It is Complicated
First – My heart goes out to the victims and their families in Charlottesville.
Second – What does this mean for Educators who care passionately about their students, specifically their international students?
Here is one observation that the violence in Virginia affirmed.
International students and their families are afraid of random violence in the US.
In April I listened to a webinar from AACRAO: American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
The lecture was insightful, with excellent and varied industry experts speaking about and detailing the current admission environment. Specifically, the significant decline in Global applications for US Boarding Schools, Colleges, and Universities was addressed.
Several reasons were explored. One was most memorable – that international students and their families have more fear about enrolling in US schools than in previous years.
Afraid of What?
Fear of a random attack or event in a public place was cited as a fear. The example mentioned a shopping mall.
I thought the fears would be about policy changes in Washington. At first blush I did not embrace the fear of random violence. I was wrong. I wanted to make myself feel better by dismissing or ignoring the facts. I doubt I am alone in this instinct, but, it is too expensive to ignore or dismiss the problem anymore.
The violence in Charlottesville affirmed this fear. The fear that the US is not as safe as we wish it was or was in the past.
I can no longer casually say, “don’t worry about that…it won’t happen.”
It just happened…again.
In the next few weeks we will be reviewing the best possible questions to ask ourselves. I hope you will join us and more importantly utilize the questions to make your life the way you want it to be.