Destination Mason: Engaging International Students at George Mason University
This proposal is for a poster on an initiative at INTO Mason called “Destination Mason,” which encourages INTO Mason students to get involved on campus. The pilot combines university events with required classroom assignments. Students attend six campus events in Arts, Athletics, English practice, Global Competency, Career Readiness and Well-Being. For the graduate version, categories are altered to include more academic/disciplinary aspects. Upon completion, students receive a letter of recommendation from INTO Mason’s Executive Director and an invitation to an end-of-year celebration.
There are two main goals for this initiative: to provide another incentive for INTO Mason students to become more engaged in the Mason community and to further the internationalization process to which Mason has committed itself. The initiative is being piloted this semester in several courses across INTO Mason’s three programs: Academic English, the Undergraduate International Year One program, and the Graduate Pathways program.
Our poster will display the results of the pilot including data on participation with student and faculty reactions, completion rates, and a brief review of literature on international student engagement. We will also have a mechanism for faculty/staff to share their ideas on the theme of international student engagement on campus. We hope to provide a model of ways international students have successfully engaged with Mason activities, to open a conversation about ways others might wish to facilitate rewarding engagement opportunities for international and domestic students, and demonstrate INTO Mason’s awareness of the student benefits from engaging more with Mason activities.