Forum Board Approves Strategic Plan

At its July 2017 meeting, The Forum’s Board of Directors approved the 2017-21 Strategic Plan. The culmination of nearly 18 months of work involving hundreds of Forum colleagues, the Strategic Plan will act as a roadmap for The Forum to serve its members, and the field, to benefit students abroad. This Strategic Plan also articulates The Forum’s Mission, Vision and Foundational Principles.

The Forum thanks the Strategic Planning Team (Enda Carroll, University College Dublin; Nick Gozik, Boston College; Mary Anne Grant, Forum Board Chair and ISEP emerita; Susan Popko, Santa Clara University; Lorna Stern, Arcadia University; Natalie A. Mello and Annmarie Whalen, Forum staff) and the many Forum members, too numerous to name here, who offered their knowledge, expertise and opinions during plan’s development. Our special thanks to Mark Lenhart (CET Academic Programs) and John Lucas (ISEP) for serving as ex officio team members.

View the Strategic Plan»

 

 

2017-2018 Forum Workshop Schedule is Now Available

The Forum’s schedule of 2017-18 Regional Workshops is now available.

Workshops focus on issues of concern to the field of education abroad. Led by experienced Forum Trained Facilitators, they are highly interactive, timely and informative, providing participants with current best practices and how these practices can be implemented to meet the field’s Standards of Good Practice. Many of the workshop offerings also count towards earning Professional Certification in Education Abroad and Competency Credentials.

View the schedule»

 

 

Forum Announces New Competency Credentials

Competency Credentials represent advanced professional development based on the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad. A Competency demonstrates that you have done more than attend workshops; it signifies that you are able to articulate and apply the Standards for the field. As a competency earner, you will gain confidence in your knowledge of the Standards, understand how to examine your institution/organization’s practices based upon the Standards, and develop ways to improve those practices. Finally, by utilizing the digital badge issued upon completion you will differentiate yourself in the field by clearly communicating the skills it represents.

If you have attended a Standards Workshop since 2015, you are already on your way to earning a Competency Credential. And, if you are currently enrolled in the Professional Certification in Education Abroad program you will earn competency credentials as you progress through the program.

Learn more»

Digitial badges for Competency Credentials: Foundations of Good Practice, Fundamentals of Student Preparation and Risk Management, and Principles of Program Development and Administration

 

Forum Responds to Recent Article

Forum President and CEO Brian Whalen has submitted a letter to the editor in response to an article that appeared on July 7 in The Washington Post. A copy of this letter is available below.


July 11, 2017

To the editor:

I am writing in response to an article that appeared in The Washington Post on July 7 (“When study abroad ends in death, US parents find few answers”).

Research indicates that U.S. college students are no more likely to die while studying abroad than on U.S. campuses. Even so, every student death, whether it occurs abroad or at home, is a tragedy.

Through widely-accepted Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, the education abroad field is committed to keeping students safe and preparing them to be safe while studying abroad. This is achieved through a wide range of best practices, including:

  • Requiring pre-departure and onsite orientation related to travel risks as well as risks specific to the education abroad site(s);
  • Conducting regular, thorough risk assessments of program sites and activities;
  • Hiring and training professional staff who are knowledgeable about the location and local risks;
  • Complying with local laws and regulations;
  • Reporting incidents as required by the Clery Act and Title IX/VAWA;
  • Monitoring of and responding to State Department, and other health, safety, and security alerts.

Universities that offer education abroad opportunities provide valuable learning experiences that transform students. An important aspect of offering these opportunities is making sure that all programs offered by universities and their partners are meeting the field’s Standards.

Students and their families should ask their universities and potential program providers about these efforts so that they can make an informed decision when choosing an education abroad program.

Brian Whalen
President and CEO
The Forum on Education Abroad

 

Get Involved in The Forum: Call for Facilitators, Certification Assessors & QUIP Peer Reviewers

Looking for ways to get more involved in The Forum’s work and contribute to the field? The Forum welcomes your experience and knowledge with a number of different opportunities to join colleagues in improving our work:

QUIP Peer Reviewers play a critical role in making The Forum’s Quality Improvement Program (QUIP) the only objective, independent review system in education abroad. Learn more»

Forum Trained Facilitators are part of the Forum Trained Facilitator Team that delivers the Standards of Good Practice workshops. These workshops are a primary way that the field learns to apply the Standards of Good Practice. Learn more»

Forum Certification Assessors for the Professional Certification in Education Abroad program are trained to review and evaluate Standards Assignments submitted by program participants. Learn more»

 

 

New Session Type for 2018: Best Practice Laboratories

In conference and workshop evaluations, attendees have requested more opportunities to exchange small but impactful best practices. In response, we’ve imagined a new session format, a direct exchange of best practices, where attendees will be able to present best practice examples with the goal of building education abroad’s community of shared knowledge: Best Practice Laboratories.

 

 

2017 State of the Field Survey is now open

The 2017 State of the Field Survey was sent to Institutional Representatives at Forum member institutions and organizations last week. This updated survey explores current practices in the field of education abroad. Member participation on behalf of their institution or organization will help Forum members benchmark current practices against others, advocate for education abroad within their institution or organization, and help The Forum learn how to better serve its membership in the future. The Survey will be open until September 19, 2017.

Members responding before 5pm EDT on August 1, 2017 will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a free workshop registration for an employee working in education abroad at their institution or organization.

Preview the survey here.

New Certified Professional: Mandy Brookins Blinn

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Mandy Brookins Blinn of DePauw University successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Mandy joins colleagues who have effectively demonstrated the ability to articulate and apply the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, and a commitment to professional excellence and ethical conduct.

Congratulations to Mandy!

“Participating in the Accelerated Residency Program was extremely helpful in that I was able to dedicate time to focus exclusively on the Forum Standards of Good Practice, and collaborate with colleagues from other institutions. I look forward to working with colleagues across the globe in making the field of education abroad the best it can be for our students, communities, and organizations.”  Mandy Brookins Blinn

 

 

Congratulations to New Forum Council Members!

The Forum is pleased to announce that the following colleagues have been elected to the Forum Council for a 3-year term:

  • Rob Hallworth, IES Abroad
  • Julie Maddox, MIT
  • Mark Odenwelder, CEDEI
  • Anthony (Tony) Pinder, Emerson College
  • Craig Rinker, Georgetown University
  • Tynelle A. Stewart, University of Rochester

The new Council members will begin their terms on July 1.

 

Special Funding Opportunity to Participate in QUIP

The Forum is pleased to announce a specially-funded opportunity for member institutions to participate in a Quality Improvement Program (QUIP) review. Selected institutions will pay only a $500 fee and will be eligible for a grant to fund up to 75% of estimated site visit expenses.

The selection of member institutions will be based both on a demonstrated commitment to completing a QUIP review and the need for financial support. The Forum encourages applications from a diverse range of institutions, including community colleges, minority-serving institutions, state colleges and universities, and organizations and institutions located outside the U.S.

Application deadline is October 16.

Learn more»

 

 

Forum Storytellers Podcast: A Conversation with Mary-Elizabeth Debicki

The latest episode of Forum Storytellers is now available!

Mary-Elizabeth Debicki is a true education abroad pioneer, who chose to build her career in education abroad long before it was a recognized field. Listen as she describes her experience studying abroad in France in the 1950s—which began with a voyage on a transatlantic ocean liner—and how it shaped the rest of her life. Interviewed by her longtime friend and colleague, Mary Anne Grant, Mary-Elizabeth traces her path from undergraduate to Director of Study Abroad at the University of Kansas.

Listen now»

 

 

Advocacy Alert: Title VI and Fulbright-Hays Under Threat

Last week the Trump Administration issued a Presidential Budget Request that calls for the reduction or elimination of international education programs in the Department of Education (Title VI & Fulbright-Hays).

As a member of the Coalition for International Education, The Forum urges its members to take action. Please consider urging your Members of Congress to oppose these proposals! Visit The Coalition’s convenient web form to contact your Representatives now.

 

 

Sara’s Wish Foundation Continues Its Support of The Forum

The Forum is very pleased to announce a generous gift from Sara’s Wish Foundation. The $4,000 gift from Sara’s Wish will provide scholarships that make it possible for colleagues from a wide range of institutions to participate in The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. This past year Sara’s Wish scholarships were awarded to individuals from three public universities, one private institution and one independent program provider organization. Without this scholarship support, these colleagues would not have been able to advance their knowledge and skill in applying the Standards of Good Practice in Education Abroad to help to ensure a safe and meaningful education abroad experience for students.

The Forum Focus – Volume 3, Issue 2

The May 2017 issue of The Forum Focus is now available online. This issue includes the following short articles:

  • “Growth, Outreach, and Community,” by Brian Whalen, Forum President and CEO
  • “Confronting the Challenge of Rationalization in Education Abroad; Part 2: Predictability,” by David English, Co-Founder, Study Abroad Mendoza
  • “Setting New Standards of Excellence in Education Abroad,” by Alma R. Clayton-Pedersen, Ph.D., CEO, Emeritus Consulting Group, Senior Scholar, Association of American Colleges and Universities
  • “From the Forum Board Chair: Strategic Planning & Advocacy,” by Mary Anne Grant, President Emerita, ISEP

The Forum welcomes responses to articles, ideas for future topics, and submissions. Please send correspondence and submissions to: info@forumea.org.

Read this issue of The Forum Focus»

View past issues»

 

 

2017 Forum Council Candidates Announced

The Nominations Committee of the Forum Council is pleased to announce the following slate of candidates for the open positions in this year’s election:

Institutional Representatives from Forum member institutions and organizations have received an email with voting information. If you are an Institutional Representative and have not received this email, please contact info@forumea.org.


Timothy L. Carlson, Co-Director, IFE (Institute for Field Education, formerly Internships in Francophone Europe), Paris

Timothy L. Carlson is Co-Director of the Europe-based, not-for-profit, educational institute IFE (Institute for Field Education, formerly Internships in Francophone Europe). Tim has worked with IFE – first as a consultant and later joining the leadership team – since 1995. During his tenure IFE has grown from a pocket program serving a few students to a well-known institute operating highly-regarded programs in three European cities.

Bi-cultural and bi-national, Tim would bring to the Council critical overseas perspective. Not by chance, IFE’s reputation for excellence includes the vital twin facets of being a fully-embedded local institute also  able to work sensitively and productively with US partner universities for innovative, field-based programming.

As the longest-term member of IFE leadership, Tim has played a pivotal role in bringing a tiny, unknown overseas organization into its present position as a well-respected multi-city educational institute, working in close collaboration with more than two dozen top-ranked public and private US colleges and universities. At the same time IFE has built dense networks connecting it to civil society, the private sector, public administration and the university community in each of its sites (Paris, Strasbourg, Brussels). This double-ended strategy has earned IFE praise and—more importantly—fruitful collaborations on both sides of the Atlantic.

Building in this way a truly bi-cultural institution, Tim and his colleagues have amassed—in addition to a detailed understanding of how diverse forms of U.S. higher education function—important savoir-faire in several areas, including:

  • dialoging with U.S. institutions about in situ local opportunities and how to tap into valuable local differences compared to home campus and society, while navigating local constraints;
  • in a similar vein, developing productive, innovative and above all cooperative sender-provider relations;
  • devising ways study abroad can drive language acquisition—and vice-versa—at all levels of language learning;
  • making sure experiential education when abroad adheres to the principles of academic excellence on which it was originally founded;
  • experimenting with little and not-so-little ways to build inter-cultural consciousness into study abroad programming.

In his leadership role at IFE, Tim has developed an interest in curriculum integration including across the curriculum, in rethinking the equivalence question, in putting forward the role study abroad can play in reinforcing the career-relevance of liberal arts education, in supporting French language acquisition in the U.S., and other issues.

He has organized or participated in the following Forum conference sessions:

  • Denver 2012 – “What is Study Abroad’s Campus Address?: Concrete steps for integrating education abroad into the undergraduate curriculum” (session organizer)
  • Dublin 2012 – “How to get to Europe”, comments as part of the session “De-familarizing Europe”, suggesting ways to use experiential education and research to get inside supposedly well-known destinations. (presenter, session organized by Helena Kaufman)
  • Chicago 2013 – Comments on managing risk and fear by distinguishing real and apparent risk as part of the session “Diffusing Drama in Perceived Crises (presenter, session organized by Julie Friend)
  • Atlanta 2016 – “When Worlds (don’t need to) Collide: Study Abroad, Liberal Education, Internships, Careers”. (session organizer)
  • Athens 2016 – Universities, Culture, and Communication: Identifying the inter-cultural dimensions of inter-institutional dialog. (session organizer)

With a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts in Philosophy and a Master’s of Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, Tim has experience as teacher, as journalist and as communications consultant to the French higher education and research system.

In his own words: “I would be honored to participate in the work and deliberations of The Forum’s Council. I bring to this role a habit of mind engendered through building IFE’s position as an inter-institutional inter-cultural actor, putting down roots on both sides of the Atlantic. This bi-cultural and collaborative habit of mind has also led my colleagues and myself to reflect continually—from a field-based perspective—on how education abroad can be academically challenging and inter-culturally effective. The Forum’s Council would seem the obvious setting to pursue and extend that reflection.”


Rob Hallworth, Vice President and Deputy Director of Academic Programs, IES Abroad

Rob Hallworth has been in the field of education abroad for more than twenty years. He is currently the Vice President and Deputy Director of Academic Programs at IES Abroad. Prior to that, he worked as a study abroad and academic advisor for international affairs majors at the University of New Hampshire, the inaugural Director of International Education at Salisbury University and the Director of Study Abroad at The George Washington University. He has worked with The Forum on Education Abroad in a number of roles. He has facilitated more than ten Standards Workshops as part of the Forum Trained Facilitator Team, chaired or presented at six Forum conferences, and run a webinar on the Code of Ethics.  He has served on The Forum’s Curriculum Committee and the Curriculum Award Selection Committee. He has been a member of the Forum Institute Planning Committee and hosted a Beyond the Basics of Health and Safety Institute while at GWU. In his more than two decades in the field, he has served on a number of advisory boards in the field and presented on more than three dozen panels at national and international conferences. While at UNH and Salisbury University, he taught courses in U.S. and World History. He holds a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire in History and an M.A. from Georgetown University in Russian Area Studies.


Jonathan Kaplan, Vice Provost, Rothberg International School, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Jonathan Kaplan has been active in international education since 1978 as a teacher and administrator, most recently as the Vice Provost of the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, one of the oldest study abroad providers which hosts some 2,200 students every year from over 50 countries. The school offers study abroad and exchange programs, short-term programs throughout the year, graduate degree programs, language programs and pre-academic preparatory programs for international students. As the chief administrative officer of the school, Jon has been involved in program development, outreach, public relations, finances, and emergency management. He has also worked closely with North American universities in most of these areas. Kaplan has brought together other leading academic institutions in Jerusalem in order to offer joint programs in the performing and studio arts. He has also guided the school toward increased activity within The Forum and served as a member of the 2017 conference committee.

Kaplan has also led various educational projects outside the university. He was very active in the development of new educational technologies, serving as the founding director of Aviv, Israel’s first virtual high school and later as the director of a state-wide project to integrate computer technology into the teaching and learning of schools located in underprivileged areas across the country. Kaplan has a B.A. in Education and Jewish History and an M.A. in Jewish History from the Hebrew University. His doctoral dissertation will be presented there later this year.

Jon would like to contribute to the strengthening of an international perspective in The Forum’s work. As North American universities take an increasingly active role in their students’ study abroad experiences—academically and administratively—there is a greater need to understand and define the connection between home universities and those institutions that host students abroad. There may be a need for alignment in areas such as Title IX, diversity and inclusion, student safety and academic reporting. This could include services for institutions abroad that seek to better understand the needs of North American schools and wish to comply with their expectations through easily accessible training sessions. This could also lead to the broader certification program specifically for foreign institutions. The promotion of The Forum among international institutions could also advance this goal. A second and related issue has to do with incoming international students. How can universities develop the competence and cultural sensitivity not only to send their students abroad, but also to receive and support students from other cultures and societies? What should be the interaction between incoming and outgoing students, in order to maximize the experience of each? For these reasons Jon would be most interested in joining the Standards Committee.


