IIE Networker - Spring 2011 - (Page 24)

DIVERSIFYING STUDY ABROAD INTERNATIONAL EDUCATORS AGREE that we should be doing more to encourage diversity in study abroad, and many successful programs have been created with this goal in mind. For example, the Gilman International Scholarship Program, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, and the Boren Scholarships and Fellowships, all of which are administered by IIE on behalf of the U.S. Government, have proven that strategic resource allocation in study abroad programs can influence the diversity of participants, geographic destinations, fields of study, and more. U.S. higher education institutions are also beginning to address some of the barriers to participation in study abroad, and many have launched innovative programs to increase diversity in study abroad. However, diversity may begin to lose its power if we take it as a given that we all support it as education professionals and assume that enough progress has been made in this area. Also, the word “diversity” can mean many things, and the field should continue to carefully examine the ways in which this term is used. When such a concept goes undebated, it too often becomes a vague promise instead of a transformative idea. The four articles that follow address this dilemma. Jeffrey Peck sharpens our understanding of the term diversity by exploring its meaning in the context of Baruch College, an institution that is already very global by most conventional definitions. Eileen B. Wilson-Oyelaran, President of Kalamazoo College, and William Gertz, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS), address the importance of ethnic diversity in study abroad, offering a high-level, campus-based perspective and recommendations from a recent hands-on diversity workshop, respectively. Finally, Chris Powers, Director of Education Abroad Programs at IIE, applies lessons learned from IIE’s experience in increasing diversity in applicants to various scholarship and fellowship programs. We hope these articles contribute to the ongoing dialogue around best practices in making study abroad more accessible to a wider range of students. —IIENetworker editors Experiencing Difference: The Meaning of Globalization at a Diverse Institution1 By Jeffrey M. Peck BARUCH COLLEGE, CUNY, where I am Vice Provost for Global Strategies, prides itself on its diversity. In fact, we claim to be the most diverse college in the United States: 118 languages are spoken, students hail from almost as many countries, and many are first-generation college students. Clearly, these are all qualities that an academic institution in the 21st century should be proud of and hope to enhance. However, the salient question at an institution like Baruch—located in New York, a multicultural and international city—is the precise relationship between “diversity” and “globalization.” Does a campus as diverse as Baruch need to become “globalized”? Do we need to send students abroad to be global when they may already have an international background? Note my attention to the term, “study abroad,” and the distinctions between “international” and “global”—all categories that we should analyze at a deep level if we are to make the claim, explicitly or implicitly, that we want students to experience “difference.” I would like to explore these questions using Baruch College as my example. This senior college of CUNY has 17,000 students: 24 35 percent are Asian or Asian American, 16 percent are Hispanic, 33 percent are white (including many from the former Soviet Union and children of Italians and other immigrant groups), and 11 percent are African American. Over 160 countries are represented and 118 different languages are spoken, and more than half (58 percent) of the students speak English as a second, third, or fourth language. By most accounts, we could characterize this population as both diverse (measured primarily by race and ethnicity) and international. Appropriately, discussions of diversity and internationalization often focus on increasing study abroad participation rates for students of color, disabled students, or lowincome students. I believe that while these numbers should be celebrated, they may not tell the whole story. In other words, I would suggest that achieving diversity is necessary but not sufficient for creating a globalized campus. In the case of Baruch, 71 percent of our diverse student body hails from New York City, and these students are primarily from the outer boroughs, as opposed to Manhattan. Among our freshmen, 56 percent have parents who were not born in the United States (i.e., they are predominantly immigrants or children of immigrants, and often the first in their families to attend college). A similar proportion of freshmen come from a modest class background where the median household income is $44,000 a year. While they aspire to “be American,” they also often identify with a second national heritage, such as Chinese, Indian, or Mexican. Still, even with all of this mix, I would claim that our students are international, but not necessarily global. Consequently, my argument begs the question: what do we mean by “global” in the world of study abroad? Do students even need to go abroad to become global? And is conventional study abroad the most important part of an overall strategy to globalize students, faculty, and campuses? Some specification of terms would help to clarify the issue: in particular, the difference between “international” and “global” should be clarified, since using these words interchangeably can easily cloud the globalization debates. Paying attention to nomenclature allows us

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Spring 2011

IIE Networker - Spring 2011
A Message from Allan E. Goodman
IIENetworker University Presidents Interview Series
2011 IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards: Innovation in International Education
100,000 Strong: Building Strategic Trust in U.S.-China Relations through Education
Experiencing Difference: The Meaning of Globalization at a Diverse Institution
Diversity in International Education: The Time Is Now
Diversity in Education Abroad: A Plan for Our Campuses
Best Practices for Diversifying Study Abroad on Your Campus
The Ethnorelative Engineer: Culturally Immersive Study Abroad Programs for Engineering Students
NanoJapan: Preparing Globally Savvy Researchers
Minority Faculty: The Key to Diversifying Study Abroad
Best Practices for When Diversity Is Commonplace
Advertisers’ Index
IIE Program Profile

IIE Networker - Spring 2011