Monday, October 31, 2016

Updating one's resume before studying abroad, while abroad & after returning from abroad! Idea out of #GenerationStudyAbroad #IIESummit2016

A week ago, I was attending the 2nd annual IIE Generation Study Abroad Summit in Washington, DC and as I indicated in previous posts it was an excellent experience on many levels!

Last Friday, I posted about my favorite session at the Summit entitled Data-Driven Decision-Making: Documenting Study Abroad's Impact on Academic & Career Success presented by Lisa Loberg of California Lutheran, Ann Hubbard of the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) and Gary Rhodes of California State University of Dominguez Hills.

While speaking during the session, Gary brought up a very interesting idea that I really like.  In short, he suggested that students update their resumes before studying abroad, while they are studying abroad and after they return from study abroad.  I think this is an excellent idea and valuable exercise for study abroad students should consider doing!

Have you done something similar with students you work with who are heading abroad?

Photo credit: @UC_Global

Friday, October 28, 2016

Data-Driven Decision-Making to meet Institutional and Organizational Generation Study Abroad Goals

Earlier this week I was at the IIE Generation Study Abroad 2016 Summit in Washington, DC and I attended many great sessions.  For me, the most informative and valuable session was the Data-Driven Decision-Making: Documenting Study Abroad's Impact on Academic & Career Success session presented by Lisa Loberg of California Lutheran, Ann Hubbard of the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) and Gary Rhodes of California State University of Dominguez Hills.

To be sure, I have a strong interest in and respect for the research side of the field.  I firmly believe that making decisions to advance study abroad on your campus or in your organization should be informed by data and research results.  Some of the questions that guided the presentation and discussion follow:

  • What are the most compelling findings?
  • How do we make them common talking points?
  • How can we use these data more effectively to show that study abroad is not only beneficial, but essential?
  • How can the case for study abroad be more powerfully made to administrators, trustees, faculty, students and families?

Numerous research studies in the field have demonstrated that study abroad has a positive impact student academic and career success.  All three of my colleagues presented strong evidence on the positive impact of study abroad and were very engaging during their talks.  If you have a chance to attend a future conference session that Lisa, Ann or Gary are presenting at I highly recommend joining their session!

What study abroad data and research results have you found to be most useful in helping you advocate the benefits of study abroad to students or institutional leadership/decision makers?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Student Loan Forgiveness For Students Who Study Abroad - A #GenerationStudyAbroad #IIESummit2016 Idea By Sanford Ungar

The past three days I was at the IIE Generation Study Abroad Summit 2016 in Washington, DC and it was excellent!  I strongly encourage you and your colleagues to consider attending the 2017 Summit and if your institution or organization hasn't already done so please consider joining the 700+ Commitment Partners from across the globe who have joined the Generation Study Abroad initiative to double the number of U.S. students studying abroad.

There were too many great sessions at the Summit to choose from but the ones I attended were informative, engaging and thought provoking and I plan to post some thoughts I left with from the Summit.  One idea I found to be very interesting came from Sanford J. Ungar during the closing plenary.  Sanford Ungar is a leading proponent of study abroad and during his tenure as President of Goucher College he set forth a policy in 2006 requiring all undergraduate students at the school to study abroad before they graduated.  He also wrote a great essay in Foreign Affairs magazine entitled 'The Study-Abroad Solution: How to Open the American Mind' in March/April of this year and I encourage you to check it out.

During the closing plenary of the Generation Study Abroad Summit yesterday, Mr. Ungar suggested that there should be student loan forgiveness for students who study abroad!  While there are many variables that need to be sorted out should such a policy take hold but I fully support this idea.  Student loan forgiveness for students who study abroad would have broad reaching implications and this idea is certainly worth further exploration.

What are you thoughts on student loan forgiveness for students who study abroad?

Leave a comment below with your thoughts or, better yet, if you are on Twitter please tweet your thoughts using the following hashtags: #GenerationStudyAbroad  &  #IIESummit2016

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Thanks to the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) Sponsors of the 'Raising the Roof' Fundraiser Last Night!

UPDATE: The 1st Annual Greater DC Area Fund for Education Abroad fall fundraising event 
“Raise the Roof” for Study Abroad Scholarships raised $13,033!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Design Thinking and Increasing Study Abroad Participation #GenerationStudyAbroad

I'm here at the IIE Generation Study Abroad Summit and it's been great so far!

At the morning plenary I was reintroduced the the concept of Design Thinking but this time applied to the idea of increasing the number of U.S. students who study abroad.  It was fascinating to hear the speakers from The Design Gym talk about design thinking and study abroad.  Specifically, Generation Study Abroad Summit attendees were asked to participate in the Generation Study Abroad Design Thinking Challenge and answer the question "How do we rebrand and modernize study abroad to meet our goal [of doubling the number of U.S. students who study abroad]?

