I have a strong interest in international education, so it was great to read new information on this population of students. I found the readings to be a little gloomy because the authors talked so much about the issues international students face in institutions that may or may not help support them in the ways they need. However, the video about American stereotypes as told by international students painted a very different picture when they spoke about the domestic students and citizens being friendly and helpful. It was also interesting to reflect on the differences between what international students find important compared to American students studying abroad. For example, I would think most Americans studying abroad would place importance on learning the culture, traveling as much as possible, and would focus less on the academic coursework. On the flip side, international students studying in the US place importance on visa/immigration knowledge and their academic success.
My main takeaway from this week is that staff and faculty must be trained in supporting international students because a) the number of students in this category is steadily increasing, and b) the support/welcoming period must extend beyond orientation and the initial onboarding phase. Additionally, it was great to see that Northern Arizona University offers English language and mentoring programs to help facilitate the transition for international students.
The last question I had for myself at the end of these readings was if the number of international students studying in the US is on the rise, would that lead to more Americans choosing to study abroad since they might see the benefits it has for other students coming to their campus from other countries?