Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Call for Pilot Participants: The Forum Education Abroad Incident Database

A new and interesting development in the area of health and safety in education abroad has been created by a Task Force the Forum on Education Abroad. The Forum’s Data Committee announced that Forum member institutions (and I’m guessing organizations as well) are encouraged to submit applications to participate in a project (Education Abroad Incident Database) that will pilot an education abroad database designed to track various types of incidents that happen on educational programs abroad. The results of the pilot project will be discussed at the Forum’s Standards of Good Practice Institute “Beyond the Basics of Health, Safety and Security” in conjunction with the next annual conference in Charlotte, North Carolina on March 24, 2010.

Special recognition should be given to the members of the Forum’s Education Abroad Incident Database Task Force:
Bill Frederick, School for Field Studies, Chair
Brian Brubaker, Dickinson College
Regine Lambrech, Columbia University
Natalie Mello, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Chris Powers, IIE
Gary Rhodes, SAFETI
Adam Rubin, CIEE
Arlene Snyder, Arcadia University
John Tansey, Dartmouth College

You can learn more Forum Education Abroad Incident Database pilot project here.

Monday, June 29, 2009

U.S. Educational/Cultural Exchanges with Russia/Soviet Union

Over the weekend I received a Google Alert for “international education” that I not only found to be quite interesting but also very timely in my research efforts. The short news piece that I’m referring to entitled “United States-Russian Exchanges Boost Mutual Understanding” was published by ISRIA (a consulting an information publishing service founded in Paris in 2004). The news piece is of interest to me as it relates to international education and, in particular, the public diplomacy aspect of international educational exchanges. The reason that this news piece is so timely for my research is that I just checked out several related books from the Regenstein Library at the University of Chicago last Friday (the day before the ISRIA piece). The books I checked out are as follows:

U.S.-Soviet Cultural Exchanges, 1958-1986: Who Wins? by Yale Richmond (1987)

Cultural Exchange & the Cold War: Raising the Iron Curtain by Yale Richmond (2003)

Practicing Public Diplomacy: A Cold War Odyssey by Yale Richmond (2008)

Private Diplomacy with the Soviet Union edited by David D. Newsome (1987)

Cultural Relations and U.S. Foreign Policy by Charles A. Thomson & Walter H.C. Laves (1963)

Cultural Affairs and Foreign Relations edited by Robert Blum (1963)

I checked out all of these books as they focus entirely or in part on the use of educational/cultural exchange by the United States during the Cold War period and in particular with the Soviet Union. Hopefully these books will help me focus my dissertation topic/proposal…

The ISRIA piece offers a brief overview of the current state of U.S.-Russian educational/cultural exchanges which I admittedly have not been following in depth.
EDIT ~ Apparently the ISRIA link isn't working (most likely because you need to be a subscriber despite me being able to access it earlier this week). I believe that I found the same article on America.gov which you can access here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

NAFSA Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship Knowledge Community (TLS-KC) Call for Proposals

The NAFSA TLS-KC has issued a call for proposals for the NAFSA 2010 annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri. The TLS-KC encourages you to submit a proposal for a general conference session, poster presentation, or workshop for the 2010 conference on the theme “The Changing Landscape of Global Higher Education.”

Successful TLS conference proposals will provide Theory Connections by highlighting the theoretical foundations underlying our work; Theory Reflections by showcasing experts’ insight into theory-driven work; and Theory Applications by providing case examples and practice resources.

Major foci of the TLS Knowledge Community are:

- Internationalizing Curriculum and Campus
- Intercultural and Cross-cultural Training
- Research and Assessment
- Theory Connections, Reflections, and Applications

The TLS-KC welcomes POSTER and WORKSHOP proposals on topics such as:

-International education pedagogies: how can they inform our work and do we need new models?
- Identity Issues Emerging from International Educational Exchange
Cross-cultural and Intercultural Education
-What are the relationships between growing global civil society networks (as opposed to the strict affairs of the nation-state) and international/intercultural education?
- What role does international/intercultural education play in fostering a life-long commitment to global and civic engagement?
- How is citizen diplomacy influencing international education and vice-versa?
- Teaching and Learning Challenges in Internationalizing the Curriculum
- What are the linkages between foreign language learning and culture learning?
- Cross-Border and Transnational Educational Movements
- Research and Trends in the Internationalization of Higher Education
- Current and Future Challenges in International Education
- Assessment, Monitoring, and Evaluation of Internationalization and International Education: tools, insights, outcomes, and advocacy
- What theories do use to support your programs? How do they influence the design of your programs and influence outcomes?
- What is the role of the faculty in the internationalization of higher education?

