Building Inclusive Approaches to Campus Internationalization:
Integrating Displaced Students to the Logic of Campus Internationalization

March 8-9, 2018
Boise State University 
Forum Flyer (.pdf) 

International educators have traditionally defined their role, among other things, by serving students with specific types of visas. As the fabric of the U.S. society becomes increasingly more complex and immigration status blurred, U.S. colleges and universities work with a growing population of international students who enter U.S. colleges through domestic admissions. That is the case of “displaced students” such as immigrants, undocumented students, refugees, and children of migrant-workers, among others. From the perspective of the Senior International Officers (SIOs), displaced students fall outside their administrative portfolio, despite the wealth of resources that these students bring to internationalization processes. SIOs are challenged to champion internationalization models that are inclusive, regardless the student visa categories.

This AIEA Thematic Forum addresses the following questions:

  • How do Senior International Officers (SIOs) champion an internationalization process that is both comprehensive and inclusive?
  • What are the unique needs facing displaced international students?
  • In what ways do displaced students contribute to campus internationalization?
  • How do we prepare the campus for serving the needs of displaced international students?
  • What are successful services and models for supporting displaced students?

The current U.S. political climate has put displaced international students at the forefront of the public discussion. From a harsh political discourse to two attempted executive orders, displaced students have been politicized and associated with Islam, terrorism and illegal immigration. SIOs are best equipped to remind the campus at large and the surrounding communities about the goals of campus internationalization and the need for globally informed citizens for economic, political and social stability.

The Thematic Forum pursuits the following objectives:

a) To position the discussion of displaced students in the internationalization agenda of U.S. colleges and universities.

b) To identify the challenges and opportunities associated with displaced students as related to campus internationalization.

c) To share best practices of working with displaced international students and advancing internationalization processes.

d) To increase the advocacy role of the SIO for displaced students on U.S. colleges and universities, given the current political climate.

e) To improve the campus climate by equipping the faculty with skills and tools to engaging in difficult conversations.