Information Literacy Instruction for International Students: Collaborating for Success

Information Literacy Instruction for International Students: Collaborating for Success

Alessia Zanin-Yost (Penn State University Libraries, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8392-1.ch007
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Abstract

International students bring cultural and diversity awareness to an institution, but they also bring a variety of assumptions about how research is conducted in the United States. In developing an outreach plan to international students, the academic library should create services that cater specifically to this student population. By developing collaborations with other campus units, the library can foster academic success and at the same time build a sense of community for the undergraduate international student population. The chapter illustrates how through collaboration the library can become an active participant in supporting the academic mission of the institution, foster a sense of belonging among the students, and strengthen campus relationships among various entities, in particular, international students.
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Background

According to World Education Services (2007), “international student” means something different from country to country. For example, New Zealand excludes students who are permanent residents, while Germany includes long-term and permanent residents. This chapter uses the definition adopted by the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, Eurostat and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): “international students [are] those who are not-residents in their own country of study or those who received their prior education in another country” (OECD, 2011, p. 98).

International students are important to an institution for many reasons. Students from different countries offer a cross-cultural perspective and increase cultural sensitivity. The whole institution is enriched culturally and intellectually, domestic students have an opportunity to improve their foreign languages skills, and there is the opportunity for future international collaborations (Grayson, 2008; Mamiseishuili, 2012). International students also bring important revenue to their host institutions. During the academic year 2012-2013, international students contributed $24 billion to the economy (NAFSA, 2013).

International students consider several factors when selecting an institution. While studies abound in this area, information focusing specifically on the role of the academic library in the lives of international students is limited. The most common reasons for selecting an institution abroad include availability of scholarships, awards and internships; course transfer agreements; and, most of all, positive campus experience feedback from others who attended that institution (Zhang, Sun, & Hagedorn, 2013; Althbach & Knight, 2007).

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