You can download a full TLS-KC call for proposals

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Eight Former Secretaries of State Call for More Foreign Diplomacy Personnel

I just came across a great article today on Politico.com written by former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, James Baker, Lawrence Eagleburger, Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice entitled “U.S. must deloy [sic] more foreign diplomacy personnel”.

I pulled the following three quotes from their article as I found them to be relevant to the content I post to IHEC Blog:

“sending diplomats abroad without language skills is like deploying soldiers without bullets. Yet nearly 30 percent of positions that require foreign language skills are filled by officers without them. Why? Because State lacks the personnel to send to language training at a time when nearly 20 percent of regular positions in embassies and in the State Department are unfilled. (referring to the American Academy of Diplomacy report Foreign Affairs Budget of the Future)

“Staff levels at USAID declined from 4,300 in 1975 to 2,200 in 2007 — even as other budgets rose. An agency that once built roads now has only five full-time engineers. The 2,200 USAID career officers are fewer than were once in Vietnam alone.”

“As regional and cultural conflicts have grown into issues of worldwide concern, our exchange programs for students and scholars have declined, along with the personnel to manage them.”

You can access the full article here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

System Transfer in Comparative Education

IHEC Blog readers who come from a comparative education background (the field of study for my doctoral program) will know what I'm referring to in this post. IHEC Blog readers who are not familiar with comparative education will hopefully find this short post on system transfer to be of interest.

System transfer in comparative education has to do with the transition or change of a country’s educational system during and/or after colonization. System transfer in education also occurs as a result of regime change such as in the case of the rise and fall of Communism. To be more specific, system transfer is a process of changing an educational system to conform with and to teach new principles of the ruling power or ideology. New curriculum or teaching methods and processes are introduced to an educational system to mirror the education system of the ruling power. There is also a goal of educating the people to new ways of thinking and allegiance to new ideologies and form of government. In this case, for example, textbooks and course requirements are revised and developed as a means of conveying this new information. System transfer can be accomplished by an overhaul of an educational structure such as occurred in India when the British took control. India is modeled after the British system of education and changes to the curriculum included the instruction of new religious and political philosophies.

Most of the changes tend to be slow and it appears that significant system transfer typically occurs in the immediate years following major political change. The introduction of new policies (political, religious, economic, cultural) during colonization or change as a result of revolution or dictatorship bring new and significant changes to educational systems. It should be noted that many nations that undergo a significant transfer of their educational system rarely can demonstrate success in all newly implemented programs or policies. Often times, policy change is implemented very rapidly which is one reason some programs are failures.

Examples of system transfer can be found in the educational systems of India, Cuba and Puerto Rico. Perhaps one of the best examples of system transfer where one party is the “donor” and the other party is the “recipient” is in the case of India. The British ruled India for well over two centuries and instilled many educational and government policy changes during this occupation. The Englishman Thomas Macaulay was charged with setting educational policy in India. The British also changed the structure of the Indian educational and examination systems which are still visible today. Since gaining independence from the British, India has been working through decolonization, which is a process of changing the curriculum from the occupiers imposed belief systems, but many remnants of the British educational system still remain.

In Cuba, General Wood of the United States was instrumental in the early educational changes after the Spanish-American War of 1898. Wood wanted to revolutionize Cuban society from its Spanish ties and saw education as the tool to accomplish his mission of Americanizing the citizens. Wood introduced English into the curriculum and translated textbooks used in the United States. Wood also coordinated a program with Harvard to send Cuban teachers to Cambridge each summer for training.

Similar to the circumstances of Cuba, the United States took possession of Puerto Rico from Spain after the Spanish-American War of 1898. The United States acted quickly to improve education in Puerto Rico by imposing its educational system and democratic values on the island. According to Erwin Epstein, in addition to introducing a coeducational system and incorporating English as a favored medium of instruction, the United States sought to infuse a sense of American patriotism by requiring students to salute the flag of the United States, sing patriotic songs and incorporate teachings on the United States into the curriculum. The Puerto Rican educational system of today was created between the start of American control (after the Spanish-American War) until it achieved it’s Commonwealth status. The Puerto Rican educational system is now a mix of both U.S. and Latin American influences.

[1] This post was taken from class notes and draft writings I prepared for my classes in comparative and international education at Loyola University Chicago.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Urge Your Rep to Support H. RES. 569 in Support of Citizen Diplomacy

Yesterday I posted to IHEC Blog about H. Res. 569 and urged readers to contact your Representatives in Washington, D.C. to support and cosponsor this resolution. The U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy has now made contacting your Representatives very easy to do via Change.org which you can do right here!

Please take one minute out of your day to send a letter!

