Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Review of "A Student Guide to Study Abroad" by Nevadomski Berdan, Goodman & Taylor (2013) #GenerationStudyAbroad

Following is a brief and long overdue book review that I've been wanting to do since early 2014!

When I attended the IIE Generation Study Abroad Think Tank back in 2014 I (and all other participants) received a copy of the book A Student Guide to Study Abroad by Stacie Nevadomski Berdan (International Careers Expert), Allan Goodman (IIE President and CEO), and Sir Cyril Taylor GBE (AIFS Founder and Chairman) and Published by IIE and AIFS in 2013.

A Student Guide to Study Abroad is an excellent read for any student considering study abroad as well as those who have already made the choice to do so.  The book walks students through the entire study abroad process from determining if study abroad is right for the them, to selecting a study abroad program and understanding the financial implications, to immersing oneself in the host country culture and staying safe and healthy while abroad to returning home and highlighting one's growth from the study abroad experience.  If certain chapters are not relevant to a student they will certainly find value in the other chapters of the book as they navigate through their study abroad experience.  A list of the book chapters follows:

Chapter 1:  These are Global Times
Chapter 2:  Determining if Study Abroad is Right for You
Chapter 3:  Choosing a Program
Chapter 4:  Figuring Out the Financials
Chapter 5:  Preparing to Study Abroad
Chapter 6:  Immersing Yourself in the Culture and Personal Growth
Chapter 7:  Staying Safe and healthy While Studying Abroad
Chapter 8:  Making the Most of Your Time Abroad
Chapter 9:  Transitioning Back to Life in the States
Chapter 10:  Using Study Abroad to Showcase Your Global Growth and Learning
Afterword:  Advocate for Greater Global Awareness Everywhere

What I really like about this book is that it offers excellent advice for both parents and practitioners in addition to students.  Note that IIE does have a companion book entitled A Parent Guide to Study Abroad (in English and Spanish) and I'll be posting more on this publication after the upcoming IIE Generation Study Abroad Summit in Washington, DC.

I'm happy I have this book in my home library as I have three children who will study abroad as they are part of #GenerationStudyAbroad and this book will be incredibly helpful to them once they are all a bit older.  If you are interested in learning more about and perhaps purchasing a copy of A Student Guide to Study Abroad you can do so via the IIE website here.

Back in May of this year I also wrote a review of the book I really liked entitled Raising Global Children by Stacie Nevadomski Berdan and Marshall S. Berdan which you may find of interest.  You can read that review here.

Disclaimer:  Aside from receiving a free copy of A Student Guide to Study Abroad at the IIE Generation Study Abroad Think Tank I receive no financial gain nor any other form of compensation for this review.

"Cheat Sheet to 10 Cultural Codes From Around the World" a Free e-book by Andy Molinsky

Most IHEC Blog readers may be interested in a free e-book by Andy Molinsky entitled Cheat Sheet to 10 Cultural Codes From Around the World.

Molinsky created this e-book based on his book Global Dexterity (you can read my review of Global Dexterity here) for diagnosing the cultural codes of 10 major countries from around the world.

According to Molinsky, with the Cheat Sheet to 10 Cultural Codes From Around the World you'll learn how to:

  • Communicate and network like a native in countries around the world, from France to India
  • Avoid making faux pas and being inconsiderate of a culture you are a guest in
  • Interpret unfamiliar manners and mannerisms
  • And much more..
I've downloaded my copy and find it very helpful and something I will consult during my travels.  You can download your free copy from Molinsky's website.  You may also find interest in following Molinksy on Facebook.

Disclaimer:  Aside from downloading my free copy of this e-book I receive no compensation nor any privileges from posting about Cheat Sheet to 10 Cultural Codes From Around the World.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Raise The Roof for Study Abroad Scholarships from 6:00-9:00pm (EST) on October 24th in Washington, DC with the Fund for Education Abroad

Are you in the Washington, DC area or will you be attending the upcoming IIE Generation Study Abroad Summit October 23-25?

If so, please consider attending the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) fundraising event "Raise The Roof for Study Abroad Scholarships" on October 24th on the rooftop at Roofers Union (2446 18th St. NW) on Monday, October 24th form 6:00-9:00pm EST.

There will be drinks, food, and fundraising for study abroad scholarships! All proceeds go to fund study abroad opportunities for underrepresented DC-area students.  If you are not able to attend the event but still wish to donate you can do so via the FEA website!

You can learn more about the Raise the Roof event and register here!

As attending the IIE Generation Study Abroad Summit was a late addition to my calendar I just registered yesterday for this FEA event and I'm very excited to attend.  Hope to see you there!

Disclosure:  I serve on the FEA Board and I am Chair of the Scholarship Committee

Ignorant Mistake Dims the Luster of Gold

The following is a guest blog post on Athletes and Intercultural Competency by Arayael E. Brandner

This is America. Speak American.

This ethnocentric line of thinking might resonate with some people or it might make others uncomfortable. There are people who feel as though they do not have to adapt to other cultures and everyone should adapt to theirs. Cultural ignorance. People that never have an opportunity to change their worldview through study abroad, cultural programming through educational opportunities, or living in a super diverse area, might not have the understanding of why it is important to have some kind of intercultural competence.

In recent events, a United States swimmer and Olympic gold medalist, made a culturally incompetent mistake. You might be familiar with the Rio scandal that involved Ryan Lochte making a false report to Brazilian authorities about being robbed near a gas station. Instead, video surveillance showed the swimmers were not harmed, but instead vandalized the gas station bathroom. (See USA Today link for full story)

Did the Olympic athletes have some sort of cultural training before heading down to Rio de Janeiro to compete? If Ryan Lochte received some sort of intercultural training, do you think the scenario would have played out differently? Maybe, maybe not. These are valid questions, and one would think that these high profile athletes, who are representing nations, would receive some type of preparation before entering into a different culture to compete on a global platform. Darla Deardorff, a leading scholar-practitioner in the field of International Education, created a cultural competency framework, and it mentions skills that can be learned to help individuals become more culturally and globally competent when found in environments different than their own. The framework displays how one acquires global competency skills, attitudes, global knowledge, and internal and external outcomes (Deardorff, 2009). In her model she has illustrated the process an individual goes through to gain competency skills. It starts with the individual and the attitude and previous knowledge/experience one has acquired on their own in their normal living environment. Then through an international or cultural experience, the individual then moves into the interaction stage where internal and external outcomes come into play. A likely internal outcome would be something like adaptability to new environments, people, food, customs or developing empathy and understanding of your own background to this new culture you are immersed into. A desired external outcome would be proper communication and behavior in an intercultural setting. This external outcome would have been very useful and relevant for Mr. Lochte to have had in his trip down to Rio. 

I would argue that if the Olympic athletes were required to complete some kind of cultural competency training before embarking on their road to Rio, this scenario would have played out differently, or not even occurred. As globalization increases, cultural programming should become an integral part of professional development and trainings, along with infusing these themes in an educational setting through curriculum and study abroad opportunities to change worldview perspectives and enhance intercultural competency skills. We want to move away from an ethnocentric way of thinking to become interculturally sensitive and open to new opportunities and environments.


Deardorff, Darla (2009). Theory reflections: intercultural competence framework/model.  The SAGE Handbook of Intercultural Competence at

Photo credit:  Toby and Tai Shan

2016 International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) Award for Excellence in Professional Commentary in International Education #AIEC2016

Congratulations to Stuart Hughes of the IDP Database of Research in International Education (aka @IDPDRIE) for his 2016 International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) Award for Excellence in Professional Commentary in International Education.  Well deserved!

Monday, October 17, 2016

IHEC Blog will be reporting from IIE Generation Study Abroad Summit in Washington DC, Oct. 23-25, 2016

I'll be attending the upcoming IIE Generation Study Abroad Summit as a member of the media (for IHEC Blog) and not as being from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. I'll be blogging, tweeting and posting to Facebook before, during and after the Summit!  I'm hoping to secure some great interviews with key people associated with Generation Study Abroad as well as other prominent stakeholders in the field.  I also plan to try out Facebook Live so stay tuned to IHEC Blog's Facebook page!

This Summit will be my first official press credentials for an international education event...although I had quasi-press credentials for my blog when the Fulbright Scholarship Board held their quarterly meeting at the University of Chicago back in May 2013.

Will you be there? It would be great to connect!

#GenerationStudyAbroad #IIESummit2016

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Follow the Twitter Backchannel from the Australian International Education Conference from October 18-21, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia #aiec2016