University (AU). In between his studies, he spent 15 months
back in Colombia. "By living again with my family, I was
no longer the 18-year-old who left nine years earlier, but
an adult with opinions and ways of doing things. It was
challenging to all of a sudden lose the space and independence I had acquired. So it was natural to have conflicts."
Ulloa, now a marketing and business intelligence manager at Envision Consulting LLC in Alexandria, Virginia,
participates in a program AU started in 2009 that supports
young men and women who are returning to their homelands after graduating from a U.S. institution. Alumni talk
about their own experiences and suggest ways students
can find support back home as they search for jobs and
re-acclimate to their home country.
Alumni such as Ulloa are key players when it comes
to recruiting and retaining international students at U.S.
universities, and helping them make a relatively smooth
transition when they return home to a country that may
have changed politically or socially-or may not have
changed enough to keep pace with the students' experiences-and to relatives and friends who may have
difficulty understanding the experiences students like
Ulloa encountered while abroad.

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M AY + J U N E .15

"What you don't realize is that while you are away,
you are changing-knowledge-wise and professionally,"
said Senem Bakar, who is director of AU's International
Student and Scholar Services Office and who started the
2009 program.
A native of Turkey who attended postgraduate programs at D.C.'s Catholic University of America and at AU,
Bakar returned to her homeland as a government economist for about two years.
"I was so excited about sharing what I had learned with
my [Turkish] workplace, but no one seemed to be interested," she recalls.
Bakar had changed socially, and that became a source
of some friction when she was back in Turkey.
"I had an office colleague who was a heavy smoker, but
I didn't say much about that" before leaving for the United
States, Bakar said. "When I returned, I found myself more
assertive and I voiced my concern that it was bothering
me too much. [The colleague] didn't receive that very
well because in traditional Turkish culture, you don't say
things directly."
Bakar piloted her alumni program after several graduating international students slipped into her office, closed
the door, and confessed their worries about returning
home. Since then, the program has become a regular fixture on campus.
Connecting graduating students with alumni from
their homeland also "strengthens the alumni network by
adding another connection," said Sandy Soohoo-Refaei,
who is director of study abroad for Point Loma Nazarene College in San Diego, California. "This can ease the
stress of reentry, increase the number of job opportunities, develop friendships, and encourage a common bond
and loyalty to the institution where they have shared an
experience."



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - May/June 2015

Pathfinders
Job Search: An American Tale
On the Rise
Frontlines
In Brief
Voices
Education Abroad
Foreign Student Affairs
International Enrollment
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Cover1
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Cover2
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 1
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 2
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 3
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Frontlines
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 5
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 6
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 7
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 8
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 9
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 10
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 11
International Educator - May/June 2015 - In Brief
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 13
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 14
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 15
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 16
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 17
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 18
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 19
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 20
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 21
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Voices
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 23
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 24
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 25
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Pathfinders
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 27
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 28
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 29
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 30
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 31
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 32
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 33
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 34
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 35
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 36
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 37
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 38
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 39
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Job Search: An American Tale
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 41
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 42
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 43
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 44
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 45
International Educator - May/June 2015 - On the Rise
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 47
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 48
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 49
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 50
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 51
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 52
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 53
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 54
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 55
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 56
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 57
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Education Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 59
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 60
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 61
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 62
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 63
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 64
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 65
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Foreign Student Affairs
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 67
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 68
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 69
International Educator - May/June 2015 - International Enrollment
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 71
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 72
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 73
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Forum
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 75
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 76
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 77
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 78
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 79
International Educator - May/June 2015 - In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 81
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 82
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 83
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Cover3
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20191112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20181112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180708gfclone
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180102_supp
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20171112_supp
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20171112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_2070910_supp
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20161112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160304_fr
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20151112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20141112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20131112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20121112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20111112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110102
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com