Global Spotlight: Angela Milkie Applies Her International Insights Daily
Here at NAU, there are approximately 1,246 international students from 71 different countries studying different majors. Faculty and staff here work hard to make sure they can help them adjust and do the best that they can. The FCB-Business Division’s Angela Milkie, academic advisor, sr., works with international students and has been able to use her own experiences abroad to assist them.
“I was able to study abroad my sophomore year of undergrad, and I spent two months in Spain which was a valuable learning experience,” she said, “This past summer I was able to go to Nicaragua for a week to help build a house for a family.” [see photo, left]
Milkie studied abroad through a third-party program, separate from her university, that brought around 200 students at a time to new countries. Although it’s great to provide such an opportunity to a large number of people, she learned about her preference for a smaller group and more connection with the local people of Barcelona.
“If I’m looking at programs now or advising a student, it helps to gauge what kind of experience they want,” she said. “How personal do they want it to be?”
No matter how many people came along from other schools, there was still the awe of being in a completely new place.
“I learned a lot about the U.S. [while abroad] because I saw a difference in social trends and behaviors, regulations, architecture, travel, food, and more in Spain,” Milkie said.
Cultures vary widely around the world which leads to different perspectives and behaviors. That understanding has allowed Milkie to help students from different cultures adjust better to life in Flagstaff.
“Just knowing that students will come with different perspectives, differences in communication, and how they treat authority helps me to prepare for advising appointments. These students are coming from a different class environment so it’s important to acknowledge that gap and work towards accommodation styles instead of judgement based on our U.S. expectations,” she said. “[I’ll ask], how do you do it in your country? What’s different about that? We’re all trying to come here and work together.”
This article is part of a series on FCB Business Division and SHRM faculty to highlight the international experience within the college and to promote our globalization initiatives, including the launch of the Global Business Program (GBP). Information on this program can be found HERE.
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