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Author Topic: Helping study abroad students adapt - any suggestions?  (Read 11398 times)
scotia
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« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2012, 5:14:21 PM »

notaprof - has the student tried asking the interviewing organization about a phone or Skype interview? We had an exchange student with a similar request last year and I only thought to ask if she had requested a Skype interview when I was contemplating whether 'driven to murder by a twenty-something behaving like a whining four year old' was a potential defence in a court of law. Turns out Miss I Am So Important your Rules Don't Apply to Me hadn't thought to ask, and it also transpired that she hadn't even bothered to tell the company that she was in the UK at the suggested interview time. The company agreed to the Skype interview.

(She didn't get the internship. I suspect that only in her mind were the Skype interview and the lack of an offer correlated. While there are some exchange students who are great ambassadors, we were very glad to see her disappear back across the pond.)

Oh, and we so thank you for sending her back. Oh yes, thanks...thanks a lot.

You are very welcome. I know that there is a university elsewhere in Europe that is counting the days until it can wash its hands of one of our little darlings. The Dean and I are now on first name terms after several weeks of email exchanges.
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notaprof
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« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2012, 11:39:12 PM »

notaprof - has the student tried asking the interviewing organization about a phone or Skype interview? We had an exchange student with a similar request last year and I only thought to ask if she had requested a Skype interview when I was contemplating whether 'driven to murder by a twenty-something behaving like a whining four year old' was a potential defence in a court of law. Turns out Miss I Am So Important your Rules Don't Apply to Me hadn't thought to ask, and it also transpired that she hadn't even bothered to tell the company that she was in the UK at the suggested interview time. The company agreed to the Skype interview.

(She didn't get the internship. I suspect that only in her mind were the Skype interview and the lack of an offer correlated. While there are some exchange students who are great ambassadors, we were very glad to see her disappear back across the pond.)

I thought about a Skype solution moments after hitting send on my response.  To be honest though, the tone of her email was so annoying that I have little desire to offer helpful solutions. This was presented as something I was required to fix for her.  Besides, if she has any hope of earning this very competitive internship, she should be demonstrating the problem-solving skills to have figured this out on her own.  Although, I do feel a bit guilty about my lack of helpfulness and I will suggest it to her tomorrow. 

Cayenne, it does not surprise me that the individualized nature of the tutorial system at Oxbridge is able to be more flexible about the final assessment for the semester's work. 

As scotia has mentioned, this issue does go both ways. In working in the past with exchange students from the UK, they generally received much lower grades than their record indicated back home and were some of the biggest partiers of any of the nationalities represented.  Many indicated that their grades did not matter because they would not be getting any credit for their studies in the US upon their return to their home institution. They had a hard time understanding the concept of a liberal arts education and took a while to be comfortable with the level of discussion required in class but seemed to appreciate it more as the semester progressed.  They also tended to be a bit older than their US counterparts and really chafed at the concept of living in a dorm room on campus.  So a bit of a miss-match in that way too.
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merce
strange attractor
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« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2012, 12:14:31 AM »

Please accept my apologies for not having been able to read through all the posts earlier today before sending my own.

Honestly, I kinda find it pathetic that US students struggle in a country where the language is not different. When I went abroad (and I walked there barefoot in the snow, mind you), not only was I dealing with upper-level courses but I was taking them in a language I didn't learn as a kid. Sheesh.

While I stand by my earlier suggestion that you scan research to write up your reports and pacify the powers to be and enact change in your US students, I do see that there is a lot of handwringing going on over nothin'.

US students kinda suck, are uncultured, uncouth, naive, self-aggrandizing, whiny, binge-drinking, etc.
but
ultimately, big whoopdee doodle doo.
At least they can speak and read and write the same language.
They are bad students. That is all. They aren't handicapped in a way that is not their fault in the way that US students who don't speak the language while studying in Germany are.
People mention a difference between education in the US and the UK. A lack of understanding and appreciation of the difference.
Dude.

I dunno.
In France and Spain the profs don't give a shiht if students fail or pass. You have no obligation to show up to a class as a student. There is none of this mamsy pamsy group work. Profs do their thing. There is no syllabus. There are no readings. The prof doesn't tell anyone what to do. They talk. The student who is interested goes to class to listen and take notes and find out that there is this cool book to read. The profs and colleges have a grading concept completely foreign to that here in the US. The idea is to fail half pass half.
You pass, good. You don't, fine.
There are none of these office hours in which an American could come in to tell someone, a prof, an administrator, that they have an interview and want to skip an exam.
And, besides.
Exams in France and Spain are given twice. So, you miss or fail the first time. Fine, take the makeup that is done a number of months later (july in Spain, September in France).

Hmmm, none of this is relevant to you, OP, is it?

I think my idea was to say here that you could/should look to research but on the other hand your suggestion should be to let kids who want to sink (into alcohol) sink. Don't get in the way of a student's desire to fail. Isn't that the Fiona/Fora wisdom? There must be an academese way of expressing that.

Best of luck.
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sandgrounder
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« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2012, 8:18:15 AM »



As scotia has mentioned, this issue does go both ways. In working in the past with exchange students from the UK, they generally received much lower grades than their record indicated back home and were some of the biggest partiers of any of the nationalities represented.  Many indicated that their grades did not matter because they would not be getting any credit for their studies in the US upon their return to their home institution. They had a hard time understanding the concept of a liberal arts education and took a while to be comfortable with the level of discussion required in class but seemed to appreciate it more as the semester progressed.  They also tended to be a bit older than their US counterparts and really chafed at the concept of living in a dorm room on campus.  So a bit of a miss-match in that way too.
Yes this is another way why the two systems are fairly incompatible. Unless things have changed dramatically in the past few years, when I was still sending students, we couldn't take the risk of sending anyone who needed credit to the US. The reason is that by the time their exchange applications are processed at the host university, most of the classes for the next semester, especially upper level ones, were full. Because of national quality assurance processes, in some cases the requirements for externally accredited degrees, and our need to make sure that all students in a degree programme had taken a reasonably comparable course load, we couldn't give credit to advanced students for the wierd and wonderful mix of largely freshman classes, that were all that was available. Long discussions failed to resolve it, as understandably the US colleges have to give priority to theor own students. So we sent anyone needing credit to Canada or Australia where the problem has never arisen, and our only students going to the US were those essentially taking a year out of their degree.
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betterslac
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« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2012, 6:32:52 AM »

Here in foreign country I am getting exchange students in my graduate courses, mainly from Europe. Lots of flakiness, particularly in not showing up for classes for weeks on end and not turning in any assignments. But also some very, very good students. More anecdata that exchange students, from wherever and going to wherever, are a mixed bag.

Sandgrounder: in terms of American students from liberal arts colleges, just imagine what life would be like dealing with such students, in large numbers, constantly! No option to send them permanently back across the ocean (they get sent back).
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