Throughout the Summit, attendees will be introduced to Design Thinking tools of:

  • Empathy Building
  • Idea Development
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Storytelling

I really liked that The Design Gym and IIE had large cards that allowed attendees to add their ideas. This really added an interesting and collaborative environment to the Summit and one that added great value.  If you are attending the Summit and haven't yet added your thoughts please take a moment and contribute!

Free Webinar: Student Mobility in Higher Education, 2:00 pm CST on October 27, 2016

I've been invited to be on a panel for an upcoming free webinar entitled "Student Mobility in Higher Education" hosted by the Journal of International Students scheduled for 2:00 pm CST on October 27, 2016.  I'm really looking forward to the discussion and if you are interested you can learn more below and follow the links to register for the webinar.

Free Webinar: Student mobility in higher education, 2 pm CST on October 27, 2016

The next conversation, titled “Student mobility in higher education” will be at 2 pm CST on October 27, 2016.

The following scholars/experts have agreed to be speakers for this event:

Dr. Anita Gopal, University of Maryland, College Park;
Dr. Bernhard Streitwieser, George Washington University;
Dr. Diana Carlin, Saint Louis University;
Dr. David Comp, University of Chicago Booth School of Business;
Dr. Eunjin Hwang, Sam Houston State University

Here is the registration page: (FREE)
Please mark your calendar.

Host: Journal of International Students

Please save/click this link to join the conversation. YouTube Link (Live)

You can review future webinars from this site:

Disclosure:  I serve as an Assistant Editor/Copy Editor for JIS

IIE #GenerationStudyAbroad Voices Video Challenge Winners Announced at #IIESummit2016

Last night at the IIE Generation Study Abroad Summit in Washington, DC the winners of the #GenerationStudyAbroad Voices Video Winners were announced/.  Great videos!  Congratulations to Colette Ghunim and Devin Sommer.  You can see their videos below:

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Follow the Twitter Backchannel from the 2016 IIE Summit on Generation Study Abroad in Washington, D.C. from October 23-25, 2016 #GenerationStudyAbroad @IIE_Summit

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Review of "A Student Guide to Study Abroad" by Nevadomski Berdan, Goodman & Taylor (2013) #GenerationStudyAbroad

Following is a brief and long overdue book review that I've been wanting to do since early 2014!

When I attended the IIE Generation Study Abroad Think Tank back in 2014 I (and all other participants) received a copy of the book A Student Guide to Study Abroad by Stacie Nevadomski Berdan (International Careers Expert), Allan Goodman (IIE President and CEO), and Sir Cyril Taylor GBE (AIFS Founder and Chairman) and Published by IIE and AIFS in 2013.

A Student Guide to Study Abroad is an excellent read for any student considering study abroad as well as those who have already made the choice to do so.  The book walks students through the entire study abroad process from determining if study abroad is right for the them, to selecting a study abroad program and understanding the financial implications, to immersing oneself in the host country culture and staying safe and healthy while abroad to returning home and highlighting one's growth from the study abroad experience.  If certain chapters are not relevant to a student they will certainly find value in the other chapters of the book as they navigate through their study abroad experience.  A list of the book chapters follows:

Chapter 1:  These are Global Times
Chapter 2:  Determining if Study Abroad is Right for You
Chapter 3:  Choosing a Program
Chapter 4:  Figuring Out the Financials
Chapter 5:  Preparing to Study Abroad
Chapter 6:  Immersing Yourself in the Culture and Personal Growth
Chapter 7:  Staying Safe and healthy While Studying Abroad
Chapter 8:  Making the Most of Your Time Abroad
Chapter 9:  Transitioning Back to Life in the States
Chapter 10:  Using Study Abroad to Showcase Your Global Growth and Learning
Afterword:  Advocate for Greater Global Awareness Everywhere

What I really like about this book is that it offers excellent advice for both parents and practitioners in addition to students.  Note that IIE does have a companion book entitled A Parent Guide to Study Abroad (in English and Spanish) and I'll be posting more on this publication after the upcoming IIE Generation Study Abroad Summit in Washington, DC.

I'm happy I have this book in my home library as I have three children who will study abroad as they are part of #GenerationStudyAbroad and this book will be incredibly helpful to them once they are all a bit older.  If you are interested in learning more about and perhaps purchasing a copy of A Student Guide to Study Abroad you can do so via the IIE website here.

Back in May of this year I also wrote a review of the book I really liked entitled Raising Global Children by Stacie Nevadomski Berdan and Marshall S. Berdan which you may find of interest.  You can read that review here.

Disclaimer:  Aside from receiving a free copy of A Student Guide to Study Abroad at the IIE Generation Study Abroad Think Tank I receive no financial gain nor any other form of compensation for this review.

