Reflections of my Time with College Students from Russia

As a wheelchair rider, special education teacher and avid traveler, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC to speak to a group of 100 students from Russia.  The college-age students were about to return to Russia after completing a semester of study in a U.S. college/university.  These enthusiastic, intelligent, curious students had been selected for the highly competitive Year of Exchange in America (YEAR) Program which is administered by the Eurasia Foundation and funded by the U.S. State Department.

Professor Regina Root stands along pathway in front of Windsor Castle holding a white cane.

Let's Go! Shifting the Terms of Internationalization

We are still learning about all the ways in which to internationalize. Recent changes to learning platforms and the possibilities of the virtual at my university have expanded our notion of access, although there is still much room to reimagine how we are doing things. As a faculty member whose work has always been international, but as someone who comes somewhat recently to disability, I've begun to reconsider how we think about what it means to internationalize. 

2020 Data on Disability Diversity in International Education

For years, the annual Open Doors survey has provided a snapshot of the participation of college students with disabilities and other diverse identities in U.S. study abroad programs. Now a survey from Diversity Abroad is adding to the picture of how diversity is represented in education abroad by inviting international educators to self-identify.

Zoom screenshot of 6 participants; most are in their 20s

Creating Community in a Virtual Space

"Travel has been haulted due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak."

"This conference has been cancelled due to the global pandemic."

These were common headlines staff were seeing across all sectors. These were also headlines not only event-goers were monitoring, but also event planners, such as ourselves for our originally planned Joining Hands Symposium in Washington, DC for July 2020. 

And the questions began:

"Do we cancel, postpone, or turn our onsite event into a virtual event?"