Foreign Students Yesterday, World Leaders Today

During my research efforts I came across an interesting page on the EducationUSA website entitled Foreign Students Yesterday, World Leaders Today that I thought I would share with IHEC Blog readers. Foreign Students Yesterday, World Leaders Today lists 342 current or former Heads of State, Ambassadors, Ministers as well as people in other positions of leadership/power in their respective home countries who all studied in the United States.

You can access Foreign Students Yesterday, World Leaders Today
here. Foreign Students Yesterday, World Leaders Today is also available for download in PDF format on the website.

The Foreign Students Yesterday, World Leaders Today list is not to be confused with the list of
International Visitor Leadership Program alumni. Currently there are 59 Chiefs of State and Heads of Government who participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program.

You can access the list of International Visitor Leadership Program alumni

Does anyone know of any other such lists? If so, please leave a comment with information on where to obtain the list.

There are often strong opinions on the value/meaning of such lists and I encourage discussion on this topic so please leave a comment!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Supporting the Work of Citizen Diplomacy Organizations and Encouraging the Convening of a Presidential Summit on Global Citizen Diplomacy

Last Friday, June 19, 2009 Representative James Moran (D-VA8) introduced House Resolution 569 Supporting the work of citizen diplomacy organizations and encouraging the convening of a Presidential Summit on Global Citizen Diplomacy.

This, of course, is huge in terms of gaining attention for citizen diplomacy, exchanges, study abroad, etc. as it comes at a time when the
Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act has just passed with the House Foreign Affairs Reauthorization Act.

H. Res. 569 currently has the following eight cosponsors: Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC9); Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY22); Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA1); Rep. Harry Mitchell (D-AZ5); Rep. David Loebsack (D-IA2); Rep. Thomas Latham (R-IA4); Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT3); and, Rep. James McGovern (D-MA3)

The U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy just circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter throughout the U.S. House of Representatives to sign on and cosponser this Resolution. I urge all IHEC Blog readers to contact their Representatives and encourage them to cosponsor this Resolution. The U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy is working on a letter that citizens and organizations can use to send to their respective Representatives and I will update IHEC Blog readers on this as soon as I receive word from The Center. I want to thank my colleague Derek Forsythe from the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy for putting this on my radar last Thursday and to Google Alerts for providing me a link to the House Resolution itself.

You can learn more information on H. Res. 569
here on Govtrack.us.

I also want to encourage IHEC Blog readers to learn more about the Initiative for Global Citizen Diplomacy and to take 30 seconds out of your day to sign the letter to President Barack Obama in support of this initiative. You can learn more about the Initiative for Global Citizen Diplomacy and sign the letter on The Center’s website right here!

You can read past IHEC Blog posts focusing on Citizen Diplomacy here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Call for Proposals for Forum on Education Abroad Standards of Good Practice Institute

The Forum on Education Abroad has announced on their website a call for session proposals for their inaugural Standards of Good Practice Institute, "Beyond the Basics of Health, Safety and Security," to be held March 24, 2010 in conjunction with their annual conference. The deadline for submitting proposals is July 31, 2009.

A detailed description from the Forum’s website follows:

The primary purpose of the Standards Institutes is to offer participants the opportunity to broaden and deepen their knowledge and understanding of the Forum Standards of Good Practice and hone their skills in implementing them. The first Institute, Beyond the Basics of Health, Safety and Security, will be dedicated to the education abroad risk management issues with which organizations and institutions struggle. The practical, hands-on focus for this day will include multiple concurrent and plenary sessions that will assist participants to improve their institutional and organizational strategies for risk mitigation, incident prevention and response. The goals of the Institute are to:

- Deepen knowledge and understanding of Standard 7, Health, Safety and Security;
- Enhance the knowledge and skills necessary to meet this Standard by analyzing what the Standard requires and sharing examples of best practices;
- Discuss and make suggestions for improvement of the Health, Safety and Security Standard;

- Explore approaches to and implementation of risk management best practices for education abroad;
- Discuss the outcomes of and suggest improvements to the Forum’s incident reporting pilot database;
- Enhance the overall safety and security of participants’ education abroad programs for the benefit of the students who participate in them.

