Time to Assess Your International Program
by Marlene Bylenga, SCSBC International Ed Coordinator ◊
This is a good time of year to assess your International Program and to make necessary policy and organizational changes for the upcoming school year. Like all areas of education, International Education is changing and evolving. Several years ago students coming from overseas were predominantly from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Korea, but now students are also coming from South America, Vietnam, China and Russia, to name a few. Each of these countries has distinct cultures, and the nuances of these cultures bring an added flavour to our classrooms.
As you prepare for the upcoming year, you might want to spend some time reflecting on the following:
- How does the mission and vision of your school address cultural diversity?
- Does the international student tuition fee charged allow
- you to provide the necessary supports to your students?
- Is your ELL support program meeting the need of students whose first language is not English?
- Are your classroom teachers aware of the norms and values of the cultures from which your students come?
- Do you provide sufficient support to homestay parents?
- re they being adequately compensated?
- What attracts international students to your school? Are your web site and promotional materials user-friendly for those who may have limited English?
I am sure that some of these questions may prompt you to want to find out what other schools are doing. At the upcoming Mosaic Conference, you will be able to learn from presenters who are involved in International Education and who will be able to give you their perspectives on some of the topics listed above. In addition, the opportunity to network with others who are involved in International Education will be invaluable.