Julie Maddox, Assistant Dean for Global Education, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

During her twelve years as a study abroad professional, Julie has managed overseas programs that included experiences for students to pursue academic study, internship, research and service-learning opportunities. In her current role as Assistant Dean for Global Education, she assists in providing direction and leadership for MIT’s Global Education team by overseeing study abroad operations, programs and services. Her responsibilities also include providing support in strategic planning, gap analysis, program assessment, data collection and other university-wide initiatives. Before joining MIT, Julie served as Director of Study Abroad Programs at Valparaiso University in Indiana.

Julie has a particular interest in helping the field further develop resources and tools for curricular design and integration, specifically for the STEM fields. Her work on curriculum design and integration is varied. She’s worked closely with faculty to develop courses for semester-long programs overseas as well as faculty-led short-term programs. While at Valparaiso University, she participated in the American Council of Education’s Internationalization Laboratory, an 18-month strategic planning initiative. She chaired a subcommittee on long-term international and domestic opportunities and worked closely with faculty on curriculum integration. At MIT, she was appointed by the Dean for Undergraduate Education to serve on the Dean’s Diversity and Inclusion Council to help advance MIT’s mission and values of a diverse and inclusive working environment.

Her experience in the field also includes work with organizations and associations at the national and state levels. She currently sits on the advisory board of a non-profit study abroad organization, CISabroad, and previously represented Valparaiso University on board of the Indiana Consortium of International Programs and as a representative for the New Association of Universities & Colleges (NAC&U). While working at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, she chaired the Illinois State Resolution on International Education through the International Educators of Illinois.

Julie is compelled to give back to The Forum and to serve other colleagues in the field more broadly. She is passionate about advocating for best practices and excellence in education abroad and looks forward to the opportunity to brainstorm with others about this important work. By serving on the council, she hopes to have a direct impact on providing global education opportunities to students beyond her own institution.


Mark Odenwelder, Executive Director , CEDEI (Centro de Estudios Interamericanos), Cuenca, Ecuador

Mark Odenwelder has been involved the field of international education for fifteen years. Specifically, he has been the Executive Director of CEDEI (Centro de Estudios Interamericanos) in Cuenca, Ecuador for the past 9 years. Before that, he was the Director of International Programs at CEDEI for nearly 3 years. Prior to directing CEDEI, Mark worked in private consulting, as a Spanish teacher, as an English Teacher, and as an on-site study abroad coordinator.

CEDEI is a large, multi-faceted not-for-profit educational institution in Ecuador, providing quality customized study abroad programming primarily for U.S. students, a large English institute for Ecuadorian students, as well as a bilingual pre-K through High School for students from Ecuador and all over the world. It supports study opportunities for Ecuadorians in the U.S. by hosting EducationUSA in conjunction with the U.S. State Department, as well.

In his role as Executive Director, Mark has dealt with everything from program conceptual development to on the ground program management (including, but not limited to, academic oversight, emergency management, student well-being, budget development and management, policy and procedure development, etc.) to post-program evaluation and fine-tuning. With each of these responsibilities, Mark has worked diligently to include the standards at every step of the way. One of the more gratifying pieces of his day-to-day work is finding ways to get locals and US partners to understand one another better by using the standards as a bridge.

Mark was part of the first cohort to complete The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad program, and has applied his theoretical and practical knowledge of the Standards as one of The Forum’s Trained Facilitators, offering trainings all over the world to various international education professionals. Mark has also been a frequent presenter at both Forum and other conferences, as well as a facilitator at a Forum workshop on mental health issues in education abroad.

Mark provides an entrepreneurial spirit, having worked to bring The Forum on Education Abroad and the U.S. Embassy in Quito together to provide Best Practices workshops for Ecuadorian universities, and helping to extend the reach of The Forum’s work abroad. He continues to advocate for best practices both nationally in Ecuador, and regionally, and has found there to be excellent opportunities through working with local embassies, consulates, and universities.

Mark served for two years as the President of AAPLAC (the Association of Academic Programs of Latin America and the Caribbean), as well as on AAPLAC’s board of directors for the three years previous. Now, Mark is part of the editorial board of Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, as well as the co-Editor of Frontiers’ book review.

Mark currently serves on The Forum’s Standards Committee, and served on the conference committee for The Forum’s conference in Chicago in 2013. He found the selection process for the presentations offered at that conference to be an extremely enlightening, though challenging, process, given both the quality and breadth of topics that were submitted.

If elected, Mark will bring a balanced and easy-going, but thoughtful perspective to the Forum Council. He is a passionate advocate for study abroad in Latin America, and would be honored to serve the needs of all members as well as working to continue to open the doors of The Forum to new members.

Mark has an MNA (Masters in Nonprofit Administration) from the University of Notre Dame, and a B.A. in International Studies and Spanish from the University of Richmond.


Anthony L. Pinder, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs-Internationalization & Global Engagement, Emerson College

In February 2014, Anthony L. Pinder became the inaugural Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs for Internationalization and Global Engagement at Emerson College in Boston, MA. In this role, he plays a pivotal role in helping the College determine what it means to be a leading institution in the arts and communication in a global way. He is responsible for managing and providing leadership to all of the College’s international operations, such as the Emerson College European Center at Kasteel Well, The Netherlands; English Language Learning (ELL); long-standing programmatic partnerships with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Academy of Performing Arts for Film and Television in the Czech Republic (FAMU); among other initiatives.

Upon his arrival to Emerson, Anthony established Emerson’s Global Pathways Program, which now numbers 18 faculty-led education abroad programs around the world. In collaboration with the Office of the President, Anthony launched the College’s annual Curriculum Internationalization Studio, a stipend granting low-residency faculty development program focusing on internationalizing the curriculum. In three years, the studio has awarded grants to 42 faculty members to support the creation/development of 19 new courses/programs with high international content and depth. As Emerson’s senior international officer (SIO), Anthony also oversees the Offices of International Student Affairs, Education Abroad & Domestic Programs, and International Partnerships/Exchanges.

Anthony’s research and professional interests focus on the international dimensions of higher education at the institutional, system, national and international levels, student global learning outcomes/assessment and minority serving institutions. His nearly 20 years in higher education has included serving as the SIO at two historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA) and Dillard University (New Orleans, LA) respectively; Georgia Gwinnett College, the newest 4-year Liberal Arts institution within the University System of Georgia; and Assistant Professor of Education.

Anthony is interested in serving on the Forum Council to leverage his experience in leading and implementing comprehensive internationalization strategies at institutions with distinct profiles and missions. His experience in facilitating inclusive excellence practices in education abroad would also be an asset to The Forum’s efforts to remain relevant in this regard. The Forum’s evolving standards have served as important parameters, which have guided Anthony’s work for nearly two decades.

His service and leadership in the field of international education is evidenced by his current membership on the Advisory Guild of Arcadia’s College of Global Studies; AIEA’s Leadership Development Committee; Board of Directors for Diversity Abroad; as well as a frequent consultant and program reviewer for the American Council on Education’s Internationalization Laboratory.  Anthony has presented and/or served as guest speaker at the annual conferences of NAFSA, AIEA, Diversity Abroad, SACSOC, Diversity Abroad, NACUBO, AAC&U, among others.

Currently, completing a book on the Internationalization of HBCUs, his article Historically Black Colleges/Universities: Transformative, Redemptive and Liberating will appear in CAPA: The Global Education Network’s upcoming Occasional Publication Series #6 (May 2017). Anthony holds the doctorate in educational leadership and higher education administration from Clark Atlanta University; M.A. in international economics and Latin American studies from The Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS); and a B.A. in finance from Morehouse College.


Craig Rinker, Director, Office of Global Education, Georgetown University

Craig Rinker has spent over 20 years as a higher education professional promoting student development through intentional, transformative learning experiences. He believes in the critical role education abroad plays as a high impact practice for student engagement and intercultural learning. Through his work, Craig has been able to engage in nearly every facet of education abroad management including on-site program delivery, student advising, program development and marketing, and health, safety, security, and risk management. In his current role as Director of Global Education at Georgetown University, he provides strategic leadership and oversight to a diverse study abroad unit within a complex private research university. Prior to joining Georgetown in 2012, Craig served as the Director of Education Abroad at Babson College in Wellesley, MA. He has worked in international education since 2002, including on-site in the United Kingdom and institutional relations management for Arcadia University, The College of Global Studies.

Since 2009, Craig has been actively engaged with The Forum on Education Abroad. Serving first as a volunteer on the Marketing Committee to develop best practices for marketing on college and university campuses. In the same year, Craig completed the QUIP (Quality Improvement Program) Peer Review Training.  Currently, he serves as a member of the Advocacy Committee, working to develop a clearinghouse of campus-based advocacy resources for the benefit of the Forum membership. In addition, Craig has provided ongoing contributions to The Forum through volunteering as a new member resource, participation in discussions about the progression of the field of education abroad, and facilitation in conference presentations and workshops.

As higher education evolves, the field of education abroad must continue to be innovative while maintaining its commitment to standards and best practices.  Craig would be honored to serve the needs of The Forum on Education Abroad member institutions.


Tynelle A Stewart, Assistant Dean & Director, Education Abroad, University of Rochester

In 2007 Tynelle A Stewart (Ty) was appointed as Director of Study Abroad and Fellowships, at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Ty was instrumental in the conceptualization and development of the Study Abroad Office at RIT. During her tenure as Director, she designed and implemented diverse programs to promote study abroad and global education across RIT- Rochester and global campuses. Ty continued to provide strategic direction for the office, as the scope of the programming increased.

Ty successfully developed and managed global programs, which enhanced the RIT portfolio, these included faculty-led programs. Further, she developed programs for deaf and hard of hearing students, providing them with access to study abroad and to engage in a transformative experiences. Ty’s commitment to the evolution of the office led to a 32% increase of student participation in study abroad. Prior to her appointment, there was no publicity of an office which focused on study abroad interest, no budget, and no designated staff. Ty trained and mentored her staff, while designing and implementing programs that enhance international education and global learning opportunities for both students and faculty.

Under Ty’s leadership, the Study Abroad Office at RIT was transformed into a broad program focused on global education, scholarship, professional development internships, and cooperative learning opportunities. Over those eight academic years, she worked with faculty, deans, the Provost, and high level administrators to develop a comprehensive global education program that enabled students to engage in study abroad at all stages of their academic careers.

In her newly appointed role as Assistant Dean & Director of Education Abroad at The University of Rochester, Ty is responsible for leading education abroad at Rochester to a new level of genuine excellence, institutional prominence, and to greater student and faculty participation. Ty is devoted to assuring that the Education Abroad Office at Rochester exemplifies best practices in a rapidly changing profession, and is also fully integrated with newly emerging institution-wide internationalization strategies.

Ty brings a fresh perspective to education abroad operations at Rochester and thinks “outside the box”. She is focused on the advancement of dynamic exchanges with international partner institutions, which is a very high priority for the University. In addition she is working on developing initiatives regarding student research, international internships, international volunteering programs, and the expansion of opportunities for STEM students.

Ty currently serves as a member of the Forum Trained Facilitator Team leading workshops on the Standards of Good Practice which are a part of The Forum’s Certification in Education Abroad program. She is also on the SAI (Study Abroad Italy) Advisory Board and previously served on the Arcadia University National Advisory Board. Through these involvements she has gained experience conducting comprehensive reviews of current education abroad strategies, program evaluations as well as policies and procedures; all while providing recommendations for best practice. Ty will bring a wealth of experience, knowledge, dedication, and eagerness to learn to the Council.

 

 

New Certified Professional: Timothy Lynn Elliott

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Timothy Lynn Elliott of Brigham Young University has successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Lynn joins colleagues who have effectively demonstrated the ability to articulate and apply the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, and a commitment to professional excellence and ethical conduct.

Congratulations to Lynn!

“The Professional Certification Program gave me a chance to think more deeply about what we do in education abroad and then to have those thoughts helpfully critiqued by colleagues in the field. In the process I learned a lot. The in-depth learning on The Forum’s Standards was very much worth my time and effort.”  Timothy Lynn Elliott

Host Forum Workshops at Your Organization

The Forum seeks Forum member institutions and organizations to host workshops during the 2017-18 academic year. Hosts may choose from one full-day or two half-day workshops that focus on The Forum’s Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad. Host benefits include complimentary workshop registrations, recognition on The Forum’s website and in social media, and bringing high-quality training right to your doorstep. The Forum seeks diverse hosts, both in the U.S. and abroad, from all types of Forum member institutions and organizations.

Proposal deadline is June 12.

Learn more»

 

 

Nominations Invited for Forum Council

Nominations are now being collected for colleagues who can dedicate their time and provide their expertise by serving on the Forum Council. The Forum Council, an elected body of 15 colleagues, works collaboratively with Forum staff to produce member resources and benefits. Council members are elected to a three-year term, and are eligible to serve two terms.

The Forum Council seeks to engage diverse representatives from education abroad and higher education to represent the breadth of The Forum’s membership on the Council. In seeking nominations, the Council is particularly interested in nominees from underrepresented institutions and demographics.

To learn more about the Forum Council, review the position description and Council member obligations, and nominate yourself or a colleague, please visit: www.forumea.org/get-involved/forum-council.

There are eight places available on this year’s slate of candidates for six open Forum Council seats. The deadline for nominations is April 20.

New Certified Professional: Whitney Strickler

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Whitney Strickler of University of North Carolina, Charlotte has successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Whitney joins colleagues who have effectively demonstrated the ability to articulate and apply the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, and a commitment to professional excellence and ethical conduct.

Congratulations to Whitney!

“I began working on my Forum Certification in spring of 2015. My goal was to establish a solid foundation in best practices that would support my growth in the field for the rest of my career. I participated in the inaugural Accelerated Residency Program in June of 2015 and really appreciated the opportunity to get all of my workshops done at one time so I could then focus on completing my assignments and final project at my own pace. I truly feel that I have accomplished my original goal and that Certification will continue to aid me in my future career advancement. I look forward to continuing to work with The Forum as I now move into the Certification maintenance phase!”  Whitney Strickler

New Certified Professional: Cara Lane-Toomey

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Cara Lane-Toomey of Where There Be Dragons has successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Cara joins colleagues who have effectively demonstrated the ability to articulate and apply the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, and a commitment to professional excellence and ethical conduct.

Congratulations to Cara!

“I enrolled in the Professional Certification program in order to expand and deepen my understanding of The Forum’s Standards. As a participant I found that the program’s assignments greatly increased my confidence in applying the Standards to real challenges that arose in my work at a third-party provider. That growing comfort, coupled with obtaining a clearer vision of how to employ the Standards on a daily basis (rather than only on a strategic level), has proven to be valuable both to me personally and to my organization.”  Cara Lane-Toomey

Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act Introduced

On March 9 The Forum was informed by the office of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) that he and Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced a bipartisan bill, the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act.  The Act seeks to create a competitive grant program for institutions of higher education to expand study abroad opportunities for U.S. college students. The Forum is listed along with several other associations as a supporter of the bill.

Read the full press release below:

 

For Immediate Release
March 9, 2017
Contact: Emily Hampsten (Durbin)
202-228-5643
Ryan Taylor (Wicker)
202-224-6253

DURBIN, WICKER INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO PROMOTE STUDY ABROAD
Senators Say Study Abroad Prepares U.S. College Graduates to Compete Globally  

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) today introduced the bipartisan Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act, which creates a competitive grant program for institutions of higher education to expand study abroad opportunities for American college students.  Study abroad is an important component of a well-rounded post-secondary education, giving students the opportunity to engage with other cultures, enhance foreign language skills, and expand international knowledge through firsthand experience.  Named after the late Illinois U.S. Senator Paul Simon – who preached the value of international education as vital to the United States’ economic and national security – this bill aims to increase the number of undergraduate students studying abroad annually to one million within ten years.  Currently, less than two percent of all enrolled post-secondary students in the U.S. study abroad.  It also seeks to increase the number of individuals studying abroad from traditionally underrepresented groups – including low-income, minority, non-traditional, and students with disabilities – and encourages expanding study abroad to non-traditional destinations including developing countries.

“Senator Paul Simon understood the importance of fostering global awareness and understanding in an increasingly complicated and interconnected world.  The next generation of American leaders will have to navigate a globally competitive economy and work with people from vastly different cultural backgrounds to tackle the world’s problems,” said Durbin.  “By investing in study abroad programs and ensuring access for currently underrepresented groups, we can better prepare our youth and our country for the world of tomorrow.  In a world where travel bans and anti-immigrant rhetoric could have a chilling effect on international students studying in the United States, it is more important than ever that American students have opportunities to study abroad.”

