As someone who combined a degree in Student Affairs with a career in International Education, I’ve often felt that there’s a disconnect between these two fields that shouldn’t exist. I wanted to share some suggestions on where to begin if you’re interested in finding ways to bridge this gap.
Research ongoing issues & trends
One excellent way to understand what’s going on in the world of International Education and our students’ home countries is by simply reading! There are a lot of great resources out there, a few of which I have listed below. There is some really interesting stuff available. You could learn about the impact a Pan-African passport might have on student mobility, for example.
Partnerships on campus
Contact the International Student Services Office (ISSO) on your campus to schedule a meeting. Get to know them, and what trends they are seeing among international students. Discuss the current programs and/or services you provide and vice versa. Ask if they would help review the language of an existing project to ensure it is welcoming to international students. Identify ways to bring together your skill base. Collaborate with the Career Center and ISSO office to host a workshop on employment after graduation, or New Student Programs and peer mentorship for new students.
Or, connect with the Study Abroad office. Identify barriers to underrepresented students in study abroad (such as students of color, students with disabilities, and students with families). Find out how to work together on removing those barriers – before, during, and after their international experience. Offices such as Multicultural Affairs or Disability Services have a great level of expertise that would be a perfect partnership with international offices.
Now that I’ve attended NASPA, ACPA, and NAFSA annual conferences, it strikes me how similar topics are between different sessions. Yet, the presenters tended to come from their distinct homes in Student Affairs or International Education. Through reading more about trends in international education, and partnering with offices on campus, that can open up options further when it comes to the sessions we present and attend. It might be a pipe dream for now, but I’d also love to see a joint dialogue or two with NAFSA and Student Affairs associations.
I would also highly recommend the variety of tip sheets, webinars, and workshops that NAFSA hosts on topics. There is a wealth of information on issues facing our students. This includes understanding immigration basics, supporting students through crisis at home, and overcoming obstacles in Study Abroad financial aid.
Furthering comprehensive internationalization will take all of us if we are to do what we and our mission statements say we are doing – develop citizens who are aware of global issues, and permeate every corner of our campuses with international perspectives. International Education & Student Affairs can be a natural partnership if we take advantage of the resources that we already have at our disposal.
DRIE – Database of Research on International Education (Australia). Database of articles and journals on international education. Managed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). http://opac.acer.edu.au/IDP_drie/index.html Twitter: @IDPDRIE
IASAS – International Association of Student Affairs and Services (Belgium). Worldwide association that seeks to bring together professionals from all world regions and peer student services organizations. http://iasas.global/
Diversity Network (USA) – The Diversity Abroad Network is the leading consortium dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusive excellence in international education & exchange. http://diversitynetwork.org
IIE Open Doors (USA) – Yearly report on the international mobility of inbound and outbound students and scholars in the US. http://www.iie.org/research-and-publications/open-doors Twitter: @IIEglobal
Mobility International (USA) – Empowering people with disabilities around the world to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development. http://miusa.org
NAFSA: Association of International Educators (USA) – The leading association dedicated to international Education. Resource for training, tips, and research on international education trends in the US, as well as advocacy efforts around student mobility & immigration reform. http://www.nafsa.org
Al-Fanar Media (UK, Egypt, Jordan) – The only publication covering all aspects of higher education in the Arab world (English/Arabic) + specialized monthly newsletter on refugee education http://www.al-fanarmedia.org/
The PIE News (UK) – Daily news and business analysis of the global international education sector. For all Professionals in International Education around the world. thepienews.com
This post is part of our #SAinternational series. We will hear from #SApros who work in international student related services. We’ll also hear from those those who have had the fortunate opportunity to work overseas or have a global perspective to higher education. For more info, please see Kim Irland’s intro post. Be sure to check out other posts in this series.