"Cheat Sheet to 10 Cultural Codes From Around the World" a Free e-book by Andy Molinsky

Most IHEC Blog readers may be interested in a free e-book by Andy Molinsky entitled Cheat Sheet to 10 Cultural Codes From Around the World.

Molinsky created this e-book based on his book Global Dexterity (you can read my review of Global Dexterity here) for diagnosing the cultural codes of 10 major countries from around the world.

According to Molinsky, with the Cheat Sheet to 10 Cultural Codes From Around the World you'll learn how to:

  • Communicate and network like a native in countries around the world, from France to India
  • Avoid making faux pas and being inconsiderate of a culture you are a guest in
  • Interpret unfamiliar manners and mannerisms
  • And much more..
I've downloaded my copy and find it very helpful and something I will consult during my travels.  You can download your free copy from Molinsky's website.  You may also find interest in following Molinksy on Facebook.

Disclaimer:  Aside from downloading my free copy of this e-book I receive no compensation nor any privileges from posting about Cheat Sheet to 10 Cultural Codes From Around the World.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Raise The Roof for Study Abroad Scholarships from 6:00-9:00pm (EST) on October 24th in Washington, DC with the Fund for Education Abroad

UPDATE: The 1st Annual Greater DC Area Fund for Education Abroad fall fundraising event 
“Raise the Roof” for Study Abroad Scholarships raised $13,033!

Are you in the Washington, DC area or will you be attending the upcoming IIE Generation Study Abroad Summit October 23-25?

If so, please consider attending the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) fundraising event "Raise The Roof for Study Abroad Scholarships" on October 24th on the rooftop at Roofers Union (2446 18th St. NW) on Monday, October 24th form 6:00-9:00pm EST.

There will be drinks, food, and fundraising for study abroad scholarships! All proceeds go to fund study abroad opportunities for underrepresented DC-area students.  If you are not able to attend the event but still wish to donate you can do so via the FEA website!

You can learn more about the Raise the Roof event and register here!

As attending the IIE Generation Study Abroad Summit was a late addition to my calendar I just registered yesterday for this FEA event and I'm very excited to attend.  Hope to see you there!

Disclosure:  I serve on the FEA Board and I am Chair of the Scholarship Committee

Ignorant Mistake Dims the Luster of Gold

The following is a guest blog post on Athletes and Intercultural Competency by Arayael E. Brandner

This is America. Speak American.

This ethnocentric line of thinking might resonate with some people or it might make others uncomfortable. There are people who feel as though they do not have to adapt to other cultures and everyone should adapt to theirs. Cultural ignorance. People that never have an opportunity to change their worldview through study abroad, cultural programming through educational opportunities, or living in a super diverse area, might not have the understanding of why it is important to have some kind of intercultural competence.

In recent events, a United States swimmer and Olympic gold medalist, made a culturally incompetent mistake. You might be familiar with the Rio scandal that involved Ryan Lochte making a false report to Brazilian authorities about being robbed near a gas station. Instead, video surveillance showed the swimmers were not harmed, but instead vandalized the gas station bathroom. (See USA Today link for full story)

Did the Olympic athletes have some sort of cultural training before heading down to Rio de Janeiro to compete? If Ryan Lochte received some sort of intercultural training, do you think the scenario would have played out differently? Maybe, maybe not. These are valid questions, and one would think that these high profile athletes, who are representing nations, would receive some type of preparation before entering into a different culture to compete on a global platform. Darla Deardorff, a leading scholar-practitioner in the field of International Education, created a cultural competency framework, and it mentions skills that can be learned to help individuals become more culturally and globally competent when found in environments different than their own. The framework displays how one acquires global competency skills, attitudes, global knowledge, and internal and external outcomes (Deardorff, 2009). In her model she has illustrated the process an individual goes through to gain competency skills. It starts with the individual and the attitude and previous knowledge/experience one has acquired on their own in their normal living environment. Then through an international or cultural experience, the individual then moves into the interaction stage where internal and external outcomes come into play. A likely internal outcome would be something like adaptability to new environments, people, food, customs or developing empathy and understanding of your own background to this new culture you are immersed into. A desired external outcome would be proper communication and behavior in an intercultural setting. This external outcome would have been very useful and relevant for Mr. Lochte to have had in his trip down to Rio. 

I would argue that if the Olympic athletes were required to complete some kind of cultural competency training before embarking on their road to Rio, this scenario would have played out differently, or not even occurred. As globalization increases, cultural programming should become an integral part of professional development and trainings, along with infusing these themes in an educational setting through curriculum and study abroad opportunities to change worldview perspectives and enhance intercultural competency skills. We want to move away from an ethnocentric way of thinking to become interculturally sensitive and open to new opportunities and environments.


