Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Two Week Recap of "Study abroad related tweet of the day" Posts on IHEC Blog's Facebook Page

A short time ago I started a new "Study abroad related tweet of the day" over on IHEC Blog's Facebook page as a way to stimulate discussion around what people are posting to Twitter about study abroad.  I think people have liked it and it has generated some discussion which was my intent.  Following is a list of the first several:

"Is it sad that I actually miss doing work at Michigan? I can't sit on facebook for 3 hours straight during lecture anymore. #studyabroad"

"well, i'm done with class for the week. I guess that means it's time for some beers. #studyabroad"

"I have no idea what I want to do with my life, I just want to study abroad!"

"i was going to study abroad but the thought of it scares me."

"meeting with the study abroad lady today. She better not bail again"

"I hate that they enforce the 'study' part of Study Abroad"

"After a long run tonight I think I've finally figured out how to achieve world peace. It involves passports and very few guns.  [study abroad not mentioned in tweet but is part of the Twitter name]"

"Study abroad office: useless!?"

"Spain 2011 here I come. Study abroad! Out of America overseas to new treasures, cultures and ideologies."

":[ now my parents won't let me study abroad in Japan..."

"Stuck in a 3 hour study abroad meeting during March Madness.. Shoot me now"

"At home adjusting to the thought that my daughter is moving back in so she can save to study abroad."

"A two week study abroad can barely be considered an international experience in a university program..."

"Brendan and I discussing (very) future finances: if you want the kids to study abroad, you better like driving a Kia."

Are there any tweets that you have strong feelings about?

Should I continue this activity?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Calling all Illinois Constituents! Follow-up the Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange meeting with Sen. Kirk's Chicago office with a letter in support of exchanges!

I was invited to visit Senator Mark Kirk’s (R-IL) Chicago office last week as part of a small group of Illinois constituents to discuss the importance of Department of State exchange programs.  This meeting was coordinated by the Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange in an effort to discuss the importance of these State Department programs with new members of the Senate State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee (which funds State Department exchange programs).  My part of the discussion with Senator Kirk’s Director of Constituent Services focused on the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

The Alliance and the group who participated in the meeting are working to spread the word on this effort and request that Illinois constituents send letters to Senator Kirk as well as to Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) in support of international education and in particular State Department exchange programs.  The Alliance has already prepared an electronic letter which you can access here for you and all you need to do is enter your name and home address and your letter will be automatically sent to Senators Kirk and Durbin.

Many thanks in advance for your assistance with this important issue!

Photo credit:  studentofrhythm

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What can/should we do when we see a student post disparaging remarks about you and/or your study abroad program on social media outlets?

On Monday my “Study abroad related tweet of the day” over on IHEC Blog’s Facebook page was "Study abroad office: useless!?"  My purpose in posting this tweet ties in to a recent post over on Manitou Heights entitled "Do you know what others are saying about you?"

My post generated some discussion and it got me thinking that this would be a good topic for IHEC Blog so I’m posting the following question in the hope of generating some good discussion:

What can/should we do when we see a student post disparaging remarks about us and/or our study abroad program on social media outlets?

Our responses will depend on what the student actually states in their post(s) and each situation will need to be addressed individually, of course, but I'm curious what others think.

Photo credit:  @DavidComp

Monday, March 21, 2011

"our goal is global perspective for all students"

Following is a tweet by E. Gordon Gee, President of The Ohio State University, the day before his opening Keynote at the 2011 IIE Best Practices Conference last week in New York.  So nice to see a college/university president advocating international education in such a way!  You can follow President Gee on twitter here.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Save the Date - A Disability Services and International Education Workshop in Chicago this coming August

Mobility International USA will be holding a disability services and international education workshop  at the Chicago Cultural Center on August 11th from 8:30am to 2:00pm. This workshop is designed to bridge understanding between disability services, study abroad, and international student services professionals. 

I'll post more information in May when registration opens!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Study abroad related tweet of the day: "A two week study abroad can barely be considered an international experience in a university program..."

I started a new and fun little activity over on IHEC Blog's Facebook page where I will search for and post a recent tweet from Twitter related to study abroad every day Monday through Friday (but I may miss a day or two in between).  I will not be posting the identity of the person or organization posting the tweet.

