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  • Writer's pictureDave Taylor

Are You Ready to Welcome International Students?

Updated: Oct 14, 2019

Where changing demographics result in a decreasing pool of domestic students from which to draw, educational institutions are engaging in the recruitment of international students to respond to financial pressures and sustainability concerns.

The areas of the globe where students will be recruited will be a key factor. What will be the proportion of the international student population from each country you are anticipating on campus? You must also make sure that international students are placed into appropriate programs in consideration of their level of academic and language preparedness.

The level of academic and language preparedness will be a key factor in developing your marketing messages and admission processes to ensure appropriate introduction of international students to your educational environment. The success and satisfaction of these students and the ability of faculty to recognize the challenges and opportunities of a diverse student classroom will depend largely on your systems and supports proactively put into place by the organization.

Lots to think about.

Cultural impacts and understanding by all stakeholders…. international students, domestic students, support staff, faculty, administrators, community members, and employers must be considered. There will be academic and behavioural issues that need to be anticipated with specific supports established and effectively communicated.

Your organization must be aware of community perceptions on an influx of international students to neighbourhoods and potential impacts on local transportation and accommodation resources, especially for those institutions outside of metropolitan areas.

Where work integrated learning and cooperative education involve international

student placements with industry partners, orientation of both students and employers will likely be necessary. Facilitating cultural awareness levels of all stakeholders and working with them to promote mutual respect will create a positive experience for all involved.

Each unique institution will require consideration of many more critical aspects when planning to increase the number of international students within the campus population. Being reactive on many of the issues that will emerge will create frustration for stakeholders, so pre-planning and proactive scenario development will assist in successfully welcoming and integrating international students to your organization.

Cover image photo credit: Luke Gillett

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