Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Senator Dick Durbin at the first-ever Senate hearing on the DREAM Act before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security

Earlier today the first-ever Senate hearing on the DREAM Act was held and broadcast live via Senator Durbin's website.  Senator Dick Durbin [D-IL] (my Senator!) chaired this hearing earlier today and I have embedded video of his introductory comments below.  You can learn more about the DREAM Act via the DREAM Act Portal here. What are your thoughts on the DREAM Act?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Judith A. McHale, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, remarks at the EducationUSA Forum in Washington, DC on June 22, 2011

The second annual EducationUSA Forum 2011 is currently underway in Washington, DC (June 22-24, 2011). You can follow the Twitter back channel from the Forum via the #EdUSAForum hashtag. Following are the remarks by Judith A. McHale, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, at the Opening Plenary yesterday morning.  You can also read the text of her address here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Follow the Twitter conversation from the EducationUSA Forum 2011, June 22 - 24

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Connection for International Credential Evaluation Professionals (The Connection)

I am very excited to post about a new collaborative tool called The Connection for International Credential Evaluation Professionals (The Connection) for the professional international credential evaluation community.   Following are more specifics about The Connection that I am posting with the permission of Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE).

The Connection is a new online community for the professional international credential evaluator.  The Connection will bring together individuals from around the world to collaborate, share information, and access resources regarding admissions decisions, the determination of credential equivalencies, the articulation of professional standards, and the promotion of best practices in the field.

The online community provides a discussion forum, an events calendar, news updates, resources, and other tools and information to help credential evaluators do their jobs. We are alike. We have questions. We have answers. We write publications. We give presentations. We teach. We learn. If you are new to the field, or are a seasoned expert, we all have something to contribute.

The Connection is free! To become a Connection User visit and sign up. It took me less than one minute to join The Connection.  Participation is open to any serious professional in the field, irrespective of institutional affiliation, financial support or geographical location.

Monday, June 20, 2011

How short can a study abroad program be?

As I was searching for my "Study Abroad Related Tweet of the Day" for an IHEC Blog Facebook Page post I came across the following tweet:

"Morning TwitterLand. Just back from a week long MBA studyabroad in Santiago, Chile"

In an effort to continue the field's debate on short-term study abroad programming I ask myself can one really study abroad for a week?  There are those in the field that say "yes" and there those in the field that say "no". 

This ties in to the my April 4th IHEC Blog post "The Study Abroad Credential" and discussion.

Can one study abroad for a day? 

A few years ago while advising a student on his Fulbright application he asked if he should list Myanmar down as a list of countries he had visited even though he had been there only three hours.  Fulbright applications are not really wanting applicants to list countries visited while on vacation (although there can be a significant learning component to vacations, no?) so this was a good discussion.  If he asked me if he should list a three hour visit/travel through the Principality of Liechtenstein I would have told him no.  But Myanmar is a bit different in my mind and spending three hours in the country would be quite an interesting/educational experience (and one that few others have experienced) so I told him to list Myanmar as a country visited. 

Did the Fulbrighter actually study abroad in Myanmar?  I don't think so.  Did the Fulbrighter have a meaningful educational experience in Myanmar?  I do think so.

Did the MBA student study abroad in Chile?  Perhaps there were classroom lectures and discussions but I would not call it study abroad if I had participated on this week long program.  Did the MBA student have an educational experience abroad in Chile?  Absolutely!

Just some random thoughts I have on a Monday morning.  What are your thoughts?

Photo credit: Chez Cåsver

Friday, June 17, 2011

Former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold Highlights Importance of Citizen Diplomacy During His Commencement Address at Lawrence University

In his June 5th commencement address to graduates at Lawrence University Russ Feingold talked about the value of studying abroad and importance of citizen diplomacy.  You can watch snippets of his address below as well as parts of an interview where he talks about these issues.

