Title

Acclimating International Students to the United States: In and Out of the Classroom

Location

Room 212

Strand #1

Service/Programs - General/Other

Strand #2

Teaching - P-12

Relevance

Often overlooked in a truly global education curriculum are the international students who arrive on US campuses everyday. At both the secondary and collegiate levels, the United States has seen a drastic increase in the number of foreign-born students. Rarely are these students fully prepared for the rigor of not only academic life in the United States, but the culture of the community around them. Unfortunately many stereotypes exist about international students within the United States. It is often assumed many will arrive fully prepared to immerse themselves in academia. It is clear that schools have a duty to provide more guidance, especially in regard to acclimation. Incorporating this international presence not only in the classroom, but also within the larger school community is a huge step to bridging the gaps between foreign cultures and the United States. For many American students who never travel abroad, this is the most direct contact they will have with other cultures and the subsequent effects of globalization. The presentation provides some ideas, as well as a platform for discussion about how students can “Think Global and Act Locally” with this peer group. There will be ideas for all who are in attendance to take away and use at their respective institutions.

Brief Program Description

This session is designed to aid school administrators and teachers to garner a better understanding of how American culture can be taught to international students. A discussion of techniques, lessons, classes and events will help illustrate how international students can be become more familiar with the school and community culture, and further elaborate on the benefits to American students involved in the programs.

Summary

This session will describe how two schools have attempted to acclimate the influx of international students on their campuses in recent years. It will compare attempts made by a larger high school in Milwaukee and a small Pre K-12 school in a more rural setting in Florida. There are a number of items we envision schools taking away from this presentation. We will outline how students are acclimated in two, unique settings. This will demonstrate to attendees that each school, regardless of setting, has to make decisions about what might work best in their own community by providing background on what works in these various settings. We will also discuss the success and failure of tangible items like orientation for newly arriving students, recruitment of new students, interaction with teachers, administrators, resident life coordinators and home stay parents. In addition to this we will model two example courses for acclimating students to the United States. In this regard we will discuss activities, lessons and assessments. We also hope to use some of the time to generate a discussion about some of the key points in which we are still looking for guidance. Certainly, there are many schools in addition to Saint Edwards and Pius XI that have implemented similar programs, but creating programs that allow cultural connections beyond the top layer of the cultural iceberg is a key point moving forward. Incorporating American students, families and the community as a whole is very much an evolving process and has been challenging. We hope exchanges like those that will take place at the Global Summit will allow us to speak about not only what is being done, but what more can be accomplished in acclimating international students in the United States across institutions.

Format

Panel Discussion - 30 minutes

Biographical Sketch

Greg Zugrave serves as the History and Social Science Department Chair and co-coordinates the Global Studies program at Saint Edwards School in Vero Beach FL. In his time at Saint Edwards he has helped to create a United States History and Culture class with the purpose of acclimating international students to the United States. Prior to arriving in Florida, Greg taught at the International School of Monterey, California. Greg received his BA in Political Science with departmental honors from Hiram College in Ohio and an MA in Global History at the University of North Carolina Wilmington where he studied runaway slave communities in Jamaica known as Maroons. His thesis and research in this area has been cited by a variety of scholarly authors and used by UNESCO in the declaration of a World Heritage Site in Jamaica..

Rick Carpenter has taught for twenty-six years. He worked as a Fulbright teacher in London, helped to formulate a charter school in Los Angeles and currently teaches Social Studies and is Head of the International Program for Pius XI Catholic High School in Milwaukee WI. He has developed a course titled “Introduction to American Culture” designed to aid in the transition of international students to the United States. Rick holds an MA in Teacher Leadership from Silver Lake College and a BA in Social Science Education from Marquette University.

Mara Slattery is currently the International Admissions Coordinator, Chair of the World Languages Department and serves as co-coordinator of the Global Studies program at Saint Edwards School. She holds a BA in Spanish and Political Science from Indiana University and a JD from Washington and Lee University School of Law. Prior to working at Saint Edwards, Mara spent time providing legal services to many including newly arrived immigrants in Atlanta GA. Earlier, Mara was an international student in both high school and University and she has lived on four different continents. In her time at Saint Edwards the international student population has grown enormously, largely in part to her recruiting efforts and award winning programs.

Keyword Descriptors

International, Exchange, Acclimation, Culture, Admissions, Orientation, Subculture

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

9-18-2015 1:00 PM

End Date

9-18-2015 2:00 PM

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Sep 18th, 1:00 PM Sep 18th, 2:00 PM

Acclimating International Students to the United States: In and Out of the Classroom

Room 212

This session is designed to aid school administrators and teachers to garner a better understanding of how American culture can be taught to international students. A discussion of techniques, lessons, classes and events will help illustrate how international students can be become more familiar with the school and community culture, and further elaborate on the benefits to American students involved in the programs.