The number of international students at American universities has risen by 73 percent in the past 10 years. Last year, it rose 10 percent from the previous year, according to the Institute of International Education. The benefits of having more international students on American campuses are clear: apart from contributing billions of dollars to the US economy, international students bring a diverse set of experiences to the American campus and community. This allows for the sort of unique environment – where students from diverse backgrounds can exchange ideas on and off campus – that defines the college experience. Such exchanges have the potential to improve campus learning and research opportunities and to foster a culture of global understanding. But the question remains whether the American public research universities are prepared for including and engaging with such large numbers of international students, especially in STEM and professional schools, which are sometimes seeing classrooms and labs with 50 percent international students. This lecture will discuss the work of a task force for inclusion and engagement of international students at the University at Buffalo (UB). For the 13th-straight year, UB is one of the top 20 U.S. institutions in recruiting and hosting international students. The lecture will present data from research and surveys as well as best practices involving admissions and recruitment, integration in campus life, undergraduate and graduate education and experience. It will also touch on questions of training faculty and staff and of community and alumni engagement.
Peter F. Biehl is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology and Director of the Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology (IEMA) at the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB), and has taught at universities in Halle, Freiburg, Cambridge and Paris. He has been serving as chair of the campus-wide course evaluation committee, the budget and resources committee of the new General Education Program, and task force for inclusion and engagement of international students. He also serves on the Council on International Studies and Programs, and has forged international university partnerships with the universities of Cambridge, Kiel, Paris/Sorbonne, and Tarragona. He has created study abroad programs in Italy, Turkey and Albania and received in 2012 the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Internationalization.