Our international profession

Over conference breakfast on Thursday 11 July at 0830 I will be hosting an informal discussion on internationalisation in Student Services, in particular introducing the global Student Affairs organisation IASAS – The International Association of Student Affairs and Serviceswww.iasasonline.org  ImageAll are welcome.  It seems to me that international issues are increasingly important for leaders and practitioners in the student services community, reflecting our increasingly globalised society.  Of course there are the usual challenges of providing effective international student support – spanning services from visa processing to support for culture transitions.  And I think we also do well to develop a proactive awareness of the implications of events on the global stage within our own campus settings – how are we  currently relating to and supporting any students from Syria, for example?  But as well as the matter of how internationalisation impacts on our service provision, I also wonder about the internationalisation of our own profession.  For example how internationalised is your own team, in terms of its global experience and cultural agility?  When did you last benchmark your services against an international exemplar rather than ‘places like us’?   How do you keep up to date with global trends in Student Affairs to build into the development of your own activities and services?  Of course frequent international travel to overseas conferences and seminars is one (rather costly) option – but the internet opens us many more opportunities, such as virtual networks like IASAS.  Let me encourage all AMOSSHE conference delegates this year to “Imagine” a more internationalised profession, and to find your own ways to connect better into our global student services community.

Blogged by Andrew West, Director of Student Services, The University of Sheffield

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