“The study abroad experience allows young Americans to gain a better understanding of global issues and the global economy while spreading U.S. ideals overseas,” Wicker said. “This sort of engagement is invaluable to increasing opportunities for future job growth.  Working with people from different cultures builds international awareness and benefits students in ways that can make a lasting impact in today’s society.”

The bill is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

Durbin first introduced this legislation in 2006 as the Abraham Lincoln Study Abroad Act based on the recommendations of the Commission on the Abraham Lincoln Study Abroad Fellowship Program – of which Durbin was a member.

The bill is supported by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities; NAFSA: Association of International Educators; the Forum on Education Abroad; the American Council on Education; the Association of American Universities; the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities; Partners of the Americas; American Councils for International Education; the National Association for College Admission Counseling; and the Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling.

 

Draft of New Strategic Plan Available

The draft of The Forum’s Strategic Plan for 2017-21 is now available for review and feedback.

The Strategic Planning Team has met regularly over the past year to develop the draft Plan, incorporating research, and dialogue with members, the Forum Council and the Forum Board of Directors. This week, the Forum Board of Directors approved the draft for dissemination to the membership for comments and feedback.

Forum Institutional Representatives should have received an email with a link to an online feedback form.  If you are an Institutional Representative and did not receive this email, please contact us at info@forumea.org.

We also invite members at large and non-members to review the draft, and send their feedback to info@forumea.org. Comments received before Friday, April 7 will be considered as we develop the specific ways that the Plan will be implemented.

Highlights of the draft plan include:

  • A sharper, more concise mission statement;
  • A new vision statement;
  • A new set of foundational principles;
  • Strategic goals that will guide The Forum’s activities and delivery of member services and benefits over the next four years.

Review the draft»

 

 

Forum Issues Response to New Executive Order

Dear Forum Members,

As you likely know by now, President Trump has issued a new executive order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” to replace the previous “temporary travel ban,” which had been stayed by federal courts. The Forum is strongly opposed to this new executive order, which runs counter to the international education values in which we believe.

The new executive order impacts the ability of students and professors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen to travel to the United States. It may also impact U.S. students participating in education abroad. The Forum has organized a special session at our upcoming annual conference to discuss the challenges of being a U.S. student abroad in the current political climate.

The Forum continues to monitor impacts of the executive orders (see recent Quick Poll results) to assist with our advocacy efforts. You can assist us in these efforts by communicating any impacts on students, professors, and staff by emailing Lindsay McCauslin, Associate Director for Member Services, at mccausll@forumea.org.

Thank you for all that you do to advance our collective international education goals.

Sincerely,

Brian Whalen, President and CEO
Mary Anne Grant, Chair, Board of Directors
Nick Gozik, Chair, Forum Council

Forum Supports Lead with Languages Campaign

The Forum is proud to support Lead with Languages, a national campaign to promote foreign language, spearheaded by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL). The campaign, launched earlier this week, coincides with the release of America’s Languages: Investing in Language Education in the 21st Century, a report by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences’ Commission on Language Learning.

The Forum was an early endorser of the ACTFL campaign, and a signatory of the Call to Action.

 

 

Forum Storytellers Podcast: A Conversation with Bill Anthony

The latest episode of Forum Storytellers is now available!

The founder of Northwestern’s Study Abroad office, Bill Anthony is known in the education abroad field for his quick wit and creativity. Listen as Bill, interviewed by Annmarie Whalen shortly before his retirement in 2016, describes his career, his role in the development of the Standards of Good Practice and Code of Ethics for Education Abroad, his approach to managing an office, and the importance of storytelling.

Listen now»

 

 

Resources for Your Week: Data Collection in Education Abroad

The importance of data collection in education abroad is undisputed. It helps us benchmark our progress and advocate for our field and our students. With the March 10 deadline for submission of the Open Doors U.S. Study Abroad Survey fast approaching, we encourage you to do your part, and share your numbers.

New to this? For guidance about data collection and Open Doors in particular, see NAFSA’s FAQs.

The Forum collects data to track the trends and needs of the field and its members biannually in the State of the Field Survey. For those who want to crunch their own numbers, the 2015 dataset was recently released for use by Forum members.

Keep an eye out for the 2017 State of the Field coming to your inbox later this semester.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Certified Professional: Courtney Greene

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Courtney Greene of Academic Programs International (API) has successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Courtney joins colleagues who have effectively demonstrated the ability to articulate and apply the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, and a commitment to professional excellence and ethical conduct.

Congratulations to Courtney!

“Completing the assignments and working closely with each of the Standards, I gained new insight—and a feeling of increased objectivity—in regards to how I problem solve and make decisions as a professional. Having been actively employed in the field for more than 15 years, I appreciate having this new orientation/perspective and think it makes me a stronger employee and contributor at my organization.” – Courtney Greene

Plenary Speaker Announced for the 8th Annual Standards Institute on Health & Safety

The Forum is pleased to announce Mario Vittone as the plenary speaker for the 8th Annual Standards of Good Practice Institute: Beyond the Basics of Health, Safety, Security and Risk Management. Vittone is a former U.S. Coast Guard helicopter rescue swimmer and accident investigator. He is a leading expert on immersion hypothermia, drowning, sea survival, and safety at sea. His writing has appeared in Yachting Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, and Reader’s Digest. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary heroism, the Alex Hailey Award for journalism, and was also named as the U.S. Coast Guard Enlisted Person of the Year.

Vittone will deliver his Institute plenary, “Asking the Right Questions – How Safe Organizations Get That Way,” on June 22 at the University of Texas, Austin.

Learn more»

 

 

The Forum’s Response to Travel Ban Executive Order

Dear Forum members,

As you likely know by now, President Trump has issued an executive order, titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” This order effectively suspends visas to people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, and ultimately impacts the ability of students, professors, and international education colleagues from these countries to travel to the United States.

The Forum is strongly against President Trump’s actions, which run counter to the international education values that we work so hard to achieve.

We recommend that Forum member institutions follow NAFSA’s recommendations regarding international students and scholars as found on its website.

Additionally, we encourage you to share with The Forum stories of any education abroad students who are impacted by the executive order. We would like to use these in support of our advocacy efforts. Please send any such anecdotes to Lindsay McCauslin, Associate Director for Member Communications, at mccausll@forumea.org. You may also want to consider communicating the impact of the executive order directly with your state and local representatives.

The Forum will continue to assist its members in any way it can. We will continue to work with other international education organizations, including NAFSA and the Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange, to respond collectively and resolutely in upholding the values that we share.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us directly if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.

Thank you for all that you do on a daily basis to support our shared goals.

Sincerely,

Brian Whalen, President and CEO
Mary Anne Grant, Chair, Forum Board of Directors
Nick Gozik, Chair, Forum Council

The Forum Focus – Volume 3, Issue 1

The January 2017 issue of The Forum Focus is now available online. This issue includes the following short articles:

  • “Appreciating the Varieties of Education Abroad and Its Students,” by Brian Whalen, Forum President and CEO
  • “Confronting the Challenge of Rationalization in Education Abroad; Part I: Efficiency,” by David English, Co-Founder, Study Abroad Mendoza
  • “Evaluating Study Abroad Campuses in a World of Risks,” by Jim Hutton, Chief Security Officer, On Call International
  • “From the Forum Council Chair: Calling All Members to Provide Input on The Forum’s Next Strategic Plan,” by Nick J. Gozik, Director of the Office of International Programs and McGillycuddy-Logue Center for Undergraduate Global Studies, Boston College

The Forum welcomes responses to articles, ideas for future topics, and submissions. Please send correspondence and submissions to: info@forumea.org.

Read this issue of The Forum Focus»

View past issues»

 

 

Forum Storytellers Podcast: A Conversation with Mickey Slind

The latest episode of Forum Storytellers is now available!

Mickey Slind became an “accidental” study abroad professional when after raising a family she took a job in the Registrar’s Office at Hamline University in 1981. Prior to this she had never studied abroad and did not even own a passport. Always on the cutting edge of the field, she was one of the first to champion short-term programming, was a pioneer in the quest for women’s equality in the field, had a leadership role in creating workshops for underrepresented students, and served on the original NAFSA committee to integrate health and safety into study abroad professional development.

While Mickey officially retired twelve years ago she remains active as a consultant and leader imparting her wisdom, experience and expertise to a new generation of students, advisers and field representatives.

Listen now»

 

 

Resources for Your Week: Changes for DACA Students under the New Administration

Educate Yourself and Your DACA Students about Potential Changes under the New Administration

Campaign promises made by President-Elect Trump to deport illegal immigrants have led some to fear that DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) students may be denied re-entry if they attempt to return to the U.S. on or after the presidential inauguration on January 20, 2017. Because DACA was established as an executive order, it can be overturned just as quickly with another executive order. Recent reports that certain institutions are urging DACA students currently studying abroad to return to the U.S. before the inauguration may have you wondering what your institution and its DACA students should do.

Each institution and individual must ultimately make their own decision as to their plan of action based on their own priorities and assessment of risk. The following resources can help:

New Certified Professional: Paige Butler

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Paige Butler of Middlebury Institute of International Studies has successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Paige joins colleagues who have effectively demonstrated the ability to articulate and apply the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, and a commitment to professional excellence and ethical conduct.

Congratulations to Paige!

“The Professional Certification assignments really afforded me the opportunity to think critically about my role and institution and how we approach The Forum’s Standards. I utilized the assignments to improve my own faculty-led program and the culminating project gave me a good opportunity to find new ways to effect change on my campus. I’m pleased that the assignments aligned well with my day-to-day responsibilities and helped me enhance my work to clearly align with Standards of Good Practice.”  Paige Butler

Resources for Your Week: Preparing Students for Re-Entry

As the end of the fall semester nears, many of your students are beginning to think about their return to the U.S. You might consider sharing the Jim Citron and Vija Mendelson’s article, “Coming Home: Relationships, Roots, and Unpacking” (Transitions Abroad, July/August 2005) with students who will return this month. This Standard 4 Toolbox Resource stands the test of time, and will help returnees process their feelings about re-entry.

If you are seeking to integrate re-entry activities into the curriculum at your institution, the “Culture in Culture” assignment from “Preparing to Work in a Global Economy,” available in the Education Abroad Digital Resource Center,* provides one possible model.

Looking for some recent research on re-entry to inform your programming? Check out Kelsey M. Gray and Victor Savicki’s, “Study Abroad Reentry: Behavior, Affect, and Cultural Distance” in Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad.

*The Education Abroad Digital Resource Center is a members-only resource. You must log in to view this content. If you work at a Forum member institution/organization and do not have log-in access to our website, email membership@forumea.org to request access.

Forum Announces Recipients of the Award for Excellence in Education Abroad Curriculum Design

In celebration of International Education Week, The Forum is pleased to announce the 2016 recipients of the Award for Excellence in Education Abroad Curriculum Design: Hana Cervinkova and Juliet Golden of Syracuse University, for their course “Negotiating Identities Across Europe’s Borders,” offered as part of the Culture and Politics of Reconciliation in Central Europe program, based in Wroclaw, Poland.

The Forum’s Award for Excellence in Curriculum Design honors faculty who develop and implement innovative and effective education abroad curricula. It is the education abroad field’s only award presented to an individual or group of individuals for excellence in the design of an education abroad course. By recognizing the outstanding efforts of faculty who are committed to the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, The Forum hopes to inspire the field to strive for enrichment of education abroad curricula, and to continually reflect on how to best encourage student learning abroad.

Through visits to cities and villages in Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Lithuania over the course of a semester, “Negotiating Identities Across Europe’s Borders” analyzes conflict and reconciliation in European history, to better understand the reasons that the European Union was awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize for its work in “the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights.”

Forum President and CEO Brian Whalen stated, “Professors Cervinkova and Golden’s important and timely course is a wonderful example of faculty innovation and creativity in education abroad.”

When informed, Professors Cervinkova and Golden responded, “We are honoured by your recognition. We have put so much heart into the development and delivery of ‘Negotiating Identities across Europe’s Borders,’ which makes this honour all that much more meaningful.”

The award will be presented at The Forum’s 13th Annual Conference, Creating and Sustaining the Education Abroad Continuum, in Seattle on March 31, 2017, where Professors Cervinkova and Golden will present at a session about the course.

Learn more»

 

 

Forum Announces Recipients of the Award for Academic Achievement Abroad

In celebration of International Education Week, The Forum on Education Abroad is proud to announce the recipients of its 2016 Award for Academic Achievement Abroad:

shanna

 

Student: Shanna Law, Juniata College
Nominating member: BCA Study Abroad
Program: BCA Dunedin
Project: “Geology, evaporative salt accumulation and geoecology at Springvale historic gold mine, Central Otago, New Zealand”

 

jeb

 

Student: Jeb Polstein, Bowdoin College
Nominating member: South India Term Abroad (SITA)
Program: South India Term Abroad
Project: “Agrarian Freedom in Madurai’s Urban Agriculture”

 

 

The Forum’s Award for Academic Achievement Abroad (formerly known as the Undergraduate Research Award) recognizes excellence in academic work completed by students as part of an education abroad program. The students will present their work at a plenary session at The Forum’s 13th Annual Conference in Seattle on March 31, 2017. The students’ projects were judged by faculty from Forum member institutions and organizations.

Nominated students completed academic projects in a range of fields that also included architecture, psychology, political science, foreign languages and translation, and community health, exemplifying that education abroad informs many disciplines. The selection committee reviewed 43 nominations this year. Forum President and CEO Brian Whalen said of the selection process: “It was a difficult choice, because we received so many strong and interesting nominations. Ultimately, these winners demonstrate the high quality of academic achievement we want to see from our education abroad students.”

Jacob (Jeb) Polstein, a student at Bowdoin College, completed his project while participating in a program sponsored by South India Term Abroad (SITA) in Madurai, India. He wrote a paper investigating the rise of urban agriculture in Madurai, the third largest urban area in Tamil Nadu, based on ethnographic data collected from three sites around the city. His work explored how the capitalistic promotion of urban agricultural movements complicates traditional local and global agrarian ideologies in the region.

Jeb’s mentor on the project, Aaron Theodore Samuel, Resident Director at SITA, wrote: “Jeb’s [project] serves as an example of what I hope my current and future students can accomplish while conducting research abroad… Additionally, Jeb’s entire research process was highlighted by his creative, engaging means of gathering data and his high ethical standards. Through this research, Jeb has made the most of his experience abroad and serves as an example of the impact that experience abroad can have on brilliant young minds.”

When he learned he would be receiving this year’s award, Jeb wrote, “I am thrilled to see my project recognized by The Forum on Education Abroad. Conducting my research in South India was simultaneously eye-opening, exciting, and challenging. It forced me to grow as both a scholar and a human. Earning this award more than validates my efforts, and is a testament to the many people who made my research possible. More importantly, I am happy to shed light on Madurai’s urban agriculture. As development proceeds in Madurai and elsewhere, urban agriculture will continue to have crucial practical and ideological implications.”

Shanna Law is a recent graduate of Juniata College. While enrolled in the BCA Study Abroad program in Dunedin, New Zealand, Shanna conducted research investigating the ecological impacts of gold mining, which required collecting soil samples in the field and analyzing them in the lab, and creating hand-drawn and digital maps of the research site. Her research, which has been presented at an academic conference and published the New Zealand Journal of Geology & Geophysic, provides support for varying landscapes to increase biodiversity in mine rehabilitation.

Of Shanna’s work, her mentor Dave Craw, Professor of Geology at the University of Otago remarked, “[S]he was completely professional, with a keen eye for detail. I have never previously dealt with such a thorough, innovative, and dedicated undergraduate student. The final written report was excellent in construction, creativity and thoroughness. I think that Shanna is a highly productive and innovative researcher, and she certainly took advantage of her experience here [in New Zealand] to further her education.”

When told of winning the award, Shanna responded, “Doing undergraduate research while I studied abroad in New Zealand was instrumental to my development as a scientist, a professional, and a global citizen. I learned new skills, exercised my independence, and made connections with professionals who do the kind of work that I am interested in. This motivates me to pursue advanced academic degrees in Geology and Geochemistry. Being honored with The Forum on Education Abroad’s 2016 Award for Academic Achievement is highly rewarding. This indicates to me that my efforts to pursue scientific advancement and a global mindset are appreciated by others, and this encourages me to strive for continued international engagement in my future.”

