Posted By Trixie Cordova,
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Engaging Students On Campus
This year, The Passport Tour (TPT) brought Diversity Abroad to college campuses across the U.S. to engage with 2,000+ students about the benefits of going abroad. By bringing our unique resources, scholarships, and expertise directly to students, we are able to address the barriers impacting students’ ability and interest to go abroad, dispel common study abroad myths, and encourage them to pursue global opportunities, regardless of how they identify. The Passport Tour has impacted more than 20,000 students since launching in 2008, and has been one of Diversity Abroad’s signature student outreach programs. To learn more about how TPT is organized, read our blog entry here.
While on tour, students are invited to tell us more about themselves to help us better understand why diverse and underrepresented students are not going abroad, and still only make up less than 30% of all study abroad participants. Students are asked how they identify, what their concerns are about going abroad, and what regions and program types they are most interested in pursuing. Across all campus types, our goal is to reach students who have had no prior experience abroad; such as those attending first year seminar classes, enrolled in TRiO or other Student Support Services programs, or at institutions without established study abroad offices.
By collecting this information, we are able to assess both how successful we are in reaching underrepresented students; we also increase our own awareness of student concerns as they pertain to one’s ethnicity, financial status, area of study and regional interest, to name a few.
The Passport Tour Stats At-a-Glance
As our 2016-17 tour came to an end, we analyzed our data and developed a number of interesting findings about the students we reached. Below are just a few metrics we found most compelling:
At least half of the students we connected with on TPT this year identified as Black, which includes but is not limited to students self-identifying as African American, Haitian American, Jamaican-American, African, or other. 20% of the students we met identified as White, an increase from previous tours. We believe this correlates to our increased focus on reaching students in rural areas across states such as Oklahoma and Michigan.
Of course, finances remained the number one barrier cited for students interested in going abroad, with 35% citing finances as at least one barrier in their decision to go abroad. The following chart further verifies that this holds true, regardless of whether or not students are Pell Grant recipients; a typical indicator of high financial need.
This graphic indicates that first generation college students typically will not know someone - such as friends or family members - with previous study abroad experience. More often than not, study abroad alumni cite an older sibling, cousin, or friend as the inspiration for their participation in a study abroad program.
Finally, what has consistently emerged in our data collection for the past three years is a trend that indicates students’ interest in ‘heritage seeking’ regions. Although Europe consistently remains the primary regional interest for students across all ethnicities, second to Europe aligns with how they identify. For Asian students, this means Asia; for Black students this means an interest in Africa and the Caribbean; for Latino students an interest in Central and South America.
Diversity Abroad at NAFSA17
For the second year in a row, Diversity Abroad was excited to present these findings at the national NAFSA conference, hosted this year in Los Angeles.
The images above were compiled into an infographic shared during the poster session, Diversity Outreach in International Education. To view the full infographic on data collected during the 2016-17 Passport Tour click here.
The Passport Tour
Posted By Erica Ledesma,
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Daneen Johnson - Community Engagement Coordinator
Tell us about yourself:
As a Student Affairs Professional, I have worked with student-athletes, first generation, STEM, honors, low-income, and international students. I have also worked within a university career services department where I assisted both undergraduate and graduate students with career readiness and employability skills. Prior to joining the Diversity Abroad team, I was as an Advisor at Seminole State College of Florida where I worked within a grant program that sought to assist and increase underrepresented minority students pursuing STEM degrees.
As a two-time Alumna of the University of Central Florida, I completed my undergraduate degrees in Hospitality and Restaurant Management. During that time I studied abroad in Italy with an Italian Culture and Cuisine program-- which was the experience that changed my future career trajectory. I continued my education at UCF completing an M.A. in Educational Leadership with a specialization in Higher Education. My global experience extended into graduate school when I participated in a mission trip with my church to Cape Town, South Africa.
Why did you join Diversity Abroad?
In my role at Diversity Abroad, I am able to give back to the local and global community that inspired my career. I studied abroad because of scholarships that were awarded to me. Knowing that someone else invested in my future reminded me of the continued generosity (both tangible and intangible) that has been granted to me throughout my educational journey. We know that education is the gift that can’t be taken away, therefore the opportunity to provide students with resources to expand their knowledge and experiences in our globally interconnected classrooms is my way of “paying it forward”. Diversity Abroad allows me to do that in a very unique way.
What do you do at Diversity Abroad?
I facilitate outreach for the Passport Tour which is a nationwide campus-based initiative designed to introduce study abroad resources and opportunities to students, faculty and administrators, particularly from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. Additionally, I write content for both the Diversity Abroad Network and our student site DiversityAbroad.com.
Where do you see global education going in five years?
