New book offers strategies on increasing international student engagement

international student engagement practices and strategies
The issue of enhancing international student experiences and engaging them with the campus communities have been gaining more traction in US universities and colleges. A timely book entitled, “International Student Engagement Strategies for Creating Inclusive, Connected, and Purposeful Campus Environments” provides several examples and cases that can be adapted to diverse institutional contexts. – Rahul Choudaha
Chris R. Glass takes a social psychological approach to researching issues in American higher education, with an interest in how the presence of others affects educational outcomes such as achievement, motivation, and social development. He researches international students, academic work, and publicly engaged scholarship. You can learn more about his research and teaching on his website.
1. RC- Why is the issue of improving international student engagement and experiences is becoming important? How does your book addresses this need?
CG- It’s important because not all international students are the same; they arrive on-campus with a range of academic preparedness and financial resources. Our research shows these differences matter. A key part of developing a sustainable international enrollment strategy is creating more inclusive, connected, and purposeful campus environments for international students once they arrive. So, the focus of the book is on what universities are doing right. It draws on evidence from a national dataset, the Global Perspective Inventory, to explore 5000+ international students’ engagement in curricular and co-curricular experiences, their sense of community, and the nature of their interactions with faculty. Throughout the book, we also weave in first-person narrative experiences of international students to illustrate the real-life consequences of more- and less- purposeful institutional policies, practices, and programs.
2. RC- What are some of the examples of effective institutional strategies for creating inclusive environment for international students?
CG- Universities are doing some really innovative work that’s worth sharing. The book highlights campus case examples that readers can adapt to their own campus context:
* the StudyUSA program at Elon University; * internationalization of the curriculum at Florida International University;
* proactive case management for student success at Indiana University – Bloomington;
* the International House (I-House) at Northern Arizona University;
* the International Student Advisory Board at Old Dominion University;
* campus and community engagement initiatives at Valencia College; and
* faculty development efforts at Valparaiso University.
The institutions highlighted in this book are just a handful of a larger number of institutions that are doing excellent work.
We believe each institution has to develop its own approach to international student engagement. So, the book emphasizes reinforcing an institution’s existing strengths and capacities in the development of strategies that will enable it to create a more inclusive campus climate. It focuses on strategies to strengthen active collaboration with all departments and offices across the campus, with the larger community, and most important, with the international student community itself.