For more information about the award, visit: https://forumea.org/resources/outcomes/award-for-academic-achievement-abroad/.

 

 

Resources for Your Week: Meeting Tax Obligations

The Forum has added a new feature to the Forum News e-newsletter—”Resources for Your Week.” This week, we highlight resources to help your organization meets its tax obligations.

A new U.S. tax law will have implications for education abroad. While it appears that the new law will mainly impact institutions that have branch campuses and larger operations overseas, The Forum encourages all of its members to bring it to the attention of the chief financial officers and legal counsels on their campuses. Read this Bloomberg BNA article, which includes a comment from Forum President and CEO Brian Whalen, for more information.

Now is also a good time to review resources in the Standards Toolbox aimed at assisting you and your office in meeting Standard 7, Organizational and Program Resources. These resources include advice on how to engage employees and contractors abroad; how to bank and send cash abroad; and how to rent, lease, and buy property abroad. Several of these resources are provided through cooperative agreement with NACUBO, the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

Additional resources are also available to members through the Higher Education Compliance Alliance, a repository for resources on compliance with U.S. Federal laws and regulations, including tax compliance.

Subscribe to the Forum News e-newsletter»

 

 

Celebrate International Education Week: November 14-18

Join The Forum in celebrating the benefits of international education and exchange during International Education Week, November 14-18. Follow #IEW2016 and stay tuned for exciting Forum announcements, including the winners of the Award for Academic Achievement Abroad and the Award for Excellence in Education Abroad Curriculum Design, a brand new issue of Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, and a new episode of Forum Storytellers. The Forum will also celebrate the achievements of QUIP-recognized institutions and Certified Professionals in promoting quality in education abroad.

 

 

Virginia Issues Study Abroad Guidelines

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) approved Study Abroad Guidelines at its meeting in October. See page 45 of the SCHEV Agenda Book.

The Forum was able to offer input into the development of the Guidelines, which are consistent with The Forum’s Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad. Steve Bell, Interim Executive Director of the Office of International Programs at Old Dominion University, served on SCHEV’s Ad Hoc Committee that provided expert input and advice in the crafting of the Guidelines. He commented, “Over the past six months, education abroad professionals from public universities across the Commonwealth have been actively collaborating with SCHEV to draft and promote guidelines for Study Abroad. This past week SCHEV formally adopted the Virginia Public Higher Education Guidelines for Study Abroad, which are consistent [with] and developed from The Forum on Education Abroad’s Standards of Good Practice. I want to extend my sincere thanks to The Forum for its assistance to education abroad professionals from Virginia throughout this process.”

New Certified Professional: Amelia Dietrich

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Amelia Dietrich, Assistant Director for Digital Resources at The Forum on Education Abroad and Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow, has successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Amelia joins colleagues who have effectively demonstrated the ability to articulate and apply the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, and a commitment to professional excellence and ethical conduct.

Congratulations to Amelia!

“As a relatively new professional in the field, the Certification program encouraged me to consider possibilities and challenges that I haven’t yet faced in my career and prepared me to use the Standards as my guide for future policy development and problem-solving. I now feel confident to take my career to the next level.”  Amelia Dietrich

The Forum Collaborates with 32 NCSI

The Forum is pleased to announce a new collaboration with 32 National Campus Safety Initiative (32 NCSI), a flagship program of the VTV Family Outreach Foundation (VTV), that invests in college and university campus communities so that better informed decisions about campus safety are made. VTV is a non-profit organization founded by many of the survivors and surviving family members impacted by the mass shooting on the Virginia Tech campus on April 16, 2007. As a living memorial to the thirty-two community members, 32 NCSI exists to foster safe learning, living and working environments on all campuses nationwide.

32 NCSI is a free, voluntary and private self-assessment to assist universities to increase awareness on a range of campus safety issues that include alcohol and substance abuse, campus public safety (including missing students, physical security and threat assessment), emergency management, hazing, mental health, and sexual misconduct. A new area of focus for the organization is education abroad.

The Forum supports the mission of 32 NCSI, and specifically the goal of doing all that we can to make education abroad as safe as possible for students, staff and faculty who participate in programs, faculty and administrators who plan and manage programs, and the institutions and organizations that sponsor and oversee them. Collaborating with 32 NCSI to advance this goal will broaden the influence and impact of both of our organizations, thereby enhancing health and safety of education abroad for all participants.

Both 32 NCSI and The Forum focus on promoting guidelines and best practices as a primary way to influence improvement among our members. Our approaches of providing guidelines and standards to be used for self-assessment and improvement are very similar, which makes this collaboration a natural fit. For these reasons, we are excited about working together to benefit our respective institutions.

Collaboration has already begun, as witnessed by The Forum delivering a NASPA webinar training sponsored by VTV. This webinar, entitled “Standards Do Exist for International Programs,” was recorded on September 20. This hour-long training provides student life professionals insights into what the field of education abroad is doing to promote and increase health, safety, security and risk management efforts for our students. It provides a brief overview of The Forum, the field, and the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad. And perhaps, most importantly, it focuses on Standard 8: Health, Safety, Security and Risk Management. Participants are shown how that particular standard works as an effective assessment tool for the practices and protocols already in place when responding to a health or safety issue involving faculty and students overseas. Resources are also identified that will assist student life professionals as they seek to learn more.

Another project that is underway involves jointly developing an online assessment tool based on Standard 8 that will provide a link to resources to assist institutions to improve their policies and practices. This is an area in which The Forum has a robust knowledge and expertise, and one that we are pleased to share. Now being pilot-tested, the Education Abroad Health, Safety, Security and Risk Management Indicators assessment tool will be the 10th free, confidential, self-paced online assessment program made available to colleges and universities by 32 NCSI.

Moving forward, there are sure to be other initiatives and projects that will be of interest to both organizations. Given the overlap in our two organizations’ interests in promoting safe education abroad experiences for all involved, it was only natural that The Forum and VTV form a collaborative partnership to forward these interests for the benefit of as many in higher education as possible.

Safety in the educational environment, whether at home, around the country or around the world, is a priority that we all share.

Plenary Speaker Announced for the 13th Annual Forum Conference

Award-winning author, poet and screenwriter Sherman Alexie will give the Opening Plenary Address at the 13th Annual Conference in Seattle. His address, Security, Sovereignty, Selfishness: How to be a 21st Century American Nomad, will be delivered on Wednesday evening, March 29, followed immediately by the Welcome Reception.

Sherman Alexie connects readers around the world to the American Indian experience, making them laugh, cry, and think through his semi-autobiographical writings. One of The New Yorker’s 20 top writers for the 21st century, Alexie was described by Men’s Journal as “the world’s first fast-talking, wisecracking, mediagenic American-Indian superstar.” His National Book Award-winning The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, a #1 New York Times bestseller, was named the best Young Adult Book of all time by TIME.

Alexie grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington, but it wasn’t until a college professor recognized his “intensity of language, passion, and energy” that he fully committed to writing. Shortly after, his first books of poetry were published, and he began developing into a gifted orator, telling tales of contemporary American Indian life with razor-sharp humor, unsettling candor, and biting wit.

Read more»

 

 

The Forum Welcomes 350 Attendees to its 3rd European Conference

The Forum’s 3rd European Conference in Athens was a great success! The conference, Living Change: Education Abroad in 21st Century Europe, was hosted by CYA in early October and welcomed 350 European and U.S. colleagues.

The Forum thanks all of the colleagues who dedicated their time to making the conference a success, including attendees, session presenters, the conference committee, the European associations, and especially host institution, CYA.

Conference session presentations and materials are being uploaded to The Forum website as they become available. Attendees are reminded to complete the session and conference evaluations that were distributed via email. A summary of the conference evaluations will be reported in the coming weeks. Photo from the conference can be viewed on The Forum’s Flickr site.

 

New Certified Professional: Nick Gozik

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Nick Gozik of Boston College has successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Nick joins colleagues who have effectively demonstrated the ability to articulate and apply the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, and a commitment to professional excellence and ethical conduct.

Congratulations to Nick!

“Certification allowed me to embrace and implement the Standards of Good Practice on a much deeper level, even more so than I had expected, and in ways that will benefit both me and my university. I recommend The Forum’s certification program, as a novice, mid-career professional, or veteran.” – Nick Gozik

Forum Partners with 32 NCSI to Offer Opportunity to Pilot Assessment Tool

The Forum is very excited to announce a new online assessment tool that will provide an additional way for organizations to assess their health, safety, security and risk management practices. Information will be sent via email to Institutional Representatives of U.S. college and university members to request assistance with testing this tool by completing a survey and participating in a follow-up focus group discussion. Member participation will assist in the refinement of this tool before it debuts in early 2017.

Background

The project is a collaboration between The Forum and 32 National Campus Safety Initiative (32 NCSI), a flagship program of the VTV Family Outreach Foundation (VTV). VTV is a non-profit organization founded by many of the survivors and surviving family members impacted by the mass shooting on the Virginia Tech campus in 2007. As a living memorial to the thirty-two community members, 32 NCSI exists to foster safe learning, living and working environments on all U.S. college and university campuses.

32 NCSI asked The Forum to collaborate in the development of an online tool to assist U.S. institutions to assess their education abroad programs in regards to health, safety, security and risk management. We were very pleased to enter into this partnership given the success that 32 NCSI has had and the opportunity to expand knowledge about education abroad best practices through its network. The result is the Education Abroad Health, Safety, Security, and Risk Management Indicators assessment tool, which is based on the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad and selected queries. It is important to note that this tool is not intended to serve as a substitute for the more rigorous means by which institutions may assess and improve their programming, such as through participation in The Forum’s Quality Improvement Program (QUIP). Rather, this online tool will provide a supplemental way for Forum members and other institutions to assess their practices and, based on the results, what further action might need to be taken.

It is also important to note that 32 NCSI’s mission is to serve U.S. college and university campuses, and this tool has been developed specifically for them. However, it may very likely be a useful resource for other types of institutions and organizations as well. We believe that making the tool available to as wide an audience as possible, including campus offices that may organize and sponsor education abroad opportunities but are unaware of the Standards, will help to improve our field as a whole.

Opportunity

The 32 NCSI-Forum research team has created a draft of the online survey tool and hopes that members will help to refine the tool by:

  1. Completing the Education Abroad Health, Safety, Security, and Risk Management Indicators assessment tool based upon what procedures and protocols your institution has in place for its education abroad program; and
  2. Participating in a focus group conference call designed to obtain feedback about completing the Education Abroad Health, Safety, Security, and Risk Management Indicators assessment tool and explore ways in which we can improve it.

More information about this opportunity will be provided to U.S. college and university members.

 

 

 

Apply to Become a QUIP Peer Reviewer

Peer Reviewers play a critical role in making The Forum’s Quality Improvement Program (QUIP) the only objective, independent review system in education abroad, based on the field’s Standards of Good Practice. Peer Reviewers, who are experienced international education professionals trained by The Forum, assess education abroad operations of organizations participating in QUIP Reviews. These reviewers provide suggestions and recommendations for quality improvement, and make the recommendation of whether the organization is in substantial conformity with the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad.

The deadline to apply is September 16.

Learn more»

 

 

Award for Excellence in Education Abroad Curriculum Design: Call for Submissions

Submit an education abroad course to be considered for The Forum’s Award for Excellence in Education Abroad Curriculum Design. The award honors colleagues who develop and implement innovative and effective education abroad curricula. It is the education abroad field’s only award presented to an individual or group of individuals for excellence in the design of an education abroad course.

The submission deadline for this year’s award is September 15.

Learn more»

 

 

New Certified Professional: Aubree Compton

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Aubree Compton of the University of Iowa has successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Aubree joins colleagues who have effectively demonstrated the ability to articulate and apply the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, and a commitment to professional excellence and ethical conduct.

Congratulations to Aubree!

“My passion for international education runs deep, and The Forum Professional Certification in Education Abroad not only reinforced and invigorated my devotion for the education field, but it also gave me the tools to provide the best possible programming for our students and faculty with the guidance of the Standards of Good Practice”  Aubree Compton

 

 

Apply to be a Forum Trained Facilitator

The Forum invites experienced colleagues to apply to become a member of the Forum Trained Facilitator Team, a group of education abroad professionals that delivers The Forum’s Standards of Good Practice workshops. These workshops are the primary way that the field’s Standards of Good Practice are disseminated as part of The Forum’s mission as the Standards Development Organization for Education Abroad.

Becoming a Forum Trained Facilitator is an important way to give back to the field, as well as to advance your own professional development. Standards Workshops form the basis of the Professional Certification Program, and as part of their training, facilitators are required to become certified by completing the Certification Program. Facilitators are chosen based on their education abroad experience and skills, and their demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the Standards of Good Practice.

The deadline to apply is September 30.

Learn more»

 

 

New Certified Professional: Kristen Cohen

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Kristen Cohen of Stetson University College of Law has successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Kristen joins colleagues who have effectively demonstrated the ability to articulate and apply the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, and a commitment to professional excellence and ethical conduct.

Congratulations to Kristen!

“The Professional Certification in Education Abroad provided me with further insight into the study abroad industry and inspired me to create more cohesive, structured deliverables for our students studying abroad. The Forum community and the Standards Toolbox are invaluable resources for anyone in [the field] and, without a doubt, the certification program enables me to be a better international programs administrator.” – Kristen Cohen

Nominate Your Students for the Award for Academic Achievement Abroad

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2016 Award for Academic Achievement Abroad. The award (formerly known as The Undergraduate Research Award) recognizes rigorous and significant academic projects that undergraduate students conduct as a part of education abroad programs. Award recipients will be invited to present their work at a plenary luncheon during The Forum’s 13th Annual Conference in Seattle, Washington.

The nomination deadline for the 2016 award is August 31.

Learn more»

 

 

Submit Your Proposal Today for “Creating and Sustaining the Education Abroad Continuum”

The Forum’s 13th Annual Conference, “Creating and Sustaining the Education Abroad Continuum,” to be held in Seattle, Washington, March 29-31, 2017, focuses on the student’s education abroad experience.

Ideally, the education abroad experience is a continuum that begins long before the student arrives in the host country and carries on after their return, integrating the academic and experiential, supported by fair policies and ethical programming. While this ideal of a continuum may not be the reality for all students, education abroad can take practical steps toward achieving it.

The deadline to submit session and workshop proposals is August 19, 2016»Read the Call for Proposals

Attend the Forum’s 3rd European Conference, Regular Registration Rate Ends August 11

In the past year, Europe, the most popular education abroad destination for U.S. students, has seen historic political change, lives touched by terrorism, and the impact of economic realities. Our response as international educators to these unsettling times will determine how our students view the world and their future in it.

At the Forum’s European Conference, sessions and workshops will directly address shared challenges and solutions of supporting U.S. students as they study abroad in today’s Europe. Education abroad practitioners and faculty from across Europe will engage in open, critical dialogue on these issues.

Register by August 11 to receive the regular registration rate. For more information, including conference sessions and training opportunities, click here.

Sponsorships & Exhibit Opportunities for 13th Annual Conference in Seattle now open

The Forum conference is a distinctive event, where participants engage in thought-provoking dialogue and a vibrant exchange of ideas. It is the ideal venue for  networking.

 

The Forum offers its members sponsorship and advertising opportunities to show their organization’s support. These are now available at: https://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1849323

New Curriculum Resources Launched

Visit The Forum’s Curriculum page now to explore two new resources aimed at providing inspiration and sharing great ideas for education abroad curriculum design from pre-departure through re-entry.

The Curriculum Toolbox (which replaces the Curriculum Cooperative) features syllabi, assignments, and course and program profiles submitted by faculty and practitioners in the field of education abroad, including past winners of the Award for Excellence in Education Abroad Curriculum Design. All contributions have been vetted against a rubric based on the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad.

The Education Abroad Digital Resource Center, a collaboration with The New York Times in Education, highlights the creative ways that education abroad faculty and professionals use the high-quality journalism and rich, interactive content of The New York Times to enhance student learning while keeping in touch with news from home.