The Institute will be designed to address the needs of experienced practitioners in the area of risk management in education abroad. Institute participants will be expected to have more than a basic knowledge of the topics involved and therefore proposals should not be geared to entry-level concerns. While a number of sessions will be led by invited experts both from within and from outside the education abroad field, some sessions will be chosen through a competitive selection process. Questions of interest to the Institute include:

- What are the best practices in emergency planning, training, and the development and testing of crisis management plans?
- How do organizations establish and implement successful risk management communications protocols?
- What are the legal and liability concerns that are most serious for education abroad and how should they be understood?
- What is acceptable risk in an education abroad context?
- What critical incidents should the field be reporting and how should it best compile the information?
- How do organizations and institutions best prepare for and deal with the death of a student?
- What are the cross-cultural dimensions of health care that are essential to understand?
- What can education abroad learn from the experience and knowledge of travel medicine?
- What reasonable accommodations should programs make under the Americans with Disabilities Act?
- What factors need to be considered, and what decision-making processes need to be put in place, for deciding when to close (and re-open) a program due to safety concerns?
- How can organizations best assess and determine adequate insurance coverage for all areas of education abroad programming?
- What are strategies for providing access to effective medical care?
- How does the psychological development of late adolescents and their cognitive abilities impact students’ ability to understand risk?

Session Format and Proposals
The majority of sessions are expected to follow the Forum’s distinctive roundtable format; however, the Institute Planning Committee will consider session proposals that utilize other formats, including panel presentations. Successful proposals will describe in detail how the proposed session will broaden and deepen participants’ knowledge and understanding of the Forum Standard on "Health, Safety, and Security” and hone their skills in implementing it. Those submitting a successful proposal may be invited to submit a white paper for a post-Institute publication.

You can learn more about the Standards of Good Practice Institute and access the Standards Institute Proposal Form here.

Call for Proposals for the 2010 Association of International Education Administrators Conference

The following call for proposals comes from my colleague Darla Deardorff, Executive Director of the Association of International Education Administrators.

The Association of International Education Administrators invites the submission of proposals for its 2010 conference at JW Marriott in Washington DC on Feb 15-17, 2010. Pre-conference workshops will be held February 14-15. The conference will begin in the afternoon of February 15 and end in the afternoon of February 17. The theme for the 2010 AIEA conference is “Internationalizing Higher Education: Essential for our Future.” As the title implies, internationalizing our campuses will be core to maintaining academic and institutional excellence across all functions of the university.

Session proposals, due September 1, 2009, are invited to address internationalizing higher education in the US and globally across the full range of university functions. Further details can be found on the AIEA website at

Specific areas of interest regarding session submission include the following areas. Internationalizing:

• Undergraduate teaching and learning (e.g., curriculum, study abroad, internships abroad, dual and joint degrees, service learning, recruitment)

• Graduate education (e.g., exchanges, international fellowships, field studies collaborative graduate programs)

• Research and discovery (e.g., multi-university collaborative research and education, joint conferences, seminars and workshops)

• Building campus communities (e.g., conferences and workshops, student organizations and clubs, international centers and houses, international education week, performances, lectures)

• Local, national and international outreach and engagement (e.g., international development with universities, state agencies, non-governmental organizations, World Bank, United Nations)

• Campus leadership (e.g. strategic planning, management, partnerships and joint ventures, risk management, roles of the President, Provost, functional vice presidents and provosts, deans, and senior international officers)

• International alumni and development (e.g., international alumni events, chapters, fund raising, student and faculty recruitment)

• Public policy to include state, national and international laws and policies and governmental agencies.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Audio Files Available from IIE “Higher Education on the Move: New Developments in Global Mobility” Roundtable

To mark the release of their new book (with generous support from the AIFS Foundation) Higher Education on the Move: New Developments in Global Mobility, the Institute of International Education (IIE) held a roundtable discussion on May 5, 2009 on this topic. IIE has made the following audio files from the event available on their website:

Allan E. Goodman, President and CEO, IIE
AUDIO (mp3, 04:03)

Melanie French, Executive Director, AIFS Foundation AUDIO (mp3, 01:20)

Peggy Blumenthal, Executive Vice President, IIE AUDIO (mp3, 06:31)

Opening Remarks
Rajika Bhandari, Director, Research and Evaluation, IIE
AUDIO (mp3, 08:46)
Sabine O'Hara, Executive Director, Council for International Exchange of Scholars and Vice President, IIE
AUDIO (mp3, 08:24)

Discussion among Roundtable Participants
Discussion Part One
AUDIO (mp3, 20:40)
Discussion Part Two
AUDIO (mp3, 34:14)

If you would like to purchase this book along with all of the other great publications produced by IIE please visit here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Synbiosafe Interviews International Experts on Synthetic Biology

Synbiosafe, an EU-funded NGO, interviewed a group of international experts on synthetic biology and have posted short video clips (10 minutes or so) of these interviews. Two things about these interviews are of particular interest to me.

First, my brother-in-law Luis Campos who is an Assistant Professor at Drew University was interviewed last spring in Vienna and is featured expert in this series. Luis talks about the “prehistory” of synthetic biology, the history of “genetic engineering” and on creating life in the test tube over the course of the twentieth century.

