Based on Judy’s campus visits to U.S. business schools, here are our recommendations for International student support for the 2018-19 academic year.
Provide acculturation education and support earlier, longer and deeper during the whole year, not just during Orientation and early Fall.
Assign one advisor to support a student throughout his/her experience. There are various ways to execute this. Most important is to ensure students have a dedicated person, who demonstrates individualized attention to him/her, can be a trusted go-to contact and conveys genuine empathy for their unique cultural needs.
Provide students with high-touch job search coaching so advisors can get to the “real” issue. Students consistently tell me coaches don’t have enough time or cultural perspective, and thus, offer International students strategies that seem “cookie-cutter”, and not customized enough for job search effectiveness.
Provide students with a job search learning program that is tailored to their needs and helps them do 3 things:
- Understand the cultural “why’s”,
- Develop and practice new skills repeatedly, in a safe environment with executable feedback, and
- Know explicit step-by-step instructions (especially for the Masters students) so they know they are doing it “right.”
Make sure advisors and faculty are equipped with the cultural competency necessary to engage and teach empathetically and effectively.
Ensure International and American students are engaging effectively and respectfully in their teams and social lives. International students consistently tell me that American students don’t seem really interested in them or their culture. There is much for American students to learn if they are to be effective global leaders.