International students sound off on campus experiences
- Ethnic diversity in curriculum examples and increased learning resources beyond the classroom are just two of the elements international students would change about their learning experience in American colleges, a new survey reveals.
- This survey, conducted by ELS Education Services, gathered responses from more than 600 international undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at 23 colleges and universities nationwide. Their feedback also included a desire for more examples of completed work graded as proficient, and for more feedback from professors.
- More than 30% of students indicated that they felt uncomfortable questioning the opinions of professors and classmates in the classroom setting, and more than 50% indicated a lack of understanding of their individual culture from professors.
As the number of international students increases in colleges across the country, and their concerns grow regarding treatment and safety on campus, it will be up to colleges and universities to implement stronger standards for diversity and tolerance among faculty and students. Student and faculty engagement are critical to international student retention and recruitment of peers and family members, but can only be established with specific programming to help campus constituents better understand cultural and social cues for these varying groups.
While not an international initiative, Texas A&M University-San Antonio's Military Cultural Competency course is an ideal program to help faculty and staff learn the nuances of these diverse groups of students, and this kind of program could be delivered in modules on varying countries and cultures represented on a college campus.
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