Some of the tweets I select will be funny, some will be serious, some will speak to a certain truth about a topic or issue in the field that we don't like to discuss and some may contain a naughty word or two.  My point in posting is to provide some humor but more important I hope they will make people think and hopefully comment.  Join the fun at

My inaugural study abroad related tweet of the day last night was:  "Brendan and I discussing (very) future finances: if you want the kids to study abroad, you better like driving a Kia."

The above tweet is quite funny and relevant to me as I have three children who I want to participate on an exchange in high school and then study abroad in college but in reality it is quite sad for me as the cost of higher education and study abroad is a very expensive endeavor and will be more so when my children are old enough to participate in these activities and my dreams for my children may not be realized!

My second study abroad related tweet of the day which is the title of this post brings into question/debate short-term study abroad programming.  Do you have an opinion on a two week “study abroad” program?  If so, leave a comment over at 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Young People’s Mobilities and International Education - A symposium sponsored by the Youth Study Group and the Education Study Group of the British Sociological Association

The following is a copy and paste of a random e-mail message I received:

BSA Seminar Room, Imperial Wharf, London
Friday 24th June 2011, 10.15am-3.30pm
Cost: This event is free for BSA members, with a £10 charge for non-members.


10.15-10.30 Welcome and introductions

10.30-12.30 Morning paper session

Cosmopolitan transnational mobilities? Young people and international migration in higher education
Fiona M. Smith, Allan M. Findlay, Alistair Geddes (Geography, School of the Environment, University of Dundee) Russell King, Ron Skeldon (Sussex Centre for Migration Research, University of Sussex)

Erasmus student work placement mobility: A UK perspective
Hannah Deakin (Loughborough University)

Are we all entrepreneurs now? Student mobility, agency, and individual benefits in the European Higher Education Area
Vassiliki Papatsiba (University of Sheffield)

Developing Intercultural Speakers? An Exploration of Young Peoples’ Educational Experiences at three European Schools
Nicola Savvides (De Montfort University)

12.30-13.15 Lunch

13.15-15.15 Afternoon paper session

Place and its role in international student decision making
Suzanne Beech (Queen’s University Belfast)

Outbound student mobility, self and community
David Killick (Leeds Metropolitan University)

Global citizenship or ‘gap yah’?
International voluntary service, youth transitions and the politics of differential mobility
Kristina Diprose (University of Leeds)

“’s more subtle things like ‘Why is your English so good?’...”: Indian students’ encounters with everyday multiculturalism in London and Toronto.
Subhadra Roy (Queen Mary, University of London)

15.15 Concluding remarks

To reserve a place, please visit here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sadness for Japan

Study Abroad, Service-Learning, and Sustainability International Conference at South Dakota State University, May 12-14, 2011

South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota will be hosting this conference from May 12-14, 2011.  According to the conference website “the three intertwined themes of the conference—study abroad, service-learning, and sustainability—are a unique way of thinking about the inter-relationships between learning abroad, personal action, and the state of the planet.  Keynote speakers for the conference are:

Daniel Greenberg, the founder and director of Living Routes, a 3rd-party non-profit educational provider that partners with the University of Massachusetts to offer study abroad programs based in ‘ecovillages’. 

Ed Wells, Chair/Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. 

Lucia Legan, a native of Australia, is co-founder of both Ecocentro IPEC and the Mollison School for Sustainable Studies in Pirenópolis, Brazil, where she remains as Executive Director. 

André Jaeger Soares, a native of Brazil, is cofounder of Ecocentro IPEC, trilingual teacher, natural builder and permaculture designer.
You can access the conference website and schedule here.

Photo credit: SWYOUSEF

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The internationalization of Room 404 [a 3rd grade class at The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools]

I feel very fortunate that my children are able to attend the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.  It’s truly an incredible place on so many levels!

Of particular interest to me this year is the international focus in my daughter's 3rd grade class!  Following are some of the main internationally focused projects of from her class this year:

- Towards the end of second grade students and parents had to select a language to begin in 3rd grade.  Language offerings were Chinese, French, German and Spanish.  We spent a bit of time discussing the various languages with my daughter and in the end my daughter chose Spanish.

-       - Back in October to coincide with Halloween my daughter’s class participated in the Trick-OrTreat for UNICEF program!  The children collected over $300 and then used the information from the back of the collection box to see what their money could be used for—vaccinations for 20+ children, fresh drinking water, blankets, and school supplies for needy children.