Deardorff, Darla (2009). Theory reflections: intercultural competence framework/model.  The SAGE Handbook of Intercultural Competence at

Photo credit:  Toby and Tai Shan

2016 International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) Award for Excellence in Professional Commentary in International Education #AIEC2016

Congratulations to Stuart Hughes of the IDP Database of Research in International Education (aka @IDPDRIE) for his 2016 International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) Award for Excellence in Professional Commentary in International Education.  Well deserved!

Monday, October 17, 2016

IHEC Blog will be reporting from IIE Generation Study Abroad Summit in Washington DC, Oct. 23-25, 2016

I'll be attending the upcoming IIE Generation Study Abroad Summit as a member of the media (for IHEC Blog) and not as being from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. I'll be blogging, tweeting and posting to Facebook before, during and after the Summit!  I'm hoping to secure some great interviews with key people associated with Generation Study Abroad as well as other prominent stakeholders in the field.  I also plan to try out Facebook Live so stay tuned to IHEC Blog's Facebook page!

This Summit will be my first official press credentials for an international education event...although I had quasi-press credentials for my blog when the Fulbright Scholarship Board held their quarterly meeting at the University of Chicago back in May 2013.

Will you be there? It would be great to connect!

#GenerationStudyAbroad #IIESummit2016

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Follow the Twitter Backchannel from the Australian International Education Conference from October 18-21, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia #aiec2016

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

International Student Integration in the Academic Culture of Group Work

The following is a guest post by Katie Ray:

Collaborator. Communicator. Leader. Team player – all nouns with positive connotations that identify an individual adept in the arena of group work. Group work – on the other hand – doesn’t always yield an immediate positive response.  Of course, group work can be rewarding – and of course, we all know that more can be accomplished together than alone.

However, at some point during the course of your academic or professional career, you have most certainly been in those groups where you questioned this mantra. Where you felt that you took it upon yourself to produce some deliverable with little to zero support from your so-called, teammates. With this in mind, the process of learning how to facilitate, moderate and contribute in a group work scenario takes practice. It is difficult – for everyone. It’s difficult for young and experienced professionals – and it’s difficult for students – both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

As international educators, we must remember that everyone includes international students.

During the 2014-2015 academic year, 974,926 international students studied in the U.S. (Institute for International Education). These 974,926 students bring their perspectives, experiences, knowledge and questions to the U.S. classroom – a classroom with an academic culture that may appear very different than that of their home countries. An academic culture that can often – rely heavily on discussion, participation, and – you guessed it – group work.

We all know that in order to maximize the benefits of having international students on campus, institutions must ensure that systems are in place to enable the social and academic success of this population. Thus, how can we ensure our international students are prepared to enter this new academic culture, and not only engage in it, but also thrive?

This post highlights a tangible experiential learning activity that my team has found useful when leading international student orientations for specific graduate student populations within a business education context. This activity – referred to as “Zoom” – is based on the picture book Zoom by Istvan Banyai. When completing the activity, each student receives one of the pictures depicted in Banyai’s book (see Image 1 below depicting a sample of pictures from the book). Students have the goal of using various forms of communication strategies to arrange the sequence of pictures in the correct order. 

As you may have guessed by the title, together, the images depict a story, which becomes increasingly more complex as the viewer’s perspective narrows. The activity aims to assist students in developing learning strategies involved in successful group work – as many of the curricular objectives within our school revolve around successful collaboration within teams of cultural, social and professional diversity.

Image 1 (photo by K. Ray): 

The activity has proven an invaluable follow-up to discussion on the U.S. classroom environment – and how that environment can differ from one’s home academic culture, as well as the variety of academic success strategies international students have found useful in the past. Additionally, the activity provides clear evidence to students that individualistic and collectivist cultural tendencies can impact approaches to group work and leadership styles – both of which are extraordinarily relevant to any student – especially to a student studying business. 

As practitioners within the field of international higher education, we often do not directly teach or facilitate coursework for our international students. However via orientation and co-curricular programming efforts, we certainly contribute to their success both academically and socially. “Zoom” provides a simple example regarding how practitioners can expose students to new educational styles, and equip them with foundational experiences and learning strategies – which they can continuously draw on in future academic environments.


Banyai, I. (1995). Zoom. New York: Viking.

Institute for International Education. (2015). Open Doors -- Fast Facts: International students in the U.S.
Questions? Contact Katie Ray:

Twitter: kt_ray

Katie Ray is the International Student Liaison at the George Washington University School of Business where she serves as the first point of contact for the school’s international student population, on a team of comprehensive internationalization. Additionally, she has worked in the arenas international alumni relations and development, and secondary high school exchange. Her research interests explore how institutions can better integrate international students socially, academically and professionally, and how that engagement translates to alumni affinity. She is currently an M.A. candidate in the International Education program at GW’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Follow the Twitter Backchannel from the Forum on Education Abroad's 3rd European Conference in Athens, Greece - October 5-7, 2016 #EuroForum16