Global opportunities have progressively expanded for students allowing institutions from all around the world to connect and build relationships. Despite challenges in our society, I am optimistic about the future because technology is advancing and accessibility to knowledge about various cultures is rapidly growing. College students now have access to information about their counterparts across the globe, and they’re tenacious enough to be active about building communities that expand across both our similarities and difference. Growing acceptance of diversity gives me hope for the future of global education.
Diversity Abroad Staff
Posted By Diversity Abroad,
Monday, September 12, 2016
Updated: Monday, September 12, 2016
About the Passport Tour
Diversity Abroad's Passport Tour (TPT) is a nationwide campus-based initiative designed to introduce study abroad resources and opportunities to students, faculty and administrators, particularly from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.
Since 2008, TPT has visited more than 75 different college campuses across the country. Each campus visit looks different, but can consist of various on-campus outreach initiatives such as tabling at a study abroad fair, hosting information sessions, moderating alumni panels, making classroom visits, and more.
Diversity Abroad is delighted to welcome Daneen Johnson to the team. In her role as the Community Engagement Coordinator, Daneen will be spearheading campus visits with the Passport Tour. Additionally, Diversity Abroad is excited to have 6 Campus Fellows hosting events at and around their campuses throughout the year.
Wondering where you can connect with the Passport Tour in your area? More details available on the Events Calendar.
Meet the Passport Tour Team
Community Engagement Coordinator
Daneen is the Community Engagement Coordinator for Diversity Abroad. She oversees The Passport Tour which is a nationwide campus-based initiative designed to introduce study abroad resources and opportunities to students, faculty and administrators, particularly from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.
As a Student Affairs Professional, Daneen has experience working with student-athletes, first generation, STEM, honors, low income, and international students. She has also worked within a university career services department where she assisted both undergraduate and graduate students with career readiness and employability skills. Prior to joining the Diversity Abroad team, Daneen worked as an Advisor at Seminole State College of Florida where she worked within a grant program that sought to assist and increase underrepresented minority students pursuing STEM degrees.
As a two time Alumna of the University of Central Florida, she completed her undergraduate degrees in Hospitality and Restaurant Management. During that time she studied abroad in Italy with an Italian Culture and Cuisine program. She continued her education at UCF completing a M.A. in Educational Leadership with a specialization in Higher Education. During graduate school Daneen completed a mission trip with her church to Cape Town, South Africa.
Daneen is a proud Take Stock in Children Scholar--a nonprofit organization in Florida with a mission to break the cycle of poverty for low-income, at-risk students by offering college scholarships and provide caring volunteer mentors. In her role at Diversity Abroad, she is able to give back to the local and global community that inspired her career.
Miami University, Ohio
Major: International Studies; Latin American Studies; Spanish Minor
Studied in: Spain, Argentina
Xavier University of LA
New Orleans, LA
Major: Biology/Pre-med; Chemistry; Spanish minor
Studied in: Costa Rica, Cyprus
College of William & Mary
Major: International Community Development; Public Health Minor
Studied in: Australia, Interned abroad in Ghana
Major: English; Multimedia minor
Studied in: Semester at Sea; volunteered in Rio for 2016 olympics
Georgia Institute of Technology
Major: Public Policy
Studied in: Australia, New Zealand, Fiji
Major: Science & Technology; International Affairs; Japanese minor
Studied in: Japan
Posted By Administration,
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Many study abroad offices and organizations have recognized the value of having the diverse student voice represented when trying to connect with diverse students across campus. But aside from using students to speak on study abroad panels, how can we as a field, work with students more intentionally to help us reach the goal of diversifying study abroad? Here are 3 ways you may be able to use students in your office.
Hire diverse student workers as part of your staff (and that includes attendance at staff meetings!)
If your office already has a peer advisor or ambassador program, it is important to make sure that the diversity of those students represent the diversity of the campus. Many times, we require peer advisors to have previous study abroad experience, which is not a very diverse pool to begin with. However, some of the work that student workers do, does not require previous study abroad experience. Additionally, student workers should also be included in your staff meetings as they are part of your office. When deciding what types of activities to do and how to reach the most students, the student perspective can save your office time, energy, and money by letting you know if the proposed idea is something that resonates with students. Students can also tell you what else is happening on campus that your event would have to compete with or what days and times would work better. If you don’t have the budget for a peer advisor program, you can also use federal work study funds to hire student workers into your office.
Invite students to your diversity planning meetings.
