USA Needs International Students in Higher Education

 

Topic of Interest:

There are a lot of different issues arising in higher education that I could have discussed for my blog. After a long look at my field and program, animal and poultry science, I decided to research and comment on international students in higher education because I see a lack in the animal science program. 

International Students in Higher Education:

At my undergraduate college, there was little emphasis placed on international students. We only had a handful of students who were not from the United States and most of them seemed to be recruited to play sports. I was not involved in sports, other than being a spectator, and didn’t know many of the international students. However, when I was lucky enough to have a class with an international student, I appreciated my time in class. 

I love learning about the different perspectives people have and the cultures people grew up in. I like to hear about how growing up in a country other than the United States has shaped someone. I fully and wholeheartedly believe that I gain something of value from being in a class and learning from international students. 

According to Grawe, the United States also gains something from international students. Grawe states, “international students contribute substantially to the financial health of their colleges and universities, local communities, and state economies” (2019). I was unaware of just how much international students contribute financially to a university. What I also found interesting was the fact that “only one in six international students receive institutional aid” (Grawe, 2019). I am appalled at that number, but am sad to say I never knew how much of an issue scholarships to international students. 

The Issue:

In my opinion, international students have a lot of unnecessary hoops they need to jump through in order to be eligible and receive higher education in the United States. I am not too familiar with the process, but from what I have heard in class and from peers, there are a lot of tests and costs involved. 

Over the past few years, the number of international students that attend a university to receive higher education in the United States has declined. Grawe states, “the nearly 10% reduction in new students seen in the two years beginning in 2016/17 is notable given the incredible consistency of growth in this market seen in the previous 69 years” (2019). 

What This Means for Animal Science:

I think in order to be the best you can be, you need to need a perspective check and to have an open mind. I don’t know a lot about livestock or the industry, but from what I have gathered from lectures, articles, and peers, the United States runs things differently than other countries. Now, I am not saying one way is better than the other, but I do think in order to improve, and there is always room for improvement, we need to take into consideration all the ways to do something. 

From what I have seen in Animal and Poultry Sciences (APSC) thus far is a lack of diversity. I have also met only one international student in the program, that is not to say there isn’t more, I just have yet to personally meet others. Therefore, if the country’s percentage of international students is declining this means the program’s numbers will also decline. I believe this is when we will run into issues. 

A national decrease in international students means that a majority of the students in APSC will come from similar backgrounds and have similar perspectives. How do we improve and get better if no one comes in and has differing opinions on how things can be run? Who will push us to do research on the best method if the methods aren’t being questioned? 

To me, the decrease in international students is a tragedy that the United States needs to really look at. We need international students for many reasons and not just for our financial gain. I truly hope one day the process to come to the United States to gain a higher education will be easier, so we may continue to learn and grow together. 

Video

I also stumbled upon this video while doing research about international students in higher education. I would love to hear opinions on what people think of the video.

https://www.chronicle.com/article/Why-International-Students-Are/243860

 

Sources

Grawe, Nathan, et al. “International Students and U.S. Higher Education.” Econofact, The Fletcher School Tufts University, 17 July 2019, https://econofact.org/international-students-and-u-s-higher-education.

Kelderman, Eric. “Why International Students Are Important at Indiana U.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 11 July 2018, https://www.chronicle.com/article/Why-International-Students-Are/243860.

 

Intersectionality

The Why:

Despite having a class discussion, reading multiple articles, and watching various YouTube videos on intersectionality, I still have a vague sense of the word. Before this class, I had never encountered the word. My lack of comprehension might speak to my identity and personal intersectionality. My most pronounced characteristics are my race, which is white, and my gender, female. Because this is what everyone sees, the biggest form of oppression I feel comes from my gender. I wonder if this is why the term is harder for me to fully understand.

This specific prompt, “talk about how you will use intersectionality in your work/practice”, at first glance struck me as odd. I had honestly not thought of the term, intersectionality, as being one to “use”. However, after a lot of consideration, I think I have come to a decision for my future use with this new word. In the following paragraphs, I will do my best to address the prompt at hand and attempt to explain how I will use intersectionality in the future.

