This issue of Intersections focuses on international education as a form of connected learning and a social justice practice. As these stories show us, earning a degree in a foreign country is an immersive experience, one that challenges international students to navigate new geographies, cultures, and systems as they learn new frames and forms of thinking, relating, and communicating. It also challenges institutions to find new and more just ways to support and work with those students.
As we live though a critical moment in how we understand our local and national relation to the global and transnational, it is even more important to reflect on and celebrate the contributions made by international students, faculty, and staff to a dynamic and vigorous IAS community. As part of our dedication to an inclusive and diverse educational environment, we take pride in these valuable members of our school.
Deirdre Vinyard, one of the IAS Associate Deans and a faculty member with a specialization in English Language Learners and international education, puts it well: “Understanding higher education as an international endeavor is essential; the opportunity to engage with international students on our campus makes that visible."
International students — as well as faculty and staff who themselves have studied as international students — are integral to the IAS community and mission. Their IAS educational experience holds up a mirror to our professed values of diversity and equity, institutional access and responsiveness, as well as local and global engagement. You will find some of their stories in this issue.
In our Faculty Feature, we meet Min Tang, whose research focuses on the politics and economics of global internet companies. Educated in China, the United Kingdom and the United States, Tang relates her own experiences as an international student and how she applies those insights in teaching and mentoring IAS international students.
In our Alumni Feature, we learn about the fabulous work done by IAS alumni and current staff members Sakara Buyagawan and Jung Lee to develop a course designed to support a more integrated campus experience for international students, in and beyond the current pandemic emergency.
In our Student Feature, we sit down with two IAS international students who took that course, Tong Chen and Junyi Ouyang. These two students share their personal perspectives on the motivations, challenges, and rewards of being an international student.
As always, you can learn more about what students, faculty, and alumni are doing on the IAS News Blog. To keep up to date on IAS events open to the campus and the public, you can also subscribe to a weekly digest of upcoming events. If you are an IAS alum, discover ways to connect and get involved by visiting our alumni page online.
Past issues of Intersections are accessible from the right sidebar here.
Feel free to send comments on these stories or ideas for others to IASinfo@uw.edu.
Dean, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences