Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Two New Resources on Diversifying U.S. Study Abroad

Yesterday I learned of two new resources in the field that focus on diversifying the U.S. study abroad student profile. As many IHEC Blog readers know, this is an issue that is quite important to me and one that I have researched, consulted on, written about, presented on and been interviewed about in the past. I view the diversification of the U.S. study abroad student profile as a top priority for the field not only to ensure equal access/opportunity for all students in pursuit of an academic opportunity outside of the United States but also from a public diplomacy aspect as it’s important to show all of our faces and to share all of our different cultures and backgrounds with the world.

The first new resource is a new non-profit initiative of called Global Citizen Fund. Here is a brief description of the Global Citizen Fund from the website:

“The Global Citizen Fund (GCF) was established to support students from disadvantaged economic backgrounds to participate in global education exchanges. Our mission is to prepare high school and university students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds for global citizenship and leadership through cultural exchange, educational enrichment and professional development based on an international experience.”

This is a great resource for the field and we have Andrew Gordon to thank! Diversity Abroad is the brain child of Andrew who has made quite an impact on diversifying the study abroad (see my previous post about Diversity Abroad from exactly one year ago today). This is not to discredit the work of several others in the field who are also doing great work on this in the field (more on their work in future posts). I last met with Andrew in Portland back in February at the Forum on Education Abroad conference and we’ve talked on the phone since and he has many great ideas in the pipeline so stay tuned to the Diversity Abroad website (currently upgrading website and will be back in 24 hours or less), subscribe to the Diversity Abroad newsletter and I’m sure I’ll blog and tweet about new their developments as well.

The second resource is a new monograph prepared by the IES Abroad Think Tank on Diversity Abroad entitled Report of the IES Abroad Think Tank on Diversity in Education Abroad. IES assembled an impressive team of individuals for their Think Tank on Diversity including Andrew Gordon from Diversity Abroad. You can learn more about IES Abroad’s Diversity Initiative here.

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