Publication Date

Spring 2013

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Lynee Connelly

Abstract

The Center for Global Engagement (CGE) at the College of New Jersey (TCNJ) in Ewing, NJ is a primary catalyst in the cultural and physical exchange of students in higher education. The office sends nearly 300 students abroad every year, worldwide, while also overseeing the intake of a growing number of international students incoming to the United States studying for a semester or a year at TCNJ. While these two groups of students are ever more supported and challenged by the CGE, there is a clear disconnect in terms of interaction, exchange of resources, and communication between American students studying away from TCNJ and international students incoming to study at TCNJ. Currently, the support for both groups is well established. Upon returning to the U.S., study abroad returnees participate in a number of re-entry conferences and peer advising opportunities, where they have the opportunity to address the cultural issues they face upon reentry and advise future study abroad students. The international students also interact with TCNJ students whom they will be living with, through an existing “Culture Partners” program as part of the International House living and learning community. Individually, each group receives complete support from the CGE, but there is a need for more. There is no formal interaction between international students and study abroad returnees – the two groups that the CGE works most closely with on a daily basis. 3 The Global Duos program aims to connect these two groups in a positive, supportive, and mutually beneficial way. American students returning from studying abroad will be paired with an incoming international student in a one-to-one ratio from the same or similar location to where the American student studied abroad. The Global Duos program will give study abroad returnees an additional outlet of reflection in their reentry process, while the international students will have a personal resource and a friend to advise and support them prior to and after their arrival at TCNJ. The shared knowledge of a common culture experienced by both the American and international students provides a preexisting connection that will forge a long-lasting bond and channel of international cultural exchange on and beyond the TCNJ campus. Creating a network of interconnected, personal relationships across students of different cultures is an invaluable tool the College of New Jersey can use to further its internationalization goals.

Disciplines

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Higher Education Administration | International and Comparative Education

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