The Forum would like to thank the members of the Curriculum Toolbox Working Group and the participants in The Forum-NYTimes Pilot Program for their hard work and contributions in preparing these resources.

Congratulations to the New Forum Council Members!

The Forum is pleased to announce that the following colleagues have been elected or reelected to the Forum Council:

Tracey Bradley, Tennessee Consortium for International Students/Pellissippi State Community College
Brian Brubaker, The Pennsylvania State University
Maritheresa Frain, CIEE
Nick Gozik, Boston College (reelection)
Uttiyo Raychaudhuri, Clemson University
Alicia Stanley, Northwestern University

The new Council members will begin their terms on July 1, and join Council colleagues in mid-July for the Forum Council’s summer meeting.

Forum Council Election

The Nominations Committee of The Forum Council is pleased to announce the following slate of candidates for the open positions in this year’s Forum Council election. To learn more about the candidates, read their statements.

The Forum Council election is held by e-mail ballot; all Institutional Representatives should have received a link to the online ballot on May 3, 2016. Voting will close at 5 p.m. EDT on May 24.

Now Accepting Nominations for the Award for Academic Achievement Abroad

The Forum on Education Abroad is pleased to accept nominations for the Award for Academic Achievement Abroad. Formerly called the Undergraduate Research Award, the award has been renamed to emphasize its intent of honoring undergraduate work in all academic disciplines, including the fine arts, humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields. The award continues to recognize the rigorous and significant academic projects that undergraduate students conduct as a part of education abroad programs. Award recipients will be invited to present their work at a plenary luncheon during The Forum’s 13th Annual Conference in Seattle, Washington. Nominations should highlight not only the high quality of the student’s academic achievement, but also the significance that the international context played in the student’s academic project and personal, academic, and career development. Nominations are now open and will be accepted until August 31, 2016. Winners will be announced during International Education Week in November.

For more information and to nominate one of your outstanding students, click here.

2016 Wollitzer Award Presented to Joe Brockington’s Family

Joe Brockington Wollitzer Award winner 2016The 2016 Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award was awarded to the late Joe Brockington at the 12th Annual Forum Conference in Atlanta. The award was accepted on his behalf by his wife, Cathy, and sons, David, Sam and Drew. The award was presented to the Brockington family by Joe’s colleague and friend, Margaret Wiedenhoeft, Acting Director of the Center for International Programs at Kalamazoo College.

Brockington, a member of the founding Board of Directors of The Forum, passed away in August 2015. He served as associate provost for international programs and professor of German language and literature at Kalamazoo College. He was instrumental in the founding of The Forum and over the years contributed to the field in innumerable ways by presenting at conferences and initiating projects.

In March of 2015, Brockington was interviewed by Margaret Wiedenhoeft and the video interview was donated to The Forum. The interview is shared this month as part of The Forum Storytellers project. Listen Now»

Learn more about the Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award»

 

 

Nominations Invited for Forum Council Election

Nominations are now being collected for colleagues who can dedicate their time and provide their expertise by serving on the Forum Council. The Forum Council, an elected body of 15 colleagues, works collaboratively with Forum staff to produce member programs, services and benefits. Council members are elected to a three-year term, and are eligible to serve two terms.

The Forum Council seeks to engage diverse representatives from education abroad and higher education to represent the breadth of The Forum’s membership on the Council. In seeking nominations, the Council is particularly interested in nominees from underrepresented institutions and demographics.

To learn more about the Forum Council and to nominate yourself or a colleague, please visit: www.forumea.org/get-involved/forum-council. Deadline for nominations is April 15.

 

 

New Certified Professional: Stephanie Lovseth

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Stephanie Lovseth of Principia College has successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Lovseth joins colleagues who have effectively demonstrated the ability to articulate and apply the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, and a commitment to professional excellence and ethical conduct.

Congratulations to Stephanie!

“I really enjoyed the process of certification. The Accelerated Residency program was very valuable in my experience; sharing and collaborating on best practices in the field and receiving an in-depth, focused time to really explore and understand the Standards. I also felt the Standard Assignments pushed me to better internalize the essence of each Standard and how each was/is applicable to my specific education abroad office, as well as to the field as a whole. Bottom line: I’m very grateful for the opportunity to have participated in this program, I feel I have significantly benefited from it professionally, and in turn feel substantially more prepared to contribute to my Institution and to the field.”   Stephanie Lovseth

 

 

New Forum Resource: Advocating for Student Safety Abroad

The Forum is pleased to announce a new resource, Advocating for Student Safety Abroad: Working Together at Home and Abroad. This document, developed by a Forum Council Advocacy Committee Working Group chaired by Christina Carroll of Florida State University, provides key talking points about student health and safety abroad intended to be used as a springboard for discussion with parents, students, campus administrators, and the general public. This advocacy tool is intended to assist Forum members to educate others about how the education abroad field strives to help ensure student health and safety abroad.

All annual conference attendees will receive a hard copy of this resource, and it will be discussed at a conference session on Friday morning, April 8. Please contact The Forum at info@forumea.org if you are interested in additional copies.

 

 

Forum Releases Groundbreaking Data-Driven Report on Student Deaths Abroad

The Forum has released a landmark report that provides data on student deaths abroad: Insurance Claims Data and Mortality Rate for College Students Studying Abroad.

This Report provides, for the first time, information on the mortality rate for U.S. students studying abroad and compares this rate to the mortality rate for students studying on campuses in the U.S. The key finding of the Report is that college students studying abroad are less likely to die than college students studying on campuses in the U.S. According to Forum President and CEO Brian Whalen, “This Report will be very beneficial to The Forum membership and the field by providing a context by which we can understand the relatively rare occurrence of the death of a student abroad.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education has published an article on the Report and Inside Higher Ed has mentioned the Report in its “Quick Takes” section.

The Report should inform legislative efforts that seek to regulate education abroad. For more on these legislative efforts, read President and CEO Brian Whalen’s short article in the latest issue of The Forum Focus.

Annual conference attendees will receive a hard copy of the Report, and the Report will be discussed at a conference session on Friday afternoon, April 8.

Read the Full Report»

 

 

March 2016 Issue of The Forum Focus is Now Available

The March 2016 issue of The Forum Focus is now available. This issue includes the following short articles:

  • “Is Legislation of Education Abroad Necessary?” by Brian Whalen, Forum President and CEO
  • “The Greek Crisis: OXI and Bella Ciao in Syntagma Square,” by Michael Woolf, Deputy President for Strategic Development, CAPA The Global Education Network
  • “Post-Paris Attacks: Education Abroad and the New Normal,” by Joanna Holvey Bowles
  • “Study Abroad: Legal and Operational Guidance Contained within the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad,” by William Hoye, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, & COO, IES Abroad, & Natalie A. Mello,  Vice President, Member Services & Training, The Forum on Education Abroad
  • “From The Forum Board Chair: The Forum Engages in Strategic Planning,” by Mary Anne Grant, President Emerita, ISEP

The Forum welcomes responses to the articles, ideas for future topics, and submissions. Please send correspondence and submissions to: info@forumea.org.

Webinar Recording Now Available: “After the Paris Attacks”

Following the November 13, 2015 Paris attacks, education abroad colleagues in Paris and around the world are focused on working in the “new normal” ­of real and perceived terror threats. On January 21, The Forum hosted a moderated discussion via webinar with education abroad professionals in Paris and the U.S. that addressed how to support students, parents, and education abroad partners. Many thanks to the moderator of the discussion, Joanna Holvey-Bowles, and discussants, Julie Friend of Northwestern University, Alexandra Mitchell of CEA Study Abroad France, and Loren Ringer of APUAF.

A recording of the webinar is now available online for the public.

View the recording»

New Certified Professional: Cheryl Lochner-Wright

Cheryl quote2The Forum is very pleased to announce that Cheryl Lochner-Wright, Study Abroad Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, has successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Ms. Lochner-Wright joins colleagues who have effectively demonstrated the ability to articulate and apply the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, and a commitment to professional excellence and ethical conduct.

Congratulations to Cheryl!

 

 

Fireside Dialogue Application Deadline Approaches

The application deadline for The Forum’s Fireside Dialogue on Inclusive Excellence is January 15. The event will be held in conjunction with The Forum’s 12th Annual Conference in Atlanta in April 2016. Inclusive Excellence in Education Abroad is intended for education abroad professionals seeking to assist the field to meet its diversity goals by focusing on the more encompassing concept of Inclusive Excellence.

As developed by the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U), Inclusive Excellence (IE) is the recognition that a community or institution’s success is dependent on how well it values, engages, and includes the rich diversity of students, staff, faculty, administrators, and alumni constituents. According to AAC&U, IE can serve as a “guiding principle for access, student success, and high-quality learning. It is designed to help colleges and universities integrate diversity, equity, and educational quality efforts into their missions and institutional operations.”

The Forum’s Fireside Dialogues foster in-depth, collegial discussion that leads to practical solutions that help to advance The Forum and the field as a whole. This Fireside Dialogue will bring together no more than 25 participants committed to exploration of this important topic, and will be facilitated by members of The Forum’s Working Group on Inclusive Excellence.

Learn more»

 

 

Recipient Announced for the 2015 Curriculum Award

The Forum on Education Abroad is pleased to announce the 2015 recipient of the Award for Excellence in Education Abroad Curriculum Design: Maja Sbahi Biehl of DIS Study Abroad in Scandinavia for her course “Children in a Multicultural Context: Theory and Practice.”

The award will be presented at The Forum’s 12th Annual Conference, Navigating the Intersections: The Cultures of Education Abroad, in Atlanta on April 8, 2016, where Biehl will present at a session about the course.

Learn more»

 

 

Call for Proposals: Standards Institute on Health & Safety

The Forum on Education Abroad announces a call for session proposals for the 7th Annual Standards of Good Practice Institute, Beyond the Basics of Health, Safety, Security and Risk Management, to be held at Northwestern University on June 23, 2016.

Beyond the Basics of Health, Safety, Security and Risk Management is education abroad’s signature annual event focusing on the education abroad risk management issues faced daily by organizations and institutions. Education abroad professionals gather each year at this Standards Institute to debrief, train, improve and learn the latest in best practices of education abroad risk management, including regulatory compliance.

The deadline for submitting proposals is January 15, 2016.

Read the full call for proposals»

 

 

 

Study Abroad: Legal and Operational Guidance Contained within the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad

William Hoye
Executive Vice President, General Counsel, & COO, IES Abroad

Natalie A. Mello
Vice President, Member Services and Training, The Forum on Education Abroad

An earlier version of this paper was presented by the authors at the 2015 Annual Conference of the National Association of College and University Attorneys and appears in the NACUA Annual Conference Proceedings, June 28-30, 2015  Washington, DC.

 

Introduction

In joining The Forum on Education Abroad, universities and organizations affirm their commitment to the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad. This article provides some important legal implications for colleges and universities, focusing particularly on what it likely means, legally, for a higher education institution not to comply in some of its own international programs and activities with the standards of an organization of which it is a member; and which has been designated by the Federal Government as the organization that sets the standards for the field of education abroad.

As Forum Focus readers know, The Forum on Education Abroad is a 501(c) (3) non-profit, membership association recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission as the Standards Development Organization (SDO) for the field of education abroad. Widely understood, an SDO is an organization whose primary activities are developing, disseminating, revising, and re-releasing standards that are intended to speak to the needs of a field of practice. As noted in The Federal Register:

The nature and scope of The Forum’s standards development activities are: (1) To develop and present voluntary consensus standards for education abroad programs, for domestic colleges and universities and entities in other nations that provide or partner in providing education abroad programs for students from U.S. colleges and universities; and (2) to present standards and methods for assessing performance against the standards that can be used by the smallest and simplest organizations interested in self-improvement, through to the largest and most complex organizations in the education abroad field.

The Forum’s mission is to develop and disseminate comprehensive Standards of Good Practice for the field of education abroad. The first editions of the Standards (2004 and 2005) were developed in response to feedback from education abroad professionals, various higher education groups, government officials, and institutions and organizations around the world. The later editions (2008, 2011 and 2015) strengthened the Standards, based on evolving understandings of effective practices, changing on-site realities, and input from an ever-expanding range of constituents. In 2011, The Forum developed an online Standards Toolbox, a resource created to support Forum member institutions in their implementation of the Standards by supplying vetted examples of actual best practices used in the field.

What are The Standards of Good Practice?

The Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad support the complex responsibilities inherent in offering education abroad opportunities to students. They act as a means to develop, manage, assess and improve education abroad programming. As a commonly-developed and accepted set of standards, they provide a framework for accountability. The nine Standards are articulated and structured in specific and intentional ways.

Each Standard is structured by:

  • Statements: the broad principles of the Standard, detailed in bullet points. These define the baseline best practices that should be observed by any entity operating within the field of education abroad, according to their type of education abroad activity.
  • A set of Queries following the Statement: prompts for evaluation, designed to elicit a response that demonstrates how the Standard is being met and encourages discussion rather than a yes or no response.

Supporting each Standard are:

  • Fundamental elements: a dynamic feature defining essential expectations of implementing the Standards;
  • Member Resources: a resource featuring best practices, keyed to the Standards. These examples are vetted by The Forum’s Standards Committee, and are made available exclusively to Forum members,
  • Standards Guidelines: guidance that contextualizes various specific areas of education abroad practices, particularly where these practices may differ from the same practice in the home campus context.

Click here to see the entirety of the Standards and how this structure works to ensure that the depth and breadth of issues are addressed.

Standard 8: Health, Safety, Security, and Risk Management

College and university attorneys reviewing the Standards may well have the greatest interest with respect to Standard 8: Student Health, Safety, Security and Risk Management. In pertinent part, Standard 8 reads:

Health, Safety, Security and Risk Management: The organization assures continuous attention to the health, safety and security of its students, faculty, and staff, from program development stages through program implementation by way of established policies, procedures, student orientation, and faculty and staff training. [Emphasis added]

Undoubtedly, protecting the health, safety and security of students participating in an international program sponsored by the university is a shared value across the entire campus. But a pledge to “assure continuous attention” to student, faculty, and staff health, safety, and security–not only off-campus but abroad—might be construed as tantamount to assuming a higher legal duty than otherwise would be legally required.

At common law, the duty higher education institutions generally owe to their adult-aged students is to exercise reasonable care to help reasonably protect their students against reasonably foreseeable harm. That is a lower bar than “assuring continuous attention” to student, faculty, and staff members’ health, safety, and security. Similarly, the language in Standard 8 about assuring health, safety, and security via “established policies, procedures, student orientation, and faculty and staff training” may not be happening on all Forum Member School campuses. Even on a particular campus, the level of time and effort brought to bear on these issues in connection with one international program may be less than continuous and may be uneven across programs, departments, colleges, institutes and centers of a university. Faculty-led programs, service learning projects abroad, internships abroad, and ad hoc international research projects funded by the university for a summer, for example, may not receive the same continuous attention as recurrent semester international programs with staff on the ground receive.

From a legal standpoint, with the myriad of diverse programs and activities undertaken by a modern research university, it may prove difficult in practice (despite good intentions) to “assure” “continuous attention” to these issues. In fact, when something goes wrong and a student is injured on an international program sponsored or funded by the university, it’s possible that the injured student or his or her lawyer may cite Standard 8 as an “industry standard” (see section IV below) and allege as evidence of negligence the alleged failure to comply with Standard 8 in the context of the injured student’s injury.  As many defense lawyers know, it’s difficult to “assure continuous attention” to anything, and people do make errors in judgment and mistakes. Making sure legal counsel are aware of Standard 8 and its requirement, so they can indeed help assure continuous attention on campus to the health, safety, and security of their students, faculty, and staff in building and delivering international programs should be a very high priority. These steps will help substantially enhance student health, safety and security abroad.

What does it mean to be a Member of The Forum?

The Forum is an institutional membership association and welcomes as members all institutions of higher learning, consortia, agencies, and organizations who are committed to improving education abroad. Members join a community of dynamic, thoughtful dialogue about the issues facing the field of education abroad.

When an institution becomes a member of The Forum, a commitment is made to support and uphold the mission of The Forum, specifically:

Statement of Support and Commitment

Members agree to uphold the mission of The Forum on Education Abroad by: advocating for Standards of Good Practice; promoting high-quality curricular development; encouraging outcomes assessment; supporting research and data collection; and, engaging in advocacy of education abroad at all levels. By completing this application, I affirm that the institution or organization named above is committed to The Forum’s Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad as they relate to the mission of the institution or organization.

