JPED28_4 Practice Brief by Holben and Ozel.doc - Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability Volume 28(4 Winter 2015 Special Issue International

JPED28_4 Practice Brief by Holben and Ozel.doc - Journal of...

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Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability Volume 28(4), Winter 2015 Special Issue: International Research & Practice 137
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International Exchange with a Disability: Enhancing Experiences Abroad Through Advising and Mentoring (Practice Brief) Ashley Holben 1 Claire Özel 2 Abstract Through interaction with an advisor or peer mentor and through exposure to the experiences of role models, students with disabilities gain an appreciation of the potential challenges and benefits of international exchange and make informed choices about whether, where, and how to go abroad. By adopting strategies for inclusive advising and role modeling, less experienced practitioners can develop expertise and understanding for advising prospective exchange participants with disabilities. This practice brief outlines the steps taken by one practitioner in Turkey, where few inclusive exchange resources and role models exist, to adapt a U.S.-based organization’s strategies for supporting postsecondary students with disabilities in international exchange. It evaluates the impact of advising on the experiences of three disabled Turkish exchange students and recommends best practices and professional resources for advisors and peer mentors to enhance support to exchange participants with disabilities. Keywords: Disability, international student, student advising, good practice, mentoring, international education Introduction and Summary of Relevant Literature International exchange has the potential to benefit people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. As the field of international education more readily recognizes disability as an issue of diversity, more international education professionals and others are conducting research and collecting data related to the participation of students with disabilities in opportunities abroad. Since 2009, the U.S.-based Institute of International Education has collected disability data on U.S. study abroad (Institute of International Education, 2014), though the disability status for many education abroad students remains unknown. Among those institutions where disability status is known, the number of U.S. students with disabilities studying abroad rose to 3194 in 2012/13, an increase from 2786 in the previous academic year, and represented 5.1% of total study abroad students. European data reflect much lower participation of disabled students in student mobility programs. Of 198,600 European students participating in the 2008/2009 Erasmus exchange program, a European Union (EU) student exchange program for EU secondary and postsecondary students to study or intern abroad in participating EU countries, only 213 students disclosed a disability (European Commission, 2010). In 1 Mobility International USA 2 Turkish Association for Visually Impaired in Education 138
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response to these low figures, the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), a Europe-wide student organization comprised of 13,500 volunteer members across European higher education institutions (HEIs), launched the ExchangeAbility project in 2010 to increase the participation of disabled students in mobility programs (UNICA, 2011).
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  • Summer '12
  • Staff
  • International Student, Student exchange program, International Exchange, MIUSA

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