Second, when you look at all of the experts and their affiliations you’ll see that they not only represent a variety of academic disciplines and professions but they also represent multiple countries. It is this international aspect of the group of experts that is quite appealing to me and why I’m posting to IHEC Blog.

You can access all of the expert interviews here. You’ll have to scroll through all of the experts to watch Luis as he is the last video interview. His talk is very informative so please check it out!

In a previous IHEC Blog post entitled “Cultural Exchange and Understanding as a Result of Some Russian Bells” I also highlighted some of the fine work that Luis is doing. You can check out that blog post here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Is it Safe to Study Abroad in the United States?

I apologize in advance for the length of this post! The other day I was searching through the International Travel Information web pages of the State Department’s Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management (ACS) which is responsible for the administration of the Consular Information Program. The Consular Information Program issues country specific information, travel alerts and travel warnings which are provided to inform U.S. citizens of conditions that may affect our safety and security while we are abroad.

The International Travel Information website also provides links to additional travel information from the governments of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. I thought it would be interesting to see what these four countries say about travelling (including studying) to the United States. My primary point in this exercise is to demonstrate that citizens from other countries (some of our strongest allies) receive some strong warnings related to their travel plans to the United States so it makes me ask the question, “is it safe to study abroad in the United States?”

I imagine there would be parents of U.S. students who, after reading “terrorist attacks have taken place in public areas, there is a risk that you could be caught up if there were other attacks in the future. You should therefore be particularly vigilant in high-profile public places”, would be calling the study abroad office to learn what safety measures were being implemented to ensure the safety of their children. This quote was taken from the United Kingdom Foreign & Commonwealth Office Travel Advice Notice for the United States.

Following are links to the web pages of the Australia, Canada, New Zealand and United Kingdom travel information pages for the United States. I have selected some key snippets of text from the various sites related to health and safety issues:

“We advise you to exercise caution and monitor developments that might affect your safety in the United States because of the risk of terrorism.”

“The United States Department of Homeland Security's Advisory System Threat Level is at Orange for all domestic and international flights, indicating a "high" risk of terrorist attack. It is at Yellow or "elevated" for all other sectors, indicating a "significant" risk of terrorist attack.”

“Crime rates are higher in the larger cities, such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Tourists are often targeted for petty crimes such as pick-pocketing and theft, particularly on public transport.”

“The United States is subject to a wide range of natural hazards including hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and earthquake activity around the Pacific Basin including Hawaii; tornadoes in the midwest and southeast; mudslides in California; flooding and forest fires in the west, especially from March to November.”

“Mosquito-borne disease, particularly West Nile virus, is prevalent during summer and continues into autumn months. We recommend you take precautions to avoid mosquito bites, including using repellent at all times, particularly in rural areas.”

You can read the entire Australian summary on the United States here.

“Street crime can spill over into commercial, hotel, and entertainment areas. Riots occasionally occur; these are usually confined to the poorer districts of major cities, but the violence can spread to central commercial and hotel areas. Full cooperation is recommended when stopped by police.”

“FLORIDA - Attacks on tourists have decreased, but violent crime remains a serious concern. Criminals have demonstrated that they will use violence with little or no provocation. Many attacks have occurred in the Miami area, and others have taken place on rural roads and at interstate highway rest areas. Some rest areas have dusk to dawn security on site (which is indicated on the highway sign). Proceed cautiously when exiting from a freeway (including Interstate 95) into large urban centres, especially after dusk. Theft has increased, particularly from trunks of parked cars in the North Miami Beach area, South Beach and at airports. Be alert, as criminals use a variety of techniques to steal personal belongings.”

You can read the entire Canadian summary on the United States here.

“There is some risk to your health in the United States due to a significant number of Influenza A (H1N1) or ‘swine flu’ cases and we advise caution. There is also a risk to your security due to the threat from terrorism.”

You can read the entire New Zealand summary on the United States here.

“Human cases of A (H1N1) swine influenza, including confirmed deaths in Texas, Washington State, Arizona, Missouri, Utah, New York State, Connecticut, Michigan, Virginia and Illinois due to swine flu infection, have been reported in certain areas of the United States.”

“Violent crime related to the drugs trade is a major issue in the Mexican states along the border with California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Though some foreign nationals have been among the victims in the border region, there is no evidence to suggest that they have been targeted because of their nationality. Visitors to border areas should exercise caution and follow the advice of local authorities.”

“There is a general threat from terrorism in the United States. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated the terror alert status of "orange", or high, for all international and domestic flights in the USA.”

“Given that terrorist attacks have taken place in public areas, there is a risk that you could be caught up if there were other attacks in the future. You should therefore be particularly vigilant in high-profile public places.”

