Dickinson College Makes International Students Feel Welcome from a Distance

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Samantha Brandauer, Associate Provost and Executive Director at The Center for Global Study and Engagement at Dickinson College joined the podcast to discuss Dickinson’s “Study Abroad at Home” initiative and how they’re designing welcoming solutions for their international students during this unwelcome year.

It's been really important for us to beinnovative and thin creatively about how we continue to work with ourinternational student population, you're, listening to enrolment growth,university from helics education, the best professional development podcastfor higher education leaders looking to grow in Roman at their college oruniversity, whether you're looking for fresh and Roman growth techniques andstrategies or tools and resources. You've come to the right place. Let'sget into the show, welcome back to Anroman GrowthUniversity, a broud member of the connect Edu podcast network, I'm EricHilson with helics education and were here today with Samantha Brandour,associate probost and executive director at the Center for Global Studyand engagement at Dickinson College. Sam Welcome to the show. Thank sothat's for having me Eric, really excited to talk withyo today aboutmaking our international students feel...

...welcome. Even at a distance before wedig into that. Can you give the listeners a little bit of background onboth thickets and college and your roles there sure so. Dickensin collegeis a highly selective, liberal arts college. In carlysle Pennsylvania we are twentythree hundred undergraduate students. We have a very large glibal footprintfor a college aliberalate college of our size, so we send about close toseventy percent of our students, will study off campus and we're aboutthirteen percent international students, and we have a lot of exchange studentsand international visiting faculty as well. So we're a very globalized campusand the Center for Global Stadiam engagement is really the focal pointwhere sort of all of this activity comes from. So we deal with campusinternational sation effort study abroad and the support of ourinternational student and scholar population. That background is sohelpful, especially understanding how...

...big a proportion of your student basecurrently is in Ternational students to kick us off today. Sam, can you give usjust a high level overview on the current difficulties and potentialunwelcomeness that are international students may be feeling right now inthis penemic, especially given current federal policies toward internationaltravel and in t a international students themselves yeah. So we havedefinitely seen a rise and sort of anxiety and sort of need for support ofour international student population during the last several years, andparticularly in the last several months as it relates to in thet policy and the pandemic in the US. Youknow, and so that has manifested in students needing more sort of supportfrom our wellnessesse own centor from our residence LAF staff and certainly alot of questions around Pisa and compliance issues and some real sort ofsense that if they don't do what they...

...need to do, that they'll be asked toleave. The country are forced to leave the country, and so it's been a lot ofsort of all hands on deck support for international student population. Yehad given that likely uncertainty at best at worst, deeper fear from ourstudents. Talk about your study abroad at home initiative, atdickens ten andhow you designed it to try to solve. For some of these challenges. Ourinternational students are facing feet. So Dickinson made the difficultdecision over the summer to actually go all online for the fall semester. Wefelt for the health and safety of our students and our community and Carlislethat that was the best way to move forward, and so, of course, thatcreated some challenges for international population. In terms ofyou know, feelings of anxiety about wanting to come back to the US or beingable to come back to the US. It made it...

...not possible for our first year,students Ho come back in fact challenging. We can accommodate them aslong as they have some inperson courses, initially andso. That was possible fora handful of first years and then we just had studens because of thepandemic stock at home students. We have a fairly significant Chinesestudent population and they, you know just weren't able to come to the US. Sowe started to think about what are the ways in which we can Lov Ridge oreinternational partnerships all over the world, mostly connected to our CTIDIA,broad portfoio. And so we worked with some of our own partner and hostinstitution to young, Say University in South Korea, University of EastEngliand, England and then with providers to the abroad provider,partner, ct academic programs to actually build ctudy, ofbroad programs at home, soprograms that could accommodate international students in their homecountry for this semester, and so we...

...ended up being able to do that inBeijing, Shaing Hi Soul, Norich, England and Hochinan City in Vietnam.It's incredibly interesting and Creative Initiative Sam. What havethese inperson experiences looked like in these countries, where covid isstill a significant threat there, even if potentially better federally managedBait. So it's been a bit of a mixed result in terms of the ability to be inperson, so Yansa University actually went all online and the University ofEast Anglia has been a bit of a hybrid. So we have had students spend some timein Norich, England and then sometime at home, to sort of you know accommodateto Ecasit issues and getting them there and having them have an experience. Butour MOROF students had boast driven in person and online hybrid experience,but, interestingly in Beijing and...

Chinghai and in Vietnam and HoutinnCity, our students all were able to have inperson experiences, which meantthat they got to interact with their peers, have more sort of ust classroomexperiences, even if their faculty were Vietnamese and Chinese, because yourfaculty, who are actually used to working with a US student populationand they've, just you know, we've gotten wonderful sort of pictures ofthem together in activities sort of in outside the classroom, things that theywouldn't have been able to do. Even our I, our own campus in the US, which isinteresting and then sort of in talking to some of these students Ho we haveone on one meetings with all of our first year and softhware internationalstudents. So we've been able to talk one on one, and it's just beeninteresting to hear you know some of them said I never. You know I wasn'texpecting to take horses at a university in my home country andthat's been really interesting for me...

