Monday, January 18, 2021

What international students learn from their U.S.A. experience

On the cusp of a new era for higher education as the White House passes from Donald Trump to Joe Biden, my deep hope is that the credibility and role of U.S.A. higher education in the world is restored. On his first day in office, President Biden reversed Trump visa restrictions and other impediments to immigration and naturalization. Future Biden actions will hopefully restore the incentives for higher education institutions to build international partnerships. These executive actions are important to rebuilding from the Trump administration's narrow view of "American First."

Looking at the ways that international students who study in the U.S.A. benefit is another place to start in order to recenter higher education's focus. Two international graduate students offer perspective on the three distinctive strengths that most contribute to their professional success. These three strengths are; cultural intelligence, communication, and courage. In the conclusion of their essay they say, "we urge academics to celebrate their international colleagues as holistic individuals and share their stories of courage, imagination and fresh perspectives -- in addition to their work ethics, research accomplishments and immigration challenges."

Let's get back to the work of internationalizing higher education and let's make sure we're doing it for reasons that are based on an ethic of care.

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