In time for the last few months of the 2016 presidential campaign, the Bias Busters series will have a guide that uses research and information you can count on to answer some of the many questions that have been flying around in the debate.
* Do immigrants take American jobs?
* Where do they come from?
* Why do people enter illegally instead of just waiting?
* How many immigrants are there in the United States?
* Where do they come from?
* Would a wall at the U.S.-Mexican border help?
You’ll find the answers to these and 96 (at least) other questions in the guide.
We talked to immigrants to learn what were the questions they encounter and feel people should have the answer to. Then, we talked to people, did some research into what polls, studies and others have learned about the immigrant story and we put those into the book. The book, available in digital or print formats, includes about 10 video interviews from the University of Minnesota’s “Immigrant Stories” project. We feel that a stew of statistics cannot tell stories as well as people can.
Our hope is that, with this information, you will be able to have more and better conversations with the immigrants who live, work and go to school with you.
Other reports this week show foreign enrollments of international students declining. Student International has an article about a British Council report that shows the United Kingdom is declining as the choice for international studies. The U.S.’ biggest competitor has seen its market share fall every year since 2010-2011, and the actual number of students declined in 2012-2013.
That’s not easy, but it would be worthwhile and the experiences of the United Kingdom and Australia show that international students are fluid, mobile and not to be taken for granted. Top sources for international students include China, India and Saudi Arabia, where political variables beyond the reach of American universities come into play.
One thing universities can do is help international students get over American culture shock so they can get the educations they seek.
We had a great night at the Michigan State University Library Oct. 28 when almost 100 people came out to hear about the Bias Busters project. They answered questions from “100 Questions and Answers About Americans” and then discussed in teams questions from “100 Questions and Answers About East Asian Cultures.”
We asked international students from East Asian countries to join the various circles as resource people.
We talked about China’s relationship with Hong Kong, Korean and Japanese culture and difference among East Asian countries.
The guides led us to conversation, which is just what we want them to do.
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program published a report indicating over one million international students are now studying in American universities, a two percent increase since the start of the year and an all time high for the number of students entering from abroad. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program produces quarterly reports to measure the international student population and the latest sample was based off winter enrollments from schools across the country.
The record-breaking figures point to a significant climb in the number of students from abroad. Additionally, the report offers insight to the most heavily concentrated fields of study. The bulk of these students are matriculating from overseas, with China, India and South Korea leading this trend. The most common academic interest in these group are embedded in the fields of engineering, technology and mathematics.
As American universities open their doors to international students, academia needs to create adaptable learning environments to accommodate individuals of varied cultures. Following up from a post earlier this week, evidence from top universities suggests many minorities are susceptible to stereotypes.
The goal of the Bias Busters series is to dispel cultural stereotypes and provide readers with the tools to have meaningful cross-cultural interactions, and this goes both ways. The book 100 Questions & Answers About Americans was created to aid international students as they shift into American universities and lifestyle. This guide, like the rest in the series, broaches several topics to help international students better understand social nuances for a manageable transition into American culture.