...to sort of see some of the differencesbetween sort of us, Tickenson style and being in Euniversity at home. Yeah. Let's talk more about thatfeedback from your international students. Do the majority seem gratefulrelieved that that you've provided this solution? Have you still seen anincreased drop rate based on this new environment?where, where are your international students actually at right now? Yes, Idefinitely think the message we've gotten loud and clear from all of ourstudents is that they feel very supported by Dickenton that we'vecreated an opportunity for them that is very flexible. That allows them tocontinue their education with us to not lith his time. You know, I think,that's the overarching message and I think the other thing that was uniqueabout the model that we built as well is that we gave students the option toenrol any Dickenson courses as well for...

...the semester zoap. You know coming fromthe Dickenson Carlil campus, so some of our students were sort of in hybridagainst situations where they may have been in a class. You know talk from afaculty member in Carlysle and in a class with their their peers in Vietnam,for example, and that flexibility made it possible for them to really have abroad choice of courses again helping them feel like Dickinson's, reallytrying to keep us on track and supported during this time, and I thinkwe know what wee learned through this crisis with all of our students, butparticularly with our international students, is a lot of communication isreally important, both sort of keeping them updated on sort of the thinkingand how, where things are evolving, and also one o one communications with them,really huge Cudos to you and your team for making sure that your students aresupported. You mentioned how critical...

...this market is for dickinston thirteenpercent of your undergrad body being international students. This is acritical enerollment portion of your community. This is a critical likelyrevenue portion of your community. How important is that institutionally, tomake sure that, in these tring times from a federal policy standpoint from atravel standpoint, how critical is it from an institutional standpoint that,like we need to figure out how to make international students work? We can'tjust say I guess we're going to give up on that portion of our community Wi.It's really really critical, particularly at a place like Dickinson,where they're both part of clearly sort of how we build a class from revenue,standd, point and Sart of thinking about those pieceses, but also becausewe're such a globalized campuss that our international students are soimportant to our aircultural learning goals, diversity, equity and inclusiongoals on campus. They really enrich our...

...classrooms and you know bring so muchto our campus and the Carlo Community again, both financially, I think,there's been a lot in the press around what international students contributeto the college towns that they live in as well, and what that means. So yetit's been, you know really important for us to be innovative and thinkcreatively about how we continue to work with our international studentpopulation. Make them feel welcome on our campus, make them be interested inan institution like Tickinson, a smaller ards college, and I kind ofexperience that provides in some continuity right in times of so muchambiguvity and anxiety to sort of feel like Dickinson as a home base in aplace where they belong, who super well done across the board? Ther Sam. Anyfinal next steps: Advice for other institutions in a similar boat to youright now, trying hard to make their international students feel that senseof welcome and community from a...

...distance right now any advice, an anynext steps for them. Bugt, I would say you know. Communication, like I said,is key sort of really thinking about, without overwhelming your office, astaff, an Tun, because it's been a very labor intensive sort of human resource,lavor intensive process to support students with the compliancees ofregulation. So thinking about how can you streamline and be efficient in yourcommunication at work? Wile, the same time, balancing out that support thatthe students mean, I would say, one of the things that made this somethinglike this possible at Dickinson that people can be thinking through. Is itreally involved outreach and collaboration across campus, so withresidents, life and student life and with admissions and with the first yearadvising folks and with the registers office, you know without that sort ofteam effort. Something like this...

...wouldn't have been possible, so youknow think about who your team is and make sure that you're involving them inthese conversations and then just an sort of, I think one of the things thathappens is happening right now. An heirernational education. Is that we'rereally it's a time of innovation and we imagining and sor what? What do we wantto? What are we learning from this moment? What do we want to make surewe've ateen and what are some of the things that we let o look, becausemaybe they aren't working as well, and how do we sort of really think aboutour international collaborations through CIDIAROD through you know theway that we recruit in how community engagement in our host communitiesaround the world in support of International Education Toif? weimagine an innovate in that area. Such wonderful advice, Sam thanks, so muchfor your time today. What's the best place for listeners to connect with youif they have any followup questions and be happy if people have followquestions for them to contact me by...

...email at my dickens and Emai, which isbrandals at Tickenson, Dot Edu so pr and Aus at Dickenton, dot, evu awesomethanks so much for joining us today. Sam. Thank you eric. This was a lot offun attracting today's new post,traditional learners means adopting new enrolmant strategies. Keelicseducations data driven enterprise, wide approach to enrollment growth isuniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this neweducation, landscape and Helex has just published the second edition of theirenrolment growth. Playbook with fifty percent brand new content on howinstitutions can solve today's most pressing enromant growth challengesdownload it today for free at Helocks, Educationcom playbook you've been listening to enromentgrowth university from helicks education to ensure that you never missan episode subscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player.Thank you so much for listening until...

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