What does it mean, legally, to agree to comply with the standards of an organization of which you are a Member? As noted above, each of the over 700 member institutions of The Forum affirm, in signing the membership application, that their institution or organization “is committed to The Forum’s Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad as they relate to the mission of the institution or organization.”

Is committing to an organization’s standards tantamount to agreeing to comply with them? Does joining a membership organization that promulgates standards for a field legally obligate the Member to comply with the organization’s standards? What if the Member is joining a membership organization that is the governmentally-designated standards-setting organization for its field? Would that lend support to a position that the institution is legally obligated to comply with its standards? If so, what happens if the Member fails to comply and a student is harmed in the course of the Member’s non-compliance with a standard? Could such an instance of non-compliance be used against the Member in a court of law?

To begin this discussion, it’s important to first understand what a “standard” is or means. According to the dictionary definition, a standard is “… a level of quality, achievement, etc., that is considered acceptable and desirable.”

It seems unlikely that a higher education institution’s failure to comply with The Forum’s Standards would rise to the level of negligence per se. That’s because negligence per se generally requires “conduct that automatically constitutes negligence under the provisions of a law.” Because a standard is not a law, it would seem to logically follow that non-compliance with an industry standard alone does not, a fortiori, constitute negligence per se. But what if the standards at issue are being set by an organization that is the governmentally designated standards-setting organization for a field, sector or industry? Is that link to governmental action, or a government imprimatur on the standards-setting organization similar to a government enacted regulation or statute? Probably not, because even a standard adopted by a government designated standards-setting organization is still not a statute or regulation. But even if non-compliance with a standard doesn’t rise to the level of negligence per se, the analysis does not end there. That’s because non-compliance with an industry standard still might be used as evidence of negligence, even if it does not constitute negligence per se.

Although research has not revealed cases holding members of a government designated standards-setting organization per se negligent for failing to comply with its standards, there are cases where such non-compliance has been recognized as evidence of negligence. By way of example, there are a line of product liability (negligence and strict liability) cases that apply a “risk-utility test,” which measures industry standards against the reasonable person standard applied in negligence cases.  Brooks v. Beech Aircraft Corporation, 902 P.2d 54 (S.Ct. NM 1995) is illustrative. In that case, a surviving spouse sued a plane manufacturer in a wrongful death action, claiming that the absence of a shoulder harness in the plane caused her husband’s death upon its crash. Although Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) regulations did not require the installation of shoulder harnesses in aircraft at the time of the plane’s manufacturer, the Defendant and others in the industry had customarily installed shoulder harnesses in their planes at the time of manufacture.

According to the Court, a design-defect claim may be proved through a combination of custom and usage standards and expert testimony without showing that the manufacturer’s design violated any applicable regulations or codes.

Similarly, in Jablonski v. Ford Motor Co., 2011 IL 110096 (Supreme Court of Illinois), the Plaintiffs suffered severe injuries and death from an explosion following a car accident. They alleged negligent design and strict liability in the design of a fuel tank placed near the rear of the car, when the industry standard at the time was to place the fuel tank elsewhere to minimize damage to the fuel system during a crash. The Illinois Supreme Court acknowledged that the duty analysis in a negligent product design case encompasses a risk-utility balancing test; and, that compliance with industry standards is a relevant factor in the analysis as to whether reasonable care was exercised in designing a product. This finding suggests that compliance with an industry standard can be used by members of a standards-setting organization in their favor in defending a negligence or strict liability case.

Finally, Howard v. Omni Hotels Management Corp. and Kohler Co. (Ct.App. 4th 2012) involved a Plaintiff who slipped in a bathtub manufactured by Kohler at a hotel. He sued Kohler for negligence and strict liability. The Plaintiff alleged the bathtub was defective because it did not comply with applicable industry standards, including standards provided by two trade associations: the Associated Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Associated Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). According to the Court, Kohler’s adherence to industry standards was a factor that could and should be considered in summary judgment proceedings, holding that while evidence of compliance with industry standards is not a complete defense, industry standards should be considered in addition to expert testimony regarding whether the defendant exercised reasonable care in a negligence action.

Taken together, these product liability cases suggest that non-compliance with an industry standard can be used as evidence of a Defendant’s negligence in some contexts. At the same time, these cases suggest that compliance with industry standards can be used as a shield by a Defendant as evidence that the Defendant was not negligent because it was complying with an industry standard.

In the higher education sector, the recent case of Professional Massage Training Center v. Accreditation Alliance of Career Schools and Colleges, (4th Cir. March 24, 2015) may be instructive. ACCSC is a private accrediting agency, which denied the renewal of PMTC’s accreditation, thus denying them access to federal funding.  PMTC sued for various claims, including a violation of due process rights and breach of contract. Notably, the court held that the Standards of Accreditation at issue did not constitute a binding contract between the agency and the accredited educational institution.  In part, the court found, that is because the ACCSC (accrediting agency) could alter the standards at any time. That may be good news for higher education institutions in terms of potential contract claims, because it provides members of standards-setting organizations with an argument that there may not be a contractual relationship between members and the organization since the latter can unilaterally change its standards at will. This does not provide much help on the negligence front, though, where a Member’s failure to comply with the standards could well be considered to be evidence of negligence if it proximately causes injury or harm to a student in the course of an international program of the Member institution. But it could help defeat a contract claim asserting that members of a standards-setting organization are contractually bound to comply with its standards.

At the end of the day, it seems likely that failure to comply with standards set by the study abroad field does not constitute negligence per se. However, such a failure may well constitute evidence of a Member’s negligence in the form of failing to follow an industry standard. The summary of The Forum’s Standards states that they act as a means to develop, manage, assess and improve education abroad programming, and that as a commonly developed and accepted set of standards, they provide a framework for accountability. One could easily argue that The Forum’s Standards are industry standards which can be taken into account in a negligence analysis. This potential argument is bolstered by the fact that The Forum is the Federal Government’s designated standards-setting organization for the education abroad field. As a practical matter, judges and jurors armed with the benefit of hindsight could well expect that a Member of a membership organization that has and sets standards is duty bound to comply with the organization’s published standards. This suggests that the failure to do so might be used against a Member in a court of law as evidence of the Member’s negligence.

For this reason and others, making sure a higher education institution that is a Member of The Forum on Education Abroad is aware of, and in compliance with, The Forum’s Standards is one of the best hedges against potential legal liability in this context.

Unfortunately, though, not all university attorneys are familiar with The Forum on Education Abroad or aware of the Standards. Nor are they necessarily aware that The Forum has been designated by the United States government as the designated standards-setting organization for education abroad. It’s critically important that college and university attorneys become aware of these important facts so they can help convince their institutions to build and deliver safe, healthy, and secure experiences abroad for their students participating in university sponsored international programs.

One complicating factor in this important area is that there tends to be unevenness of compliance with The Forum’s Standards across some colleges and universities. It is not uncommon, for example, for a Member to be compliant with the Standards in the education abroad office and with respect to its sponsored international programs, but to be non-compliant in other international programs or activities administered or sponsored by individual faculty members, by other colleges within the university, or by other institutes, centers, or departments on campus. Unevenness of compliance with applicable standards across a campus could well be used against Members, because compliance in one department of the campus demonstrates that the institution is capable of complying with the Standards. If all segments of the institution are not in compliance, this is problematic. Unfortunately, compliance with the Standards in one set of international programs on a campus could be used against the institution as a whole if it is not similarly complying with respect to other programs sponsored across the campus. University counsel can help address this problem by informing the campus community of the Standards, by promoting compliance with The Forum’s Standards across the entire university, by bringing together their many and varied clients on campus who are involved in international engagement, and by developing and implementing a multi-faceted, multi-departmental system or plan for institutional compliance with the Standards in each university-funded or sponsored international program or activity. Such an effort could pay huge dividends, not only in terms of reducing an institution’s  potential legal liability, but also (and most importantly) in helping to make sure the institution provides  safe, secure, and healthy university-sponsored international programs and activities for all of its students, faculty, and staff.

What does The Forum provide?

Alongside its development of standards, The Forum has created two signature programs of quality assurance for education abroad, the Quality Improvement Program (QUIP) and the Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program, as the primary ways that the Standards of Good Practice are implemented to benefit institutions and organizations, the field of education abroad, and students. Based on U.S. higher education processes, QUIP provides Forum member institutions with a means of knowing if their education abroad programs are in conformity with the Standards. The Professional Certification in Education Abroad further enhances quality assurance by validating that individuals have knowledge of and expertise in applying the Standards of Good Practice. The Quality Improvement Program for Education Abroad (QUIP) and The Professional Certification for Education Abroad Program provide quality assurance for the field through use of the Standards in rigorous self-study and peer reviews for institutions and professional certification for individuals.

Completion of the QUIP process is the most effective way to achieve quality assurance in education abroad programming. This process provides organizations a means to assess how their programming conforms to the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad. Participating organizations receive practical guidance to improve the quality of education abroad programming at the institution or organization, and successful completion of QUIP means that the organization is in conformity with the field’s Standards of Good Practice.

The institutions and organizations that have successfully completed the Quality Improvement Program for Education Abroad (QUIP) and found to be meeting the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad at the time they went through the QUIP Review are listed on The Forum’s website. QUIP recognition is valid for eight years, after which organizations must go through a complete review again in order to maintain recognition. Organizations are required to furnish an interim report four years after a review in which they analyze the current state of their education abroad operations and how they are continuing to meet the field’s Standards.

The Professional Certification in Education Abroad program is intended for colleagues in the field who want to certify their knowledge and expertise in the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad. Participants complete six modules based on the nine Standards of Good Practice and a Culminating Project. Participants in The Forum Professional Certification in Education Abroad program are required to complete workshops and specially-designed assignments. Modules can be accessed online or by attending Forum workshops located in the United States and abroad. Participants who complete the certification are recognized on The Forum’s website and may utilize The Forum’s “Certified Professional” Mark. Once certified, colleagues continue to pursue further professional development opportunities in order to maintain active certification status. Certification in education abroad validates fundamental knowledge of the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, recognizes the ability to articulate and to apply the Standards, establishes advanced capabilities in analysis and synthesis of the Standards, and demonstrates a commitment to professional excellence and ethical conduct.

The Forum Professional Certification in Education Abroad is a vital contribution to improving the quality of the education abroad field as a whole. The Forum Professional Certification in Education Abroad is a voluntary demonstration of competency, and as such demonstrates a commitment to professional excellence and ethical conduct. Senior administrators can be assured of the quality of The Forum Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program and know that their personnel have been certified by the Standards Development Organization for the field of education abroad. Certified individuals will contribute significantly to the goal of ensuring high quality education abroad programming at institutions and organizations. Through their application of the Standards of Good Practice, certified professionals ensure quality education abroad programming, making

In addition to the formal quality assurance programs described above, The Forum provides an array of training opportunities to practitioners in the field. The organization convenes an annual conference, a European conference every two years, full day Standards Institutes and multi-day Fireside Dialogues on issues of concern to the field, Standards-based workshops and periodic webinars on timely issues that may arise due to current world events. Each of these events makes available training in a variety of modalities on critical issues in the field of education abroad.

The Forum’s role as a Standards Development Organization has evolved and matured over nearly ten years of effort to improve the education abroad field’s practices. This work of developing a common set of Standards that are recognized as the definitive means by which education abroad programs may be evaluated is ongoing. The Forum continues to create new and expanded ways to educate and train institutions, organizations and individuals so that they continuously improve how they develop, manage, evaluate education abroad programming. Ultimately, the result of The Forum’s efforts help ensure that students’ education abroad experiences are as rewarding and meaningful as possible.

 

 

Forum Makes Available Special Funding for QUIP

The Forum is pleased to announce a specially-funded opportunity for member institutions to participate in a Quality Improvement Program (QUIP) review. Selected institutions must commit to complete the QUIP reviews during the 2016 calendar year, and they will pay only a $500 fee and assume no other costs for the reviews, which include peer review site visits.

Learn more»

 

 

2015 Undergraduate Research Award Winners Announced

In celebration of International Education Week, The Forum on Education Abroad announces the recipients of its 2015 Undergraduate Research Awards.

Student: Shavonne Stanek, Oberlin College
Nominating member: Oberlin College
Program: Tanzania-Zanzibar: Coastal Ecology and Natural Resource Management – School for International Training
Project: “The Pelagic Artisanal Fishing of Mangapwani, Northern Unguja”

Student: Pauline Day, Wellesley College
Nominating member: IFE – French Field Study and Internship Programs
Program: Paris Field Study and Internship Program
Project: “A Continual Evolution: The reform of France’s ‘Politique de la Ville’ as an urban peace-building mechanism in the suburbs of Paris”

The Forum’s Undergraduate Research Award recognizes excellence in academic work completed by students as part of an education abroad program. The students will present their work at a plenary session at The Forum’s 12th Annual Conference in Atlanta on April 8, 2015. The students’ projects were judged by faculty from Forum member institutions.

The projects nominated hailed from a wide range of fields, demonstrating that international learning informs many academic disciplines. Forum President and CEO Brian Whalen said that “the selection committee had the difficult task of selecting these winners from the 54 stellar nominations received. The winners represent the very best of what we want our students to achieve through education abroad.”

Shavonne Stanek, a student at Oberlin College, conducted her research while participating in a program sponsored by The School for International Training (SIT) in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Stanek’s project was an in-depth anthropological study, the first of its kind in the community, on the pelagic artisanal fishing in a small village in Zanzibar. She focused specifically on the impact that increasing population had on available fish stock. Describing Stanek’s work on the topic, Helen Peeks, former Academic Director of SIT’s Tanzania-Zanzibar Coastal and Ecological Management Program wrote, “In Zanzibar, it is often hard for foreign women to be accepted, especially in male dominated fields such as fishing, but Shavonne with the help of her newly learned Swahili conversation skills was able to communicate with fisherman and earn their respect. She will be remembered in the village for her use of Swahili, cultural sensitivity, and professional, academic approach.”

Upon being notified of winning the award, Stanek wrote, “My experience abroad was really shaped by the research I was conducting and to win an award for doing it makes it feel even more amazing. I loved my time abroad and the research I did really shaped what I want to do in the future and really allowed me to connect with the culture in Zanzibar on a far greater level.”

Pauline Day is a student at Wellesley College who studied abroad as a part of IFE’s Paris Field Study and Internship Program. She conducted research on the reform of the French national public policy initiative for cities, “La politique de la ville” focusing on its implications for the local democratic process in conjunction with her internship at the City Hall of the city of Pantin. Of Day’s work, Anne Ruel-Drossos, Professor of History and Day’s faculty advisor, writes, “Her research both draws on and witnesses to the rich field-level experience Pauline had the patience, skill, and initiative to acquire. . . [Her] paper demonstrates a rare combination of exceptional capacities for synthesis, analysis, open-minded and adaptive thought-processes, detailed precision and intellectual rigor. This research paper is at once dense and a pleasure to read. It is a model of careful thinking and thoughtful presentation.”

When she received notification that she is being recognized this year, Day wrote, “Receiving this award is a tremendous honor and I look forward to sharing my research, results, and this project’s impact on my academic journey with The Forum on Education Abroad this April. This project and my research, while studying abroad in Paris, has played a significant role in my understanding of urban peace-building, and the mechanisms we can, and must, use in the future to build better cities and reduce systemic inequalities. I continue to build on this project and research with my senior honors thesis at Wellesley College this year.”

For more information, visit: forumea.org/resources/outcomes/undergraduate-research-award

 

 

Sponsorship Opportunity: Conference App

Put your logo directly into the hands of 1300+ conference attendees by sponsoring The Forum’s 12th Annual Conference App. From the Welcome Reception to the Closing Toast, attendees will see your branding as they use this informational tool to access session schedules and rooms, find exhibitors in the Exhibit Hall and much more. Your logo will be a permanent fixture on the landing page of the app and link to the webpage of your choice. The sponsor will also be listed in the conference program and on The Forum’s website.

