Could you look your international students directly in the eyes and say that they there is nothing else you can offer for them as an extracurricular activity?
Wow. Please go to the comment section right now and tell us how to be more like you!
For all the rest who have even the slightest doubt, please take a look at some alternatives that will stir up the daily lives of your international students. Let’s see what you can offer them as opportunities for innovative and fun ways of collaboration!
Digital fabrication laboratories and workshops offer students chances to become makers and build new creations using 3D design, electronics or more traditional tools – such as a hammer. Higher education has been supporting this kind of spaces for years with MIT being a pioneer.
Hear more about it in this great TED talk by Neil Gershenfeld:
Virtual or augmented reality experiences
Virtual reality technology provides a plethora of opportunities: it can be used in training and learning, sport and leisure or even empathy activism. Remember how everyone was into Pokemon GO last summer? That was the first time when augmented reality was used on such scale. There is no doubt that virtual and augmented reality is the future. Is your campus already a part of it?
Even having one or couple of VR sets can build enough traction for your students to start making their own projects in the field – let them be in touch with the newest technology!
Space for gaming and e-sports
Usually, people think of computer gaming as quite a solitary experience. Still, there is hardly any person on the planet who is not into it at least a bit. It could be Candy Crush or Super Mario, League of Legends or Solitaire. Everyone plays their favourite game! In 2015, 32 million people watched the championship final of the famous online computer game, League of Legends. The number of people watching 18-year-old millionaires playing the game at a huge stadium equaled the entire population of Morocco. And this is just one of many computer games that are attracting millions of people who are either play or watch others play. It seems e-sports is the new football for millennials, and ignoring its existence would be unwise.
Setting up a space for people with this interest to meet (or at least not shutting down student initiatives when they want to organize similar events) would definitely help form a community that could otherwise never get the chance to grow. After all, gaming is beneficial for a variety of mental skills, offers opportunities for problem solving, teamwork and creativity.
Take a look at this documentary about e-sports:
We believe that providing students with opportunities to create and connect through new, technologically advanced ways will have direct impact on international student retention in the years to come.
What is your experience? What are the most innovative extracurricular programs your campus offers?
Let us know in the comments below!