Intersectionality:

According to Coleman, “intersectionality, [is] a concept that remains confusing to some despite steadily growing awareness of it” (2019).

To me, intersectionality is all about a person’s characteristics and identities. It is about the groups they consider themselves to be apart of and how those groups overlap. The overlap is the key to intersectionality. This overlapping of group identities can create more severe discrimination. This means that every individual person has a significant level of prejudice that is personally unique (Coleman, 2019).

Another interesting aspect I found, while research intersectionality, is its relationship and involvement in regard to feminism. I found a lot of articles that categorize intersectionality as being a feminist term and only revolving around women. Which, to me, seems odd. I understand that it originated because of women, but I don’t think it is only relevant to women. I think intersectionality covers any and all genders, as well as a plethora of other personal characteristics. It should not strictly be a female term.

Future:

After having many ideas, thoughts, and questions about intersectionality, I have come to a conclusion. I think the best way to use the term, intersectionality, is to be consciously aware of it. You can be aware of intersectionality not only in the workplace, but also everywhere else. It surrounds us on a daily basis.

For me personally, being consciously aware of intersectionality means to not categorize people in a single group because they are an individual first. I was aware of individuality prior to learning about intersectionality, but now I am even more aware of how it plays a role in everyone’s life. We are all so individually unique and experience life so differently because of it.

While I was watching YouTube videos on intersectionality, I stumbled upon this video that claimed intersectionality was a hoax. The person talking in the video believes that intersectionality groups us into categories of oppression instead of treating everyone as an individual. I think that is furthest from the truth. To me, intersectionality tries to look at everyone’s unique personal groups and, more specifically, their overlap. The link to the video is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rc7VUoytoU4 if you would like to watch it. I found it to be a very interesting perspective.

With my new found information, I think the best thing I can do in the future is to talk about what intersectionality is. I would be willing to guess there are a decent amount of people in the world who have never heard of intersectionality. In my future workplace, I hope to provide an opportunity for others to learn what intersectionality is and how it may affect teammates and coworkers. I will do my best to openly communicate my ideas and hopefully create a safe place for discussion that will broaden the minds of fellow employees. I will also make a conscious effort to avoid grouping people and listen to people when they feel discriminated against because of their intersectionality.

Thanks for reading.

-HD

 

Sources

Coleman, Arica L. “What Is Intersectionality? A Brief History of the Theory.” Time, Time, 29 Mar. 2019, https://time.com/5560575/intersectionality-theory/.

It’s a Dog-Eat-Dog World

I am currently in the animal and poultry science department, however, as I have mentioned before, my real passion is dogs. In the working dog world, there are more male trainers than there are female trainers. Over the past years, women have become more and more involved in training, but there is still not equality.

When men enter the working dog world they are welcomed with open arms because they are another body to be put in a bite suit or hold the end of a leash for a large dog. On the other hand, when women show an interest in working dog training they are fought with questions and comments such as “You know you can’t pet the dog, right?” or “Are you sure you can handle that dog?”.

Women who want to succeed in the working dog world have to prove that they belong there. Like Purgason states in the article, women need to give 200% to prove their worth and gain respect from their male counterparts. They not only have to work hard to train the dogs, but they have to work even harder to prove that they deserve to be there.

The dogs that are apart of the working dog community are generally strong dogs with crazy amounts of drive. This means that they will do just about anything in their power to get to a decoy or a toy. Now, I am not saying that there isn’t a physical difference between men and women and their bodies. I am fully aware that women need to be in shape and strong to be able to handle strong, crazy dogs, but so do men. What I don’t quite understand is not believing in their training capabilities with hard dogs.

To combat this disadvantage, I have kept my head down. I have watched videos, listened to podcasts, read books, and asked questions. I have reached out to and made connections with people who have a name in the industry and have knowledge they are willing to share with me. I will continue to fight my way into the industry until I am where I want to be. I have to let the dogs I train be proof of what I can do.

The link below is an article from a woman in the industry about female trainers. I find the article very encouraging.
https://www.highlandcanine.com/train-like-a-girl-how-women-are-revolutionizing-the-working-dog-industry/