When making decisions about how to reach diverse students, it’s critical to have the diverse student voice present. If there is not a diverse student that works on your staff, this is an opportunity to connect with a diverse student who may work in a partner office such as Student Life or the Multicultural Office - offices that have experience working with diverse student groups. Many times study abroad offices want the diverse study abroad alumni to provide feedback in these settings, but there is also value in having a student who has not studied abroad present at these meetings. The student who has not studied abroad can provide more insight about what barriers still remain while the student who studied abroad has likely already overcome their barriers. You may need more than one student present to reflect the various identities you are trying to reach. The students can provide much more insight into why current efforts are not effective and how study abroad offices can reach their particular groups. Focus groups are another way to get this insight if students are not available during the time of the meeting. In order to show that you value the student voice, it may be more beneficial to plan the meeting around the students’ class times.
Allow students to plan and host study abroad events.
Creating a committee of students to plan and host study abroad events is one of the best ways to have effective events. Many study abroad offices have gone to great lengths planning information sessions to only have a handful of students attend; while the student-run event across the hall is standing room only. When students are responsible for planning events, they are able to capitalize on their existing networks and communities to ensure the success of the event. Moreover, the students know what type of event they would want to attend - and that’s the type of event that they will plan. The students know the ins and outs of campus activities so they know when not to schedule an event and they also know what type of information will draw their peers out. Allow students to be creative (within time, purpose, and budget constraints) and you may recognize a different outcome when an event for students is run by students.
Providing students with the opportunity to have a valuable impact on study abroad not only benefits the study abroad office, but it also provides skills to the students and could potentially show them the possibility of study abroad as a career option. We are all working for students, so let’s include them in the process!
Posted By Trixie Cordova,
Friday, June 26, 2015
Updated: Thursday, July 28, 2016
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At Diversity Abroad, our mission is to increase the number of diverse and underrepresented students that are aware of and take advantage of global opportunities. Recently, I attended a NAFSA session that delved into the unique needs of undocumented college students. As one of the most underrepresented student groups, I was curious to learn more about how those of us in international education can better support these students. During this session, professionals that work closely with undocumented and/or otherwise underrepresented students (first generation, high financial need, etc.) discussed this issue at length, from the stigma students face once identified as undocumented, to their own personal challenges dealing with “imposter syndrome” in college. This session really made me reflect on what can be done to better support undocumented students -- aiding them both to succeed in college, as well as potentially study abroad.
I discovered that there is still so much to learn about what makes their experience as students so much more challenging than any other student group. As institutions await or take action based on federal and state level policies (see: DREAM Act definitions below) dictating what they can provide, educators find themselves in a unique position overall, but especially if and when those students express interest in studying abroad. So what do we know about undocumented students and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), and how can we ensure that our work ultimately helps us maintain student dignity within the process?
Below are some definitions of the various ways students may choose to identify. These have been provided by the presenters of the NAFSA session, Best Practices for Working with Undocumented and ‘DACA’-mented Students:
A foreign national residing in the U.S. without legal immigration status. It includes persons who entered the U.S. without inspection and proper permission from the U.S. government, and those who entered with a legal status that is no longer valid.
An immigrant youth who has obtained benefits under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (work authorized and deferred action from removal) that was established by Executive Action on June 15, 2012. These benefits do NOT provide lawful status.
Federal DREAM Act:
A proposal that will lead to legal status for undocumented youth who entered the U.S. before the age of 16, have good conduct, other requirements
State DREAM Act:
Vary by state, do not give lawful status, but can allow undocumented students access to in-state tuition, financial aid, and/or other benefits
DACA and the DREAM Act are NOT the same, but one of the key benefits for ‘DACA’-mented students is the potential to travel abroad with advanced permission from the Department of Homeland Security, for employment, humanitarian and of course educational purposes -- including study abroad.
It’s important to understand the mere fact that students self-identifying as undocumented is both an incredibly courageous and frightening declaration. Meng So, the Director at UC Berkeley’s Undocumented Student’s Program (USP), spoke about how USP began in part due to one student’s experience with a UC Berkeley professor he had admired. After seeking out this professor for a potential mentorship and revealing his personal hardships to get into college, this professor not only refused to be a mentor; he also questioned how that student was even admitted in the first place.
Unlike the aforementioned UC Berkeley professor, I believe it is every educator’s responsibility to put personal politics aside and provide support to those students who are courageous enough to expose their hardships and ask for help. While some educators may not understand the stigma associated with referring to students as “illegal,” it is important to have this conversation at an office, if not at the institution-wide level. Doing so can truly transform the environment in which these students find themselves, and allow educators to become allies in a greater social justice movement.
While we await for the federal DREAM Act to further bring peace of mind to some students, it is my hope that undocumented and ‘DACA’-mented students can at least feel safe in confiding in international educators about how they identify, and that we can continue seeking opportunities to support undocumented students to succeed -- either on campus or abroad.