-       - The children also had to bring in a pumpkin for a painted pumpkin globe class project.  The children painted their pumpkins blue, placed their equator and prime meridian to place Africa first and then traced the other 6 continents onto their globes.  Finally they painted and put labels on the continents and oceans.  After finishing their pumpkin globes the children began looking more closely at each continent.  They examined Atlases to find locations of countries, landforms, and special features of each continent.

-       - The class started a Global Grains project and in autumn started with South America then on to Asia and the Middle East where they cooked Tabbouleh, potato samosas, and rice noodle stir-fry and recently to Australia where the grains of study were wheat and waddle seed. The children made Waddle Seed Biscuits and meat and vegetable pies. They also got to sample a taste of Vegemite!   

-      -  In January the children prepared and presented reports on Asia to the other third grade classes.  After taking and organizing notes, each group composed a page long report on their assigned research topic. 

-       - Immediately following the class presentations on Asia the children met with their Kindergarten buddies to write and decorate letters to the families in Honduras that were receiving class/family donations of baby supplies.  The kindergarteners had drawn many (adorable) pictures of babies and hearts that were cut out and pasted around the letter for decoration.  The third graders helped their buddies choose a message to write around the border and together they composed a short note to the families.  Additionally, the children received the names and photos of children in the village and the class wrote letters to specific children as well.  Students taking Spanish helped with some basic Spanish phrases to include.

   - German Club pretzels! – This long-standing tradition of selling bakery fresh pretzels every Thursday began with Lab’s first German teacher.  My five year old son particularly likes this and every Thursday a different Kindergarten student is responsible for taking pretzel orders, collecting money, purchasing and distributing pretzels.  Proceeds fund the Pretzel Scholarship for one Lab student to participate in the school’s three week exchange in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg (reminds me of my high school exchange program).

This photo is of the morning welcome sign on my son's Kindergarten class door at Lab: "Hip Hop Hooray We Will Learn About Diwali Today!"  How awesome is that?!  Each student in the class received their own Diwali candle which we have at home (in fact we have two as my daughter was in this same Kindergarten class and also learned about and celebrated Diwali!).

What is really great is that the academic year is not over yet so I’m excited to see what the next internationally focused homework/project will focus on!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Watch live today as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launches "100 Women Initiative: Empowering Women and Girls Through International Exchanges"

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will launch the “100 Women Initiative: Empowering Women and Girls through International Exchanges” today (Monday, March 7) at approximately 1:45 p.m. Watch live on

Following the Secretary’s remarks, Counselor and Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills and Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer will participate in a conversation with the “100 Women” moderated by Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs Ann Stock.

Photo credit: U.S. State Department

Friday, March 4, 2011

Study Abroad marketing fail

This actually happens frequently in both electronic (predominately via e-mail) and print marketing...

I don't hold this error against the study abroad organization but it is just sloppy and preventable.  I imagine that I'm not the only one who receives marketing materials incorrectly addressed or containing other errors.  

What are your thoughts on this?

Thanks in advance,


Thursday, March 3, 2011

The "Global Brandeis Symposia" Series

Over the past few years I have been following the work of the Office of Global Affairs at Brandeis University and I'm quite impressed with what's happening out in Waltham, MA!  Following is a summary of the "Global Brandeis Symposia" series that has taken place over the past three years.

My colleague (and past co-presenter), Bryan McAllister-Grande, Associate Director, Office of Global Affairs at Brandeis University, refers to the Global Brandeis Symposia as a form of "internationalization brainstorming" and are designed to "bring recognized scholars in different disciplines to campus to interact with faculty, students, and staff over major questions of global higher education."  Following are links to pages for each of the three symposium where you can read more specifics as well as watch videos of the Keynote Addresses and interviews:

You can access the Global Brandeis Symposia website here.  In an effort to summarize these three events, the Office of Global Affairs has published a new report entitled Global Brandeis Symposia 2008-2010 which you can access here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

International Higher Education Consulting site has a new look and feel

My International Higher Education Consulting site (not IHEC Blog) has a new look and feel.  You can access this site at  Once my dissertation is complete I will probably work towards a different and more integrated web presence but for the moment my various sites are serving their purpose. 

Thanks for coming along for the ride!