Reserve this sponsorship»

 

 

October Issue of The Forum Focus Now Available

The June issue of The Forum Focus is now available. This issue includes the following short articles:

  • “Why Does The Forum Collect Data, and Why Should You Care?” by Brian Whalen, Forum President and CEO
  • “Reframing Diversity: Inclusive Excellence and Education Abroad,” by Karyn L. Sweeney, Peace Corps, Southwest Regional Office
  • “Filling the Education Abroad Historical Glass,” by William W. Hoffa, Adjunct Faculty, SIT Graduate Institute
  • “From The Forum Council Chair,” by Kelly McLaughlin, Assistant Dean of Assessment & Deputy Director of the Center for International and Professional Experience, Yale University
  • “From The Forum Board Chair,” by Mary Anne Grant, President, ISEP

The Forum Focus is an online publication that provides perspectives on current education abroad topics and issues. The Forum welcomes responses to the articles, ideas for future topics, and submissions. Please send correspondence and submissions to: info@forumea.org.

 

 

Forum to Conduct Training for Ecuadorian Universities

In partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Quito and the Center for Interamerican Studies Foundation (CEDEI), The Forum is very pleased to be offering specialized training to Ecuadorian universities to assist them to expand their capacity to host U.S. students on their campuses. Training in the Standards of Good Practice will take place at CEDEI Foundation’s main office in Cuenca on November 17 and 18. The program is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Embassy in Quito and supports the U.S. government’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative.

Jill Dietrich, Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy, commented: “Ecuador has an immense untapped capacity to expand its reach as a choice destination for U.S. students, and to send students to study in the U.S. The Embassy has been working with universities in Ecuador since 2013 to increase their ability to send and receive students through strategic internationalization initiatives. We are pleased that The Forum will be offering this training as the next step in capacity building for Ecuadorian institutions.”

Learn more»

 

 

 

Forum Webinar on Proposed Legislation in New York State

On Friday, October 9 at 10 a.m. EDT The Forum will offer a free member webinar to discuss the latest information on a proposal in New York State to draft legislation related to education abroad. State Senator Skartados’ office is seeking feedback on proposed legislation, and it is therefore an opportune time to share information and discuss this development.

Priority registration will be given to Forum members in New York State.

Register for the webinar»

 

 

 

Apply to Become a Certification Assessor

The Forum seeks experienced senior professionals in the field of education abroad to serve as Forum Certification Assessors for the Professional Certification in Education Abroad program. Assessors will be rigorously trained to review and evaluate Standards Assignments submitted by program participants. Qualified applicants will be experienced colleagues from Forum member institutions and organizations who have consistently demonstrated their skill in the articulation and application of the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad.

The deadline to apply is September 15.

Learn more»

 

 

Member Orientation Webinar

The Forum invites its new members to participate in A Member’s Orientation to The Forum: Programs, Projects, Services and Benefits scheduled for Friday, September 11 at 12 p.m. (EDT). Facilitated by Forum staff, this free webinar will describe the benefits of membership and introduce ways to get involved in The Forum’s work. We welcome new members and new colleagues to participate, as well as anyone else from a Forum member institution interested in refreshing their knowledge of what The Forum has to offer.

Register now»

 

 

 

The Forum’s Data Committee Seeks New Members

The Forum’s Data Committee is seeking new members. The Data Committee collects quantitative and qualitative data about education abroad, including data about student participation, program characteristics, and issues and topics in the field.  The next project of the Data Committee will be The Forum’s biennial State of the Field Survey, a signature initiative that takes the pulse of the field on a wide range of issues for all education abroad constituents. This fall’s State of the Field Survey’s will be its sixth iteration, the field’s only source of longitudinal information about education abroad issues, policies and practices.

Interested in joining The Forum’s Data Committee? Complete the online interest form by September 8.

 

 

12th Annual Conference Call for Proposals

The Forum is now accepting session and workshop proposals for its 12th Annual Conference, Navigating the Intersections: The Cultures of Education Abroad. The conference will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, April 6-8, 2016.

Education abroad is a field of intersections. In every program, different national identities, learning models, values, disciplines, languages, traditions, institutions and organizations encounter each other in distinctive ways that create the unique cultures of education abroad. Education abroad lives and thrives at the intersections of these ideas and realities.

The deadline to submit session and workshop proposals is September 4.

Read the full Call for Proposals»

 

 

June Issue of The Forum Focus Now Available

The June issue of The Forum Focus is now available. This issue includes the following short articles:

  • “Building U.S. Education Abroad Capacity Based on Standards of Good Practice” by Brian Whalen, Forum President and CEO
  • “The Authority of the Standards,” by Andrea Custodi, Director of Academic Affairs & Strategic Initiatives, CET Academic Programs
  • “From The Forum Council Chair,” by Kelly McLaughlin, Assistant Dean of Assessment & Deputy Director of the Center for International and Professional Experience, Yale University.

The Forum Focus is a new online publication that provides perspectives on current education abroad topics and issues. The Forum welcomes responses to the articles, ideas for future topics, and submissions. Please send correspondence and submissions to: info@forumea.org.

Forum Council Election Results

Congratulations to the following colleagues who have been elected to The Forum Council for a 3-year term:

  • Kelly McLaughlin, Yale University (reelected)
  • Steve Duke, Wake Forest University (reelected)
  • Christine Carroll, Florida State University
  • David Fougere, CIEE
  • Lisa Sapolis, Trinity College

The Forum extends its sincere thanks to those colleagues who will be cycling off of the Council: José B. Alvarez (CEA Study Abroad), Joan Gillespie (ACM), and Margaret Wiedenhoeft (Kalamazoo College). Thank you for your service to The Forum!

 

 

Donation Received from Sara’s Wish Foundation

The Forum is very pleased to announce a generous gift from Sara’s Wish Foundation that will assist colleagues from member institutions to participate in The Professional Certification in Education Abroad program. The gift will provide scholarships to help fund participation for those who cannot afford to enroll because of lack of institutional resources or support. The Forum thanks Sara’s Wish Foundation for its generosity and its commitment to enhancing the quality of education abroad.

 

 

2015 Undergraduate Research Award Nominations

The Forum is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Undergraduate Research Award. The Forum Undergraduate Research Award is an honor that showcases the most rigorous and significant undergraduate research that occurs as part of education abroad programs. The 2015 award recipients will be invited to present their research at the annual Forum conference in Atlanta, Georgia, in April 2016. The deadline to submit nominations is June 30.

 

 

Forum Council Elections

The Nominations Committee of The Forum Council is pleased to announce the following slate of candidates for the open positions in this year’s Forum Council election:

  • Christine Carroll, Florida State University
  • Steve Duke, Wake Forest University (reelection)
  • Michelle Duran, Spanish Studies Abroad (Seville, Spain)
  • David Fougere, CIEE
  • Michael Lucerto, EUSA
  • Kelly McLaughlin, Yale University (reelection)
  • Lisa Sapolis, Trinity College (Connecticut)
  • Erika Wilkens-Sözen, Syracuse University (Istanbul, Turkey)

To learn more about the candidates, read their statements.

The Forum Council election is held by e-mail ballot; all Institutional Representatives will receive an email with a link to an online ballot on Monday, May 11. Voting will close at 5 p.m. on June 1.

 

 

New Study Abroad Branch Announced at Forum Annual Conference

Business Meeting 29_State Dept 1Assistant Secretary of State Evan Ryan announced in her plenary remarks at The Forum’s Annual Conference the creation of a new Study Abroad Branch within the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Read the full text of the Assistant Secretary’s remarks below.


U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
ASSISTANT SECRETARY EVAN RYAN
REMARKS ON
Study Abroad at the Forum on Education Abroad Conference
March 27, 2015, 8:45 a.m., 15 minutes

Thank you, Brian, for the introduction and for the opportunity to speak here this morning.

I am delighted to be here with you today on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. It is a particular pleasure to speak to a room full of people who believe as passionately as I do in U.S. education abroad.

I would also like to say thank you for all the work that you do on a daily basis to provide American students with the life-changing experience of studying abroad.

I greatly appreciate your tireless efforts in promoting and advocating for study abroad – as well as all the work you do in developing or identifying programs that allow students to have a transformative, educational, and safe experience.

Having studied abroad myself, I can personally attest to the transformative experience of studying outside of your own country and comfort zone.

Of course, when I studied abroad as a college junior, I never would have imagined I would hold the position I am so honored to have today, leading the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs – or ECA.

My mandate at ECA is to use exchange programs to build friendly, peaceful relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

We engage Americans and international participants to foster mutual understanding worldwide.

We do this through academic exchanges (like study abroad), but also through cultural, sports, and professional exchanges, as well as public-private partnerships, like mentoring programs.

I get to build relationships and make connections with the world’s emerging leaders, many of them youth leaders, every day.

And they’re the relationships through which we’ll build mutual trust, and leverage in the years to come in the interest of U.S. foreign policy.

ECA Exchanges break down barriers that often divide us, like religion, politics, language and ethnicity, and geography.

And they give us access to places that are otherwise difficult to reach, in countries like Iran and Cuba for instance, and they help pave the way for future negotiation and official relationships.

The State Department has a history of exchange programs for countries with which we do not have official diplomatic relations.

And when President Obama announced a new Cuba policy in December 2014, he announced a broadening of exchange opportunities beyond academic exchanges for American students, to include non-academic travel, conferences, and non-credit bearing study abroad, among others.

These are exciting times in the international exchange community and the higher education community will be on the front lines of U.S. Foreign Policy through their work on academic exchange programs.

Exchanges build connections that engage and empower people, and that motivate them to become leaders and thinkers; to develop new skills; and to find connections that will create positive change in their communities.

ECA exchange programs improve America’s foreign relations and strengthen America’s national security.

We are fostering a global network of foreign citizens who understand the United States, and Americans who understand the wider world, all of whom can be partners in solving the world’s challenges.

And it is the American mobility aspect that I am here to talk to you about this morning.

The State Department has a long history of supporting American student mobility.

With the support of Congress and the American people, we send over 7,000 Americans – from high school students to college students to young professionals — abroad on State Department sponsored exchange programs each year.

Our programs like the National Security Language Initiative for Youth and Critical Language Scholarships provide young Americans with opportunities for intensive language study in critical languages overseas.

Our Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program targets populations traditionally underrepresented in study abroad by offering scholarships for academic studies or career-oriented internships to Pell grant recipients. This program is breaking the ceiling on minority participation in education abroad.

Our Fulbright U.S. Student Program sent a record number of American students overseas this year.

These recent college graduates, graduate students, and early career professionals are conducting research in large cities and small villages across the globe, engaging with local citizens and becoming part of the fabric of their overseas community, while also gaining important linguistic and cultural skills.

The Fulbright Program continues to innovate and find new ways to engage talented, highly motivated Americans early in their careers.

I am proud of the programs we offer and the impact they have on the lives of young Americans, but also fully aware that most students who go abroad do so with personal, community, or university resources.

About 300,000 Americans studied abroad in 2012-2013, which represents only 1.5 percent of the 20 million American students enrolled in higher education programs at any given time.

We lag behind other countries in student mobility, to our detriment.

When a Chinese and an American come together to do business, the Chinese business partner has usually spent time in the U.S. and speaks English. He knows American sitting across the table. It’s less likely that the American has spent time in China or speaks Chinese.

And that scenario repeats itself whether the other partner is from China, Japan, Brazil, Russia, India, or Germany.

We also recognize that the students who study abroad are not fully reflective of the diversity of American society or studying in proportionate numbers throughout countries around the world.

The State Department is committed, alongside each of you, to promoting and advocating for the increase and diversification of study abroad participants.

I’m excited to tell you that ECA has recently stood up a new U.S. Study Abroad Office to do just that.

The United States is a global leader in many fields, including in higher education, and one of our goals at the State Department is to help ensure that young Americans—the next generation of leaders—have the international skills they want and need for a globalized 21st century workplace.

Fifteen years ago there were nearly 130,000 U.S. students studying abroad, with this number more than doubling by 2012/2013 to almost 300,000.

Yet, with the current annual growth rate of approximately 2%, it will take another 35 years to double again.

This is not acceptable. We can – and must – do better. We know the interest is there. Over half of U.S. students enter university with expectations of participating in study abroad.

American students face many real and perceived constraints to studying abroad.

They may be hesitant to take leave from the universities and colleges where they study, fearing a loss of progress towards degree completion.

For those who rely upon income derived from employment, both the short-term loss of income as well as potential increased cost of education for study abroad may prove daunting.

It is always difficult to say goodbye to family and friends, who may worry about your safety and security.

It can also be intimidating to navigate daily life in a foreign culture and language, and students may also express concerns about missing out on events and activities while away from their home campuses.

Nevertheless, we believe that encouraging American students to study abroad is in their best interest and is a strategic imperative for the United States.

President Obama and Secretary Kerry are both strong advocates for the value and importance of education abroad.

With fewer than 10% of U.S. students taking advantage of study abroad opportunities before they graduate, that leaves over 90% of American students without this vital component as part of their education.

It’s an issue of national competitiveness, really. We want to make sure that the future leaders of our country are globally competent, and internationally savvy.

We are looking forward to working with all of you to address the barriers to internationalizing education – both real and perceived.

Americans who study abroad become citizen ambassadors for our country, sharing American values abroad and pushing back against stereotypes.

When American students study abroad they gain critical perspectives and begin to establish networks that enhance their individual prospects in the global marketplace and their future potential as global problem-solvers.

At the Department of State, we want to increase the overall number of Americans studying abroad—and we want to do that by reaching parts of American demographics that are currently underrepresented.

And it’s not just about increasing diversity in the applicant pool, but in diversity of destination.

We want to see more young people travel to destinations where the United States has a strategic interest, to learn critical languages like Arabic, Chinese, Hindi and Russian.

When an American student touches down in Seoul or Havana, the world grows a little bit closer and we understand each other more.

And that’s in the interest of U.S. foreign policy.

Now that I have outlined the “what” and “why,” I want to spend my remaining time on the “how.”

The new U.S. Study Abroad Office at the State Department will manage study abroad programs, including our Gilman and Critical Language Scholarship Programs, and explore partnerships with all of you in the higher education community to promote the benefits of study abroad to students, parents, policymakers, and other stakeholders.

This office will work in partnership with foreign governments or institutions interested in attracting more American students, and with the private sector, which views a globally competent U.S. workforce as crucial to future economic prosperity.

Beyond our programs and our partnerships, we are also launching and exploring targeted new initiatives to support education abroad.

We recently partnered with the Institute of International Education and CollegeWeekLive to host the first ever Virtual U.S. Study Abroad Fair on February 25th.

Over 3,000 U.S. high school, university, and college students and their families learned about opportunities for culture and language immersion and the development of marketable job skills from over 50 exhibitors, representing countries from all over the world, during the inaugural event.

We are re-launching our popular Capacity-Building Program for U.S. Undergraduate Study, which provides institutional grants to U.S. colleges and universities looking to create or expand their study abroad programs, particularly for underrepresented student audiences or nontraditional study abroad destinations.

Under previous iterations of this program, which was offered over a period of four years, we awarded grants to 39 institutions in 28 states to increase and diversify U.S. study abroad. The 39 recipient institutions included two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), four Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), seven community colleges, and one university for the education of the deaf and hard of hearing.

Many of the selected organizations have a majority diverse student population, particularly first-generation college students, and others recruited from student populations underrepresented in study abroad or sent students to nontraditional study abroad locations.

We are also working hard on several other new initiatives, which we hope to roll out over the next few months.

I encourage you all to stay in touch with us through our dedicated email address – studyabroad@state.gov. I’m eager to hear your ideas about how our new office can contribute to the growth and improvement of study abroad.

My colleagues at ECA and I are delighted to join all of you in the important work of promoting and advocating for U.S. education abroad.

Together, I know we can internationalize the college experience for American students.

Let them see the world through your campuses.

I hope I have provided a broad overview of our new office and the important work that lies ahead.

Let’s think and work creatively together to share the values of study abroad for our workforce and society and to encourage young people to gain a global perspective as part of their studies.

Study abroad is important, and it is for everyone.

Thank you.

5th Edition of Education Abroad Standards Now Available

Cover-ForumEAStandards-2015The Forum on Education Abroad announces the publication of the 5th edition of the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad. Developed by the education abroad field, the Standards offer authoritative and comprehensive guidelines for the development, management, assessment and improvement of education abroad programming in order to make the experience as rewarding and meaningful as possible for students.

