The International-Friendly Campus

Career College Central summary:

  • At Ohio State University the number of undergraduate international students has skyrocketed in the last 10 years, growing from 1,360 to 3,345, with the majority of that increase involving students from China.
  • With that growth came growing pains. “About four years ago we began to hear what, for lack of a better word, I’m just going to call it a ruckus,” Gifty Ako-Adounvo, director of Ohio State’s international students and scholars office, said Thursday in a session here on creating an “international student-friendly campus.” The session was part of the  annual conference of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. “All of a sudden, we were getting all of these calls from faculty saying, 'I have all of these [international] students in my class and they’re not ready,' etc., etc.”
  • “And then in addition we were hearing from students that they were not feeling as welcome as they thought they would be when they came to Columbus,” Ako-Adounvo said.
  • Her office joined with the Office of Student Life to survey international students about their experiences, and the results, Ako-Adounvo said, were likely to be familiar to many of the international educators: students asked for more opportunities for guided social interactions, additional academic support – writing support in particular – and more preparation regarding the culture and expectations of the American classroom (notably, Ako-Adounvo said, her office was finding that international students were disproportionately represented in academic misconduct cases compared to their American counterparts). International students at Ohio State also talked about wanting to build a better sense of belonging.

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