“Around 6.5 million British nationals visit the United States each year (source: US Department of Homeland Security). Most visits are trouble-free. 8,304 British nationals required consular assistance in the USA in period 01 April 2006 - 31 March 2007. The majority of cases occur in New York City; the tourist areas in Florida (principally Orlando and Miami); and Los Angeles and San Francisco. You should be alert to the dangers of car and street crime in cities. The main types of incident for which British nationals required consular assistance in the USA in 2006-07 were for replacing lost or stolen passports (2,792 cases); dealing with deaths (95 cases); and hospitalisations (75 cases); and dealing with arrests, for a variety of offences (1,415).”

“West Nile virus is common to the USA and there are occasional outbreaks of eastern equine encephalitis (triple e virus) reported.”

“In the 2008 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic the UNAIDS/WHO Working Group estimated that around 1,100,000 adults aged 15 or over in the USA were living with HIV”

You can read the entire UK summary on the United States here.

So, is it safe to study abroad in the United States? What do you think?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Increase in Study Abroad Plans among Chinese Students

I came across an article this morning on China.org.cn. entitled “More Chinese Students Plan to Study Abroad” that caught my attention on two fronts. First, increased academic mobility among Chinese students is quite interesting to me and a topic I’ve blogged on in the past. Second, it was nice to see that the University of Chicago (my day job) was mentioned in the article as participating in the 2009 Beijing International Education Expo. According to the article, the China International Education Information Net (CIEIN) predicted that more than 100,000 students and their parents would attend the expo and that China’s Ministry of Education calculated that nearly 180,000 Chinese students studied abroad in 2008.[1] I was quite surprised to learn that only 180,000 Chinese students studied abroad last year as I thought that number would much higher! You can read the “More Chinese Students Plan to Study Abroad” article here.

Following are some of my past IHEC Blog posts related to Chinese students studying abroad:
Germany a Top Destination for Chinese Students ~ The Chinese “Global Tribe” Revisited
A Bookended Approach to Attracting Chinese Students

Friday, June 12, 2009

Undergraduate International Studies and Research while Studying Abroad

I’m posting today about two excellent examples of journals published by undergraduate students on issues related to international studies.

First is Undergraduate Journal of International Studies, co-sponsored by The Center for the Study of Global Change at Indiana University Bloomington. You can access Undergraduate Journal of International Studies here.[1]

The second is Sojourn, sponsored by the International Studies program in the undergraduate College at The University of Chicago. You can access information on Sojourn here.

I imagine that undergraduate students at other institutions across the United States (as well as across the globe) are producing similar top quality publications. If you know of similar publications/efforts by undergraduates at any college or university in the world please leave details such as institution, name of publication and link in the comments section.

On a related note, I encourage any institutions/organizations who are members of the Forum on Education Abroad to consider nominating their students for the annual Forum Undergraduate Research Award. This is an excellent way to further engage undergraduate scholars in their international research efforts and a way for top nominees to get their work published in Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad and for winners an additional opportunity to present their research at a conference. You can learn more about the Forum on Education Abroad Undergraduate Research Award here. The next deadline for nominations is June 26, 2009!

You can access past Frontiers issues featuring articles in PDF format by undergraduate study abroad students here:

Volume XII: November 2005
Volume XIV: March 2007
Volume XVI: Spring 2008

Additionally, you may be very interested in reading the introduction to Frontiers volume XVI by Bernhard Streitwieser and Neal Sobania entitled “Overseeing Study Abroad Research: Challenges, Responsibilities and the Institutional Review Board” here.

[1] A special word of thanks to my colleague Kathleen Sideli, Associate Vice President for Overseas Study at Indiana University, for information on Undergraduate Journal of International Studies.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

IHEC Blog Voted #10 in Top 100 International Exchange & Experience Blogs 2009 Competition

I just received word from Erin Gallagher over at the bab.la and Lexiophiles team that my International Higher Education Consulting Blog was voted number 10 in their Top 100 International Exchange & Experience Blogs competition for 2009! This is exciting news and I want to thank everyone who took a moment out of your busy lives to vote for my blog in this competition. You can view the list of all of the nominated blogs and how they ranked in the voting here and if you want to read an article that explains more about the competition you can do so here.

A word of congratulations is due to all the nominated blogs and especially the top three blogs as the team from bab.la and Lexiophiles have made donations to UNICEF on their behalf and the top three bloggers will also receive updates from the community where their donation was directed!

I would like to encourage all IHEC Blog readers to join me in applauding the top three bloggers by also making a donation to UNICEF. You can support UNICEF in all of their great work here!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Coalition of 30 Scientific, Academic and Engineering Groups Urge Obama Administration to take Further Steps on Visa Efforts

A joint statement by 30 scientific, academic and engineering groups praises the federal government on several past actions it has taken to address visa concerns held in both the academic and scientific communities but it also calls for the creation of a high-level interagency panel to review all post-September 11th visa policies.