Thanks to the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy for posting a link to this video to Twitter!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Relationships of Assessment, Evaluation, Standards & Ethics in Education Abroad

Some time ago when I was involved more heavily with the Forum on Education Abroad's Standards of Good Practice Committee on the Standards Toolbox and as a consultant I spent much time thinking about the relationships between assessment, evaluation, standards and ethics in education abroad.  As I was traveling one day I started to doodle various configurations of these relationships and upon return home prepared them on a single document to further spur my interest in and investigation of these relationships.  At one point in time I was thinking that this would be the focus of my dissertation.  Anyways, last night I was searching for some of my documents I have hosted over on Scribd and came across the document where I turned my doodles of these relationships into more concrete ideas.  Following are just thoughts I had on this topic back in 2007 or so and I thought I would embed the document here on IHEC Blog to see what others think.
Relationships of Assessment, Evaluation, Standards & Ethics in Ed. Abroad by Comp, 2007-2009

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New "Smart Traveler" iPhone App by The U.S. Department of State

The United States Department of State has launched a new iPhone app called "Smart Traveler".  Following is the description of the app on the iTunes app store:  

"Smart Traveler, the official State Department app for U.S. travelers, invites you to see the world with easy access to frequently updated official country information, travel alerts, travel warnings, maps, U.S. embassy locations, and more.  With Smart Traveler, you can create personal itineraries, add notes, and organize your trips.  Smart Traveler also provides access to the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  Free STEP enrollment enables the State Department to better assist you in emergencies such as natural disasters, unrest in foreign countries, or lost/stolen passports overseas.  During your travels, STEP can help your family and friends reach you in an emergency.  Smart Traveler also provides quick access to the Department's Consular Affairs Facebook and Twitter pages.  And for a bit of fun, you can shake your iPhone to information on a random country!"

You can learn more and download the app here.  This new app will not only be helpful to individual travelers but could be a very beneficial and helpful tool to study/education abroad administrators in dealing with a crisis abroad.

Monday, June 13, 2011

To the class of 2011, I wish you all the best and may you all travel to all corners of this world!

This past weekend I worked the 507th Convocation at The University of Chicago and found it to be a great experience.  As I watched the students receive their diplomas and heard their names called I recognized many from meetings I've had with them over the years to discuss the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the DAAD, the Boren Scholarship, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, the Freeman-Asia Scholarship or the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship among others.  Many students were successful in these competitions and many were not.  Regardless of the outcome, many students took a leap and applied to these funding opportunities (some students applied to several) to have a meaningful international educational experience.  It is this group of students that I will miss the most.  These are the students who want to leave the comforts of their high speed cable/satellite/smart phone/internet connections behind; to be challenged on their viewpoint and to learn about and consider a different perspective; to see the larger world that they have dreamed and read about; and, to make a difference in this world.  These are the students I want my children to become!

To the class of 2011 at The University of Chicago, and beyond, I wish you all the best and may you all travel to all corners of this world!

Friday, June 10, 2011

J-1 Visa Program: Fostering Lifelong Friendships

The State Department has released this video on the J-1 Visa Program from the employer perspective.  I thought I would embed this video here as I think many IHEC Blog readers will find it interesting.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

IHEC Blog now optimized for mobile viewing!

Thanks to Blogger IHEC Blog is now optimized for mobile viewing.  I hope this helps make IHEC Blog more accessible to those who are frequent readers or just stopping by to check it out.  My consulting site/blog over at is already optimized for mobile viewing, in case you were wondering!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Upcoming Social Media Workshops for International Educators by Mandy's Mashups

I wanted to alert IHEC Blog readers about four upcoming social media workshops for international educators presented by Mandy’s Mashups.  Mandy Reinig, a frequent presenter on social media at international education conferences, started Mandy’s Mashups not too long ago as a way to bring her social media expertise to the greater international education community.  Mandy offers a variety of consulting services as well as workshops focusing on various aspects of social media.  Mandy’s Mashups has the following four workshops scheduled this summer:

- Facebook and YouTube: Maximizing the Potential

- Social Media for Advanced Professionals: Understanding the Strategic Impact

- Twitter and Blogs: Getting the Word Out

- Now What?!: Advanced Social Media Workshop

You can learn more about each of these workshops over on Mandy’s Mashups at

You can read the Mandy’s Mashups blog, follow her on Twitter at @MandysMashups and check out what she is up to on Facebook.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sign the Petition! Restore Funding to American Overseas Research Centers

Yesterday I posted to IHEC Blog about signing a petition to Save the Fulbright Hays Program due to the U.S. Department of Education's cancellation the program following a Congressional appropriations bill (HR 1473) cutting $800 million from higher education programs. 

The Department of Education's has also cancelled funding to the American Overseas Research Centers and another petition is available for signatures. Please take a moment to sign the petition here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Save Fulbright Hays Programs

I just learned on Twitter [via @GlobalHigherEd] that the Department of Education has cancelled the FY 2011 Fulbright Hays program.  An online petition has been established and I encourage all IHEC Blog readers to visit and sign the online petition to the 112th Congress of the United States of America.  Take a moment to sign the petition at