IIE Networker - Spring 2011 - (Page 35)

DIVERSIFYING STUDY ABROAD Best Practices for Diversifying Study Abroad on Your Campus By Christopher Powers Program administrators at the Institute of International Education (IIE) who work on U.S. government-funded scholarship programs, including the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, the David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, and privately-funded programs such as the Freeman Awards for Study in Asia, have successfully worked to foster diversity in all of its dimensions. For example, this year 61% of all Gilman Fostering Diversity of Languages Encourage students to embrace the opportunity to learn a foreign language, recognizing its benefits in terms of cognitive development, cultural understanding, and future academic and career opportunities. Here’s how: • Create language clubs and language houses; pair language learners with study abroad alumni and international students as mentors and language partners. • Explore language programs outside of the traditional university setting, including private language academies. • Encourage home stays and other opportunities for your students to engage the local community. • Start early! Work with your admissions office to identify and recruit students with non-traditional language courses on their high school transcript. Collaborate with high school instructors and college professors who teach non-traditional languages. • Develop and encourage regionally focused academic majors and minors (for example: Asian Studies minors) to include non-traditional language courses as required courses within the degree. • Participate in Fulbright’s Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) Program to help increase course offerings if your campus does not offer less commonly taught languages. For more information, visit: flta.fulbrightonline.org. • Invite a Fulbright Occasional Lecturer on campus to help energize students to think about study abroad and international exchange opportunities. For more information, visit www.cies.org/olf. Fostering Diversity among Destinations For many students, just going abroad is a big step and traveling to less commonly visited destinations can require a greater leap. Here’s how you can help: • Ensure students know about the full range of study abroad options and add a link to www.iiepassport.org on your study abroad website. • Ask colleagues and study abroad alumni who have lived or studied in non-traditional locations to share their experiences with current students. • Partner with faculty who have academic or research interests in particular countries. • Encourage students to consider the impact that an experience in a less-commonly-visited destination, such as Africa, Asia, or the Middle East, could have on both their short-term academic experience and their long-term careers. recipients are from underrepresented ethnic minority groups compared to 18% of the U.S. study abroad population. And Boren Scholars and Fellows are twenty times as likely to study in the Arab world. What follows are tips from IIE study abroad program staff on techniques to diversify study abroad on campus. —Christopher Powers, Director, Education Abroad Programs • Encourage students to build on previous international experiences. If they studied in Europe in high school, encourage them to spend time abroad on a different continent. If they speak French, encourage them to study in Francophone Africa. • Promote Boren, Fulbright, Freeman-ASIA, and Gilman scholarships, which support students around the world. Fostering a Diverse Student Profile To diversify the student profile, each campus needs to take responsibility to reach out to underserved and underrepresented constituencies. Here are some suggestions: • Set specific participation goals and measure progress. • Feature diverse students on study abroad websites, brochures and in social media. • Use a diverse group of alumni ambassadors to promote the opportunities that study abroad provides to students like themselves. Ask alumni ambassadors to write articles for the campus newspaper, tweet, and participate in other social media that attract diverse student pools. • Study abroad offices can partner with minority-serving offices on campus and reach out to student organizations that serve diverse campus constituencies. • Invite colleagues in minority-serving offices to address study abroad staff about how better to reach the audiences that they serve. Collaborate with national organizations, such as the Posse Foundation, the United Negro College Fund, and the Thurgood Marshall Fund to identify talented minority students interested in studying abroad. • Encourage program alumni to address student organizations to serve as an example of the kinds of students who can study abroad. Identify and recruit student leaders on campus that will have significant influence within their communities. A 2009 Gilman Scholar to China, Valery Camarena Lavigne (second from right) met First Lady Michelle Obama and participated in a panel discussion with Ann Stock, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, during the “100,000 Strong to China” event in Washington, DC. 35 http://flta.fulbrightonline.org http://www.cies.org/olf http://www.iiepassport.org

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