As a graduate student employee at Office of Global Services, I spend the majority of my time doing data input and answering inquiries around immigration paperwork. While this primarily administrative role required little knowledge of student development theory, it did require an attention to detail and a renewable source of patience and empathy as ELLs struggled to navigate the complex processes of immigration. My own experiences living in another country and language gave me a strong sense of empathy with what these students are and will continue to experience.
As a co-facilitator of a new international graduate student seminar for Steinhardt, student-centered theories were more applicable. Theories of culture shock, the comfort zone-panic zone model, and Astin’s theory of student engagement were all useful in creating this 8-week orientation to aid in adjustment.