“From the Land of Lakes to Lakeside” – First U.S Intern Arrives at Taylor’s
The Taylor's American Degree Transfer Program (ADP) has developed close links to several hundred US universities and St Cloud State University (SCSU) in Minnesota is one institution that has made a particular effort to reach out to Malaysian students to improve its on-campus diversity. In return, the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences (SLAS) Dr Andy Nazarechuk, has been pleased to welcome Rachael Gardner (who is a Masters student at SCSU) as the first US-based student to come and do an internship at Taylor’s University. Rachael is studying for a Masters degree in the College of Counseling and Student Development SCSU. The programme is designed to prepare students for professions in higher education, and she will graduate in December when she returns home after completing her internship at Taylor's University. Her initial graduate assistantship back at SCSU had been working in Multicultural Student Services, which is an office designed to support American 'Students of Colour'. She chose to complete the internship at Taylor’s University because her role in Multicultural Student Services was to coordinate short-term education abroad programmes to South Africa and Southeast Asia. Both programmes are designed to be a cultural immersion program and facilitate dialogue on cultural identity. Sadly, U.S. 'Students of Colour' participate in education abroad programmes at much lower rates than their white peers in the U.S., and the Southeast Asia Winter-Break programme was designed as 2-week course for the large Hmong student population at SCSU. The US-based Hmong are originally from tribes or clans that originated from the border area of Thailand, China, Laos and Vietnam - and many ended up re-locating to the USA after the end of the war in Vietnam. The students visited Thailand, Laos, and Malaysia and compare the three countries through a political science course. The Hmong students on the programme get to experience their traditional 'home' culture and meet family members in Laos.
While coordinating these programmes, Rachael also had the opportunity to help with international recruitment in KL that brought her to visit Taylor’s University. She said that "This internship has been extremely important for my professional development as I pursue a profession in International Education and Education Abroad. Working with ADP students is helping me better understand the needs of international students when they transfer to the U.S. and I will be able to support them more with this knowledge". Rachael was also an exchange student to Denmark while she was doing her undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin. To learn more about ADP click please visit the university's official website.