Additionally, the organizations said that the federal government should build on these positive actions by taking a number of steps to improve the visa process further:
- Convene a high-level interagency panel to review the full range of visa-related policies and procedures imposed after 9/11, evaluate their cost-effectiveness, and consider revising or eliminating ineffective and unnecessary procedures.
- Provide additional resources to agencies involved in the visa process to allow timely processing of visa applications.

- Streamline the non-immigrant visa process to 30 days for legitimate graduate students, researchers, or professionals in science and technology whose applications are supported by a qualified university, scientific body, or company.

- Reduce repetitive processing of visa applications for well-known researchers and scholars who regularly visit the United States to attend academic conferences and conduct research.

- Increase training of consular staff to make treatment of applicants more consistent and enhance security.

- Provide more information to applicants who experience delays in the application process and establish a review process for applications that take more than 30 days to process.

- Review and streamline the Technology Alert List, which identifies sensitive areas of science and technology for possible export controls, to include only subject areas that have explicit implications for national security.

- Expand ongoing efforts to renegotiate visa reciprocity agreements between the United States and key sending countries, such as China, to extend the duration of visas each country grants students and scholars of the other and to permit multiple entries on a single visa.

The statements above were summarized and copied in part from the joint press release in the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Press Room which you can access here. You may also want to comment on this on the NAFSA Blog here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Support the Senator Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act – An Insider’s Perspective from Colorado

ColoradoBiz has a nice piece by Cynthia Banks (founder and executive director of AustraLearn / AsiaLearn / EuroLearn – Educational Programs of GlobaLinks, LLC) on supporting the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act and why study abroad is important to Colorado. You can read Banks’ article here.

Please take one minute to visit NAFSA: Association of International Educators’ Take Action Center today as it’s expected that the House of Representatives will vote this week (perhaps as soon as tomorrow) on the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (H.R. 2410) for fiscal year 2010-2011. Included in H.R. 2410 is the Simon legislation which is a critical component to U.S. foreign policy and diplomacy goals.[1]

[1] adapted from NAFSA’s Take Action Center

Germany a Top Destination for Chinese Students ~ The Chinese “Global Tribe” Revisited

The May 29, 2009 issue of News from DAAD New York provides some interesting data on the popularity of Germany as a study abroad destination for Chinese students with a link to a related article (in German) at the DAAD-magazin.de. I have copied and pasted the entire news bit from the DAAD here:

“Germany is the second most popular destination (after the United States) for Chinese students who have received national scholarships to study abroad. In 2008, 481 Chinese students awarded scholarships went to Germany, out of 4,892 award-winning students total. That's 9.8 percent of all scholarships. “

You can access the full article here.

I briefly touch on Chinese students in Germany in one of my first posts to IHEC Blog (9th post to be exact) entitled The Chinese “Global Tribe”. You can access that early post here.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Educators from Saudi Arabia visit Jewish School in Overland Park, Kansas

During my research activities this past weekend I came across an interesting article from The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle about a group of nine education administrators from Saudi Arabia who visited the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy in Overland Park Kansas. The educators from Saudi Arabia were here in the U.S. as participants of the United States Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program. This visit, of course, is only one example of the great work of the International Visitor Leadership Program and the numerous visits they coordinate each year. You can read the full article here.

Citizen Diplomacy at its finest!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dublin Enters the International Student Recruiting Market with The Lord Mayor of Dublin International Scholarships

The Irish Times and the Irish Independent reported that on Tuesday, June 2nd the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Eibhlin Bryne and the Dublin City Council came to an agreement to allow Dublin universities and Institutes of Technology to change the name of their international scholarships to “The Lord Mayor of Dublin International Scholarships.” In an effort to grab Dublin’s share of the international student market, Lord Mayor Eibhlin Bryne states that “International students from countries outside of the EU contribute over €500 million annually to the Irish economy.” Additional quotes of interest in the articles from Bryne include:

“It’s a growing and important market and Dublin needs to get its share. Melbourne, a similar sized city to Dublin, earns over €2 billion annually from the same market. It’s all about branding. It makes sense for the city to promote Dublin and support the marketing initiatives of the third level colleges.”

“The decline in student visa applications for Ireland reflects the reality that the Irish Visa system is not perceived to be efficient and transparent...If one compares the 2007 success rates for study visa applicants to the UK and Ireland one finds that Ireland refused almost 4 in 10 applicants from China while the UK refused only 1 in 20."

