Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Just How International is IHEC Blog's Facebook Page Anyway?

I thought I would share some IHEC Blog Facebook page metrics here in this post:  Countries where people who like my Facebook page hail are from [ranked by highest population] follow:

403  United States of America
24    India
20    Pakistan
20    United Kingdom
20    Egypt
17    Canada
15    Indonesia
14    Bangladesh
8      Ireland
8      Australia
7      New Zealand
6      South Korea
6      Italy
6      Israel
6      France
5      Taiwan
5      Turkey
5      Jordan
5      Malaysia 

There are a total of 735 people who like IHEC Blog's Facebook page and 332 (45%) are from outside of the U.S.  I think this is great as this diversity adds to the community.  This post continues the discussion of my August 23, 2010 IHEC Blog post:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pondering a new look here on IHEC Blog

I've been considering a new look here at IHEC Blog for some time now.  Below are two possible versions I'm considering.  What are your thoughts?

Version 1

Version 2

There would be some tweaks to the sidebar but I'm just not sure about the background and color scheme. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Study abroad is easy and a good way to increase one's grade point average! True or not true? Discuss...

I posted this question over on IHEC Blog's Facebook page a short time ago and there wasn't much discussion so I thought I would post here to see what people think.

I typically post a study abroad related tweet of the day on IHEC Blog's Facebook page and I find the most interesting and provocative tweets to come from the students themselves who are preparing to study abroad and those who are currently studying abroad or those who have recently returned from study abroad [there is some great qualitative data on study abroad out there on Twitter that is worth mining if you ask me!]   As the autumn semester/quarter comes to an end I have seen an uptick in tweets about grades and grade point averages and my interpretation of all of these tweets is that the students feel study abroad is easy and provides a boost to their grade point average (GPA).  Following are two such tweets that helped form my analysis:
"SERIOUSLY. Why do study abroad grades not count towards my GPA. 3 As and an A- sofar. 3.92 GPA. I would love that to count thanks. #fuckk"
"can't bring myself to study when i know i only need a 20% to pass the class #studyabroad #passfail"
If I were to poll my study abroad colleagues here in the U.S. about the academic rigors of study abroad programming I anticipate an overwhelming consensus that high academic standards and expectations are well established across the field and that the majority of programs are not a GPA boost.  

Conversely, if I were to poll current/recent study abroad students I anticipate an overwhelming consensus that #studyabroad is indeed a GPA boost.

What are your thoughts on this...and what's up with a course that requires 20% to pass?!?!?

For the record, study abroad was indeed a rather large GPA boost for me as I received some of the best grades in my college career while I "studied" in Valladolid, Spain.  I'm not saying I didn't learn anything when I studied abroad.  In fact, I learned more when I studied abroad than I did in any other semester during my college career...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

505 International Education related YouTube channel subscriptions...

...are now available on International Higher Education Consulting Blog's YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/IHECBlog.  The purpose of this YouTube project is to host as many international education related channel subscriptions as I can find so that one can come to one central location to search for and view video content specific to international educational and cultural exchanges.

If you have a YouTube channel of know of one that should be added to the subscription list please leave a comment below or send me an e-mail at international.ed.consulting@gmail.com.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Coping with Anti-Americanism: A Guide to Getting the Most Out of Studying Abroad

A short time ago I received a copy of the new book Coping with Anti-Americanism: A Guide to Getting the Most Out of Studying Abroad (2011, Potomac Books) from the author Carol Madison Graham.  When I saw that this book had been published earlier this year I reached out to the author (I had already been following her blog Engage Abroad! and had interacted briefly a few times on Twitter) and asked if I could review her book on IHEC Blog.  I ended up with my own copy to include on the shelves of Bury Book International Education Library & Archive!

I really enjoyed reading Coping with Anti-Americanism and feel it is a must read for prospective U.S. study abroad students and their parents as well as for the greater international education community and other campus/organizational stakeholders.  Graham provides the reader with a clear picture of the realities American students face while abroad and she puts into perspective their place in the world outside of U.S. borders. Graham's work challenges U.S. students to take a step back and do some critical thinking on how the U.S. is viewed abroad and how they will be viewed and how they will represent the U.S. while studying abroad.  In addition to providing prospective U.S. study abroad students with valuable insight and guidance on how to cope with the anti-Americanism abroad they are bound to encounter this book is a valuable guide for study abroad program staff to inform discussions with students and their parents as well as for preparing pre-departure orientations and related meetings.