"Ireland is one of only two native English speaking countries in the EU yet France, Germany and Holland are all attracting more students to programmes taught through English. The action taken today by the city and its Universities must be matched by Government aligning better national policies around visas and entry.”

Peter Finnegan, Director of International Relations & Research with Dublin City Council, provides additional insight into Dublin’s recent decision and states:

“While Dublin’s third-level institutions have excellent teaching and research reputations, we must market ourselves better internationally. Research shows that students often pick the country and city of destination before deciding on the institution or programme of study or research they wish to undertake. The Lord Mayor of Dublin International Scholarships will provide the branding identification of international education with the city of Dublin and we are confident it will have a positive effect on our marketing efforts” and that Dublin is aiming for a “realistic target of gaining 3%, as New Zealand has, of the global market which could bring €1.5 billion annually into our economy. Such a target for Dublin is achievable if the international branding is clear, the national entry policies transparent, and the population sentiment among Dubliners remains open and welcoming.”

You can read the Irish Times article
here and the Irish Independent article here.
Related IHEC Blog posts include:

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Social Networks for International Educators

Over the past few months I’ve joined several social networks that are related to international education (at least the networks I’m eligible for as I’ve never received Fulbright funding or served as a Peace Corps Volunteer). At the moment I’m not very active in these social networks but I hope they lead to new connections and leads to valuable information that I might not otherwise come across in my other activities.

Following is a list of international education related social networks that I have found and if any IHEC Blog readers know of any other networks that are similar in nature please leave the name with link in the comments section of this post:

Study Abroad Alumni


Green Passport Program

NAFSA Knowledge Communities & Discussion Forums

Building Bridges Coalition

The Global Education Collaborative

International Education Blogs (follow link below to list of blogs)

Fulbright Alumni

Connected Peace Corps

Shared Futures (Updated Oct. 7, 2009)
Additionally, there are several other social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook that have a heavy international educator presence with interesting content which may also prove to be valuable resources.

Those of you who couldn't attend the recent NAFSA conference or many of the sessions (if you were at the conference) might find the presentation Study Abroad in a Transparent World by Penny Schouten and Sarah McNitt to be of interest and value. You can access their Power Point presentation here.

For a related IHEC Blog post entitled "Study Abroad and International Education in the Twitterverse" please visit here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Embedded Education Abroad Faculty Toolkit

I recently learned of a new resource developed by my colleague Anthony Ogden and his collaborators Duarte B. Morais and Christine Buzinde (all from The Pennsylvania State University) that I think many IHEC Blog readers will find of interest. The Embedded Education Abroad Faculty Toolkit is grounded in teaching for global citizenship and academic development and the description on the website states:

“This toolkit has been developed to be used primarily by faculty to aid in the development and implementation of embedded programs. The toolkit complements university administrative and logistical services by offering a portfolio of tested and applicable instructional strategies that leverage the embedded international travel component of these courses to optimize academic learning and the development of global citizenship.”

It’s recommended that readers read over the PDF of the whole Toolkit before downloading the individual tools. There is much there about the context of the tools and rationale that Ogden used in developing them.

You can access the Toolkit here.

If you are interested in the Toolkit please contact:

Anthony Ogden
Educational Theory and Policy
Comparative and International Education
The Pennsylvania State University

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

IHEC Blog nominated for Top 100 International Exchange and Experience Blogs competition for 2009

While I was in Los Angeles at the NAFSA: Association of International Educators conference I received word that my International Higher Education Consulting Blog was nominated for the 2009 Top 100 International Exchange and Experience Blogs competition which is hosted by Lexiophiles [http://www.lexiophiles.com/] and bab.la [http://bab.la/]. I encourage IHEC Blog readers to check out the top 100 blogs listed as there are some really good ones and to take a moment to vote in the competition (voting closes this coming Saturday, June 6th)

Thank you in advance for your consideration! David Comp

Monday, June 1, 2009

Expanding Study Abroad Capacity at U.S. Colleges and Universities

Last week during the NAFSA conference in Los Angeles, the Institute of International Education (IIE) released their sixth study abroad white paper entitled Expanding Study Abroad Capacity at U.S. Colleges and Universities. Previous white papers include:

Promoting Study Abroad in Science and Technology Fields (Issue 5)
Expanding U.S. Study Abroad in the Arab World: Challenges and Opportunities (Issue 4)
Expanding Education Abroad at U.S. Community Colleges (Issue 3)
Exploring Host Country Capacity for Increasing U.S. Study Abroad (Issue 2)
Current Trends in U.S. Study Abroad & the Impact of Strategic Diversity Initiatives (Issue 1)

You can access all of IIE’s white papers on U.S. study abroad here.