Chapters in Coping with Anti-Americanism are as follows:

1. American and Americans Through Foreign Eyes
2. The Land Without a History
3. Perceptions of Religion and the American South
4. Multiculturalism, Political Correctness, and Perceptions of a Divided America
5. "American Idiots"
6. The President of the Earth
7. Sheriff to Gunfighter: The United States and the World
8.  Superpower Diplomacy
9. Ambassador for Life

Coping with Anti-Americanism: A Guide to Getting the Most Out of Studying Abroad is published by Potomac Books and is available for purchase here.

A note about the author Carol Madison Graham: in 1981 Graham joined the U.S. Diplomatic Service and worked in France, Lebanon, Tunisia and in the United Arab Emirates.  In 2002 she was appointed to the UK Fulbright Commission as Executive Director and was the first American to ever hold this position.  She is now a board member of the Marshall Scholarships and a trustee of the Carnegie U.K. Trust.  She is available for speaking engagements and you can contact her here if you wish to further explore such an opportunity.

Graham also maintains the Engage Abroad! (which I have on my blogroll) and she is on Twitter at @engageabroad.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Call for Proposals: International Education Research Poster Fair at the NAFSA 2012 Annual Conference

Are you working on a research project related to international education? If yes, why not share it with colleagues, receive their feedback, and develop new collaborations at a professional conference? Both qualitative and quantitative research projects are invited.

The NAFSA deadline to submit a poster proposal is December 15, 2011. This year’s theme is Comprehensive Internationalization: Vision and Practice. Proposal requirements can be found at www.nafsa.org/proposals For questions about International Education Research poster fair please contact Yuliya Kartoshkina, Poster Fair Organizer for 2012 Annual Conference, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, at: yuliya.kartoshkina@email.und.edu.

You can access the NAFSA 2012 Conference Call for Proposals site here.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

New Study from the British Council's Education Intelligence Service Examines Global Agent use in International Higher Education

Student Insight: Why Students Use Agents” focuses on how students around the world view education agents when pursuing overseas study, and how expectations for services vary from region to region

Why do international students use education agents when making the decision to study overseas? What are the services they seek and what are the informational needs that are currently going unmet? The boom in international higher education has prompted increased demand for education agents, and the nature of that demand is studied in a report by Education Intelligence, the British Council’s global service.

Student Insight: Why Students Use Agents – Demand and Supply examines the global use of education agents through the perspective of prospective students who seek professional advice and guidance when considering overseas study. Without a doubt, the role of agents is controversial -- some in the international education sector view agents as neutral advisors while others see them as profit-seeking middlemen. However, despite the pros and cons, there is value in simply understanding the geographic nuances behind what is being mistakenly viewed as a monolithic trend.

“No matter the controversy, the fact that education agents have become a global industry is undeniable,” says Elizabeth Shepherd, Research Manager at Education Intelligence and author of the report. “We must step away from the debate and understand how differently prospective students and their parents view agents, depending on where in the world they live.”

Some highlights from Student Insight: Why Students Use Agents:

· Due to a lack of reliable internet access, African students may pursue an agent’s services simply to get information
· In South Asia, the service most sought after from agents is information on obtaining a visa
· Europe shows the lowest percentage of respondents who might use agents, likely due to relative standardization of education environment
· In China, foundation course and English language students are more likely to use agents
· Indian students who have previously studied overseas are less likely to use an education agent
· Students interviewed in Beijing viewed agents as responsible and quick to react
· In Guangzhou, students interviewed said agents did not provide adequate information on the visa application process

STUDENT INSIGHT is a series of research reports produced by Education Intelligence which provides an unprecedented look into the process of a student’s decision-making based on data collected from 130,000 prospective student survey responses around the world over the past four years.

Student Insight: Agents, as well country-specific reports, are available for purchase via the Education Intelligence website at: http://ihe.britishcouncil.org/.