Allan Goodman, President and CEO of The Institute of International Education, commented on the new edition, stating, “The old adage ‘don’t leave home without it’ is surely true for this set of guidelines. The Standards that The Forum promotes and the advice it gives assures us all that when making international a part of your education, it will be a safe and high quality experience.”

The work to revise and update the Standards was spearheaded by The Forum’s Standards Committee, led by Standards Committee Chair Andrea Custodi (Alliance for Global Education) and Vice-Chair Mark Lenhart (CET Academic Programs). In the revision process drafts were open to Forum members and the public at large for comment, drawing a diversity of opinions and suggestions.

Custodi commented, “We are delighted to launch this newest edition of The Forum Standards, and are so grateful to the many colleagues who contributed to it. The new Standards represent the strength, confidence, and expertise of a mature field—they clearly set and articulate a high bar for quality in education abroad programming, yet at the same time serve the needs of a wide and diverse membership.” She added, “Together with the new, improved web interface for the Standards, we see the launch of this newest edition as combining the best ideals of our field with practical resources that capture the how-to of implementation. We look forward to seeing them guide and inform the development of the field for years to come.”

A new feature of this edition of the Standards is a dynamic, interactive web site that offers tools for users to navigate through multiple layers of content, ranging from broad principles and prompts for evaluation to essential expectations for implementing the Standards and best practice examples.

Vice-Chair Mark Lenhart commented on how the new edition of the Standards will be used: “As a study abroad practitioner, I am excited to put the 5th edition Standards to use: to train new staff, to review when we have questions, and to support our partnerships. With its concise language and new web interface, the new edition shouts ‘use me!’” He added, “We are grateful to the Standards Committee members for their hard work and contributions to the 5th Edition. The Standards truly reflect the diverse perspectives of members of our field and embodies the best of our collective efforts.”

Patti McGill Peterson, Presidential Advisor, Global Initiatives, Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement at The American Council on Education, described the release of the new edition of the Standards this way: “The Forum continues to be a respected leader in setting standards of practice and conduct for education abroad. In its 5th edition of the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad it focuses on the provision of high quality student learning opportunities in education abroad programs and provides advice on management, assessment and methods of improvement. Acting on its own advice, The Forum engages in continuous improvement by updating and revising The Forum Standards in response to rapidly growing and changing global engagement in higher education. The Forum deserves our profound appreciation for setting the bar for high quality education abroad.”

The Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, 5th edition (2015) is available to the public. 11th Annual Conference attendees will receive a print copy in New Orleans, and institutional representatives not in attendance will receive a print copy in the mail.

View the new Standards of Good Practice»

 

 

Forum Launches New & Improved Quality Improvement Program (QUIP)

The Forum Launches New and Improved Quality Improvement Program (QUIP)

The Forum is pleased to announce that its Quality Improvement Program (QUIP) has been updated and enhanced in conjunction with the release of the 5th edition of the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad.

QUIP is the only objective, independent review system in education abroad, based on the field’s Standards of Good Practice. The new QUIP Review process remains based on the U.S. higher education accreditation model, involving a Self-Study, Peer Review, and Final Determination of whether an organization is in substantial conformity with the Standards. A determination of “yes” carries the most significant judgment available regarding the quality of education abroad programming. QUIP has been updated in the following ways:

  • Streamlined, more user-friendly process, maintaining objectivity and rigor,
  • Mapped to the concise new Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, 5th ed. (2015),
  • Forum staff member now assigned to each review to offer support,
  • Enhanced recognition for institutions and organizations that complete QUIP successfully.

Learn More
Visit Forum Central at The Forum’s 11th Annual Conference in New Orleans next week to learn more about how your organization can become recognized for meeting the Standards, read about QUIP online, or call us +1 717-245-1031 to discuss QUIP with a member of The Forum staff.

Apply Now
Apply for a QUIP Review today and demonstrate to students, parents, and partners that your organization is committed to quality improvement.

 

The Forum is Selected as a Host Organization for the ACLS Public Fellows Program

The Forum on Education Abroad is pleased to announce its selection as a host organization for the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Public Fellows Program, a career-building fellowship initiative designed to expand the reach of doctoral education in the humanities. In 2015, the Public Fellows Program will place up to 22 recent Ph.D.s from the humanities and humanistic social sciences in two-year staff positions at partnering organizations in government and the nonprofit sector.

Other organizations selected to host fellows in 2015 include the American Bar Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Clinton Global Initiative, the National Audubon Society, Public Radio International, and the Smithsonian Institution. Forum President and CEO Brian Whalen said, “We are very pleased to be hosting our second ACLS Public Fellow in order to advance the mission and goals of The Forum on Education Abroad and help to expand professional opportunities for Ph.D.s in the humanities.”

The Public Fellow hosted by The Forum will serve as Assistant Director for Digital Resources, and will manage a number of the digital resources that The Forum provides to its institutional members and the education abroad field at large. Under the supervision of the President/CEO, and working together with other Forum staff, the Assistant Director will have primary responsibility for managing The Forum-New York Times in Education Digital Resource Center; will assist in the management of The Forum Standards Toolbox, an authoritative online resource that contains hundreds of examples of education abroad best practices; and will manage the publication of Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, an open access, online journal.

The application deadline is March 17, 2015 (6 p.m. EDT). For more information, including the full position description, please visit http://www.acls.org/programs/publicfellowscomp/.

ACLS Public Fellows is a fellowship program offered by the American Council of Learned Societies with generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  Please direct all inquiries about the fellowship program to ACLS.

Brian Whalen Reports on White House Summit

Dear Colleagues,

White House Summit4
Forum President/CEO Brian Whalen at the White House

I am pleased to provide this short report on my attending the White House Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship last week.

Organized by The Global Engagement Directorate of the National Security Council at The White House, The White House Summit was a first of its kind event. The U.S. Department of State was asked to assist with the organization, and invited me to represent The Forum membership, and I thank them for this.

While the title of the Summit appears far-reaching, its main purpose was to bring together travel bloggers and media outlets to encourage more publicity about the importance and value of studying abroad. Judging from the amount of follow-up traffic on Twitter and online articles, I think it was an overall success.

I did tweet from the Summit in order to keep Forum members informed (you may read my tweets here: https://twitter.com/forumea). This was my first time tweeting, so it was a learning process for me. Looking back on my tweets, I realize that they are really akin to “field notes” that provide a small window onto a more expansive meaning. This report, I hope, will provide that more expansive meaning to you.

First and foremost, the fact that the Summit was convened at The White House was historic, and I was mindful of this during the entire day. The sense that “history was being made” was present, and I thought about the many, many colleagues who have made the education abroad field what it is today, and what they might be thinking about the fact that a meeting focused on study abroad was being held at The White House.

Along with this, I was aware that the meeting was not about education abroad per se, but rather about how to encourage travel bloggers and media outlets to support participation in education abroad by generating more positive stories about it. This approach seemed curious because it could have been designed to be much broader by focusing on a range of education abroad issues and topics. However, I learned that the planning timeline was very short, and professionals from the field of education abroad had not been involved. If we had participated in the planning, I think the event could have included a more in-depth analysis of a variety of education abroad issues that came up during the summit such as academic credit, financing, language learning, just to name a few.

This is sometimes the case with events planned ‘outside’ the field, and I was determined to make the best of The White House meeting in representing The Forum and the field. I was also mindful that the chief purpose of this event was to build support and momentum for education abroad, and I wanted to make certain that The Forum did everything that it could to cheerlead and support this effort, rather than cast too critical an eye on any of the proceedings.

I was impressed with the strong support of education abroad by the U.S. government officials who spoke. Many described the value of study abroad by drawing on both their personal experience and what is in the national and global interests. It was inspiring to observe that so many of our leading government officials have studied abroad, and to hear them articulate the value of that experience for them and for others. From the Assistant to the President to The White House Chief of Staff to State Department leaders to the Chief of Staff to the First Lady to the Secretary of Commerce, all had a strong and consistent message about the importance of education abroad for the future of our country and the world. Their comments will be useful for our effort to advocate for education abroad.

White House Summit3
From left: Brian Whalen; Meghann Curtis, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Academic Programs in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; Dan Davidson, President of American Councils for International Education

Impressive also were the comments made by the travel writers and media professionals in attendance. While we should not mistake travel with being the same as education abroad (some at the meeting viewed them as being more or less the same), we should recognize that the education abroad field has something in common with the travel blogger community. They voiced their support of the value of education abroad, and if they can help to promote its value to the general public, students and their families, then that may assist with expanding participation.

To me the most valuable aspect of the Summit were the many opportunities to interact with the attendees beyond the formal presentations. At the receptions, during the White House tour, and while standing in line waiting to pass through security, I had substantive conversations with other attendees about how we might partner to mutual benefit while fulfilling the goals for education abroad that we all share.

While there was not really any new information presented at the Summit, existing information received greater emphasis or was put into a new context. For example, it had been announced a number of months ago that a new study abroad branch led by a director within the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the State Department was being created. But this was mentioned again by Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Evan Ryan, and it received a lot of attention in social media. Similarly, some existing information about study abroad participation was presented in new ways that were useful to think about. It was positive for our field to have information presented in this high-level venue.

What will The Forum do to stay engaged? We are moving on several fronts to assist with keeping the momentum of the Summit going. Some examples include:

  • The Forum is identifying the best bloggers from the Summit to invite as guests to our Annual Conference and present in a session on education abroad and travel blogging. We also expect that the bloggers will provide valuable coverage of The Forum conference and help to continue to promote the value of education abroad.
  • I have been in conversation with several of the representatives from the media who attended the Summit about possible collaboration going forward. As most of our members are aware, The Forum is already collaborating with The New York Times to create a digital resource center that will support student learning abroad. I see other possibilities for partnerships with other media outlets that can help us not only to build student participation in education abroad, but also to advance learning outcomes. Of course, as any projects are considered, The Forum Council and Board will assess whether or not they should be pursued to benefit the membership.
  • The Summit also provided opportunities for The Forum to extend its working relationships with U.S. government leaders, which will help to advance our field. For example, in the near future I am hopeful that we will be able to announce that a high-ranking official will be attending and presenting at our Annual Conference in New Orleans. Maintaining this type of working relationships with the U.S. government is important to our work.

The President and the First Lady have been tremendously supportive of education abroad. They have consistently and effectively articulated its importance and encouraged more students to study abroad. Convening the Summit at The White House was yet another way that they continue to support the goal of having more students study abroad. However, The White House, travel bloggers, government officials, or education abroad professionals cannot by themselves realize this goal. In order to be successful, all of us who contribute to education abroad must work together not only to increase participation, but also to ensure quality.

You may view the proceedings of the Summit here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/12/15/white-house-hosts-travel-blogger-summit-study-abroad-and-global-citizenship

Brian Whalen
President/CEO

 

 

 

The Forum Announces Award Recipients

In celebration of International Education Week, The Forum on Education Abroad announces the recipients of its Undergraduate Research Awards and its Award for Excellence in Education Abroad Curriculum Design.


Undergraduate Research Awards

The Forum is proud to announce the winners of this year’s Undergraduate Research Awards:

Erin_Emmons croppedWes_Hauser_Picture croppedStudents: Wesley Hauser, Wabash College and Erin Emmons, College of the Holy Cross
Nominating member: The School for Field Studies (SFS)
Program: The School for Field Studies Rainforest Studies Program
Project: “Putting Lumholtz’s Tree-Kangaroo on the Map: Using Present Distribution to Assess Habitat Requirements and Identify Areas for Further Surveys”

Student: Alexx Temeña, Brown UniversityAlex Temena 1 cropped
Nominating member: Antioch Education Abroad
Program: Antioch Education Abroad Buddhist Studies in India
Project: “’Others before Self:’ Buddhist Influences at Tibetan Children’s Village, Selakui”

The Forum’s Undergraduate Research Award recognizes excellence in academic work completed by students as part of an education abroad program. The students will present their work at a plenary session at The Forum’s Eleventh Annual Conference in New Orleans on March 27, 2015. The students’ projects were judged by faculty from Forum member institutions, who found them to be the best examples of the highest quality academic achievements of undergraduates studying abroad.

Nominated projects encompass a wide variety of fields, demonstrating that international learning informs many academic disciplines. Forum President and CEO Brian Whalen said that “this year the selection committee had a difficult task to select the winners from the 36 nominations received.  These student winners are clearly deserving, and represent the very best of what we want our students to achieve through education abroad.”

Wesley Hauser, a senior at Wabash College, and Erin Emmons, a senior at the College of the Holy Cross, conducted their research while participating in a program sponsored by The School for Field Studies (SFS) at the SFS Centre for Rainforest Studies in Yungaburra, Queensland, Australia. Their project involved the development of a map of the current distribution of Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo, the determination of its habitat requirements, and the identification of suitable habitats for the species for which no sighting records exist, in order to plan future survey activities. Wesley and Erin’s faculty advisor wrote, “Wes and Erin are mature, very focused and organized students. Based on their enthusiasm to tackle challenges, their persistent work on research projects, their skills to manage and solve problems, their ability to reason and critical thinking, and to effectively collaborate, I fully support their nomination for the National Forum on Education Abroad’s Undergraduate Research Award. Both students are very suitable candidates for a future career in scientific research.”

Upon being notified of winning the award, Wesley wrote, “The powers of collaboration, diligence, and community engagement all come into play over the course of my international research experience, and ultimately, I believe these characteristics are necessary for understanding and addressing complex issues. I couldn’t be happier that The Forum on Education Abroad recognizes the collective value of these traits and for the opportunity to share my work again in the future.”

Erin told the Forum: “I am extremely honored to receive this prestigious award from The Forum on Education Abroad. From the beginning, Wes and I conducted our research under the overarching goal of making an impact on conservation of the Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo. It is incredible to be recognized by The Forum, and to have the opportunity to present at The Forum’s Annual Conference, which will enable us to share information about the species and the implications of our findings, in hopes of contributing to conservation efforts on a scale that we never could have imagined.”

Alexx Temeña is in the fourth year of a five-year combined A.B./Sc.B. Program in Contemplative Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at Brown University. While enrolled in the Antioch Education Abroad Buddhist Studies Program in Bodh Gaya, India, Alexx conducted research to examine the role of Buddhism and how it affects the social and emotional well-being of students at Tibetan Children’s Village, Selakui. Data was gathered through formal and informal interviews with students and teachers, direct observation, and participation in school activities. Alexx’s research challenged the dichotomy of the religious and the secular, shedding light on Buddhism as inextricable to Tibetan cultural identity.

One of Alexx’s professors remarked, “Not only is the subject matter of her project important as it operates within the boundaries of several disciplines and geographical as well as ethnic categories, but her exceptionally effective research in the field produced an excellent original research report. I would be willing to go as far as saying that the work she did was groundbreaking, especially for Antioch University.”

When told of winning the award, Alexx responded, “My project in Dehra Dun, India launched me on a path of thinking critically and carefully about how mindfulness is taking hold in America. What I found through my fieldwork challenged my assumptions about Buddhism and helped me reflect on my perspective of the culture and religion as an American-raised and largely non-religious person. I was surprised and overjoyed to learn that I received the award.”

Learn more about the Undergraduate Research Award»


Award for Excellence in Education Abroad Curriculum Design

The Forum is pleased to announce that this year’s Award for Excellence in Education Abroad Curriculum Design goes to a group of faculty members from Dickinson College and Akita International University for their interdisciplinary course, “Living Well in Later Life,” offered as part of Dickinson’s U.S.-Japan Global Scholars Program. Please join us in congratulating Professors Shawn Bender, John Henson, Dave Sarcone and Shalom Staub, all of Dickinson College, and Professor Yoshitaka Kumagai of Akita International University.

The Forum’s Award for Excellence in Curriculum Design honors faculty who develop and implement innovative and effective education abroad curricula. It is the education abroad field’s only award presented to an individual or group of individuals for excellence in the design of an education abroad course. By recognizing the outstanding efforts of faculty who are committed to the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, The Forum hopes to inspire the field as a whole to continue to strive for enrichment of education abroad curricula, and to continually reflect on how we may best encourage student learning abroad.

“Living Well in Later Life” examines the community health of two structurally similar but geographically distant regions: Yurihonjo, Akita Prefecture, Japan; and Carlisle, Pennsylvania, United States. Organized jointly by Akita International University and Dickinson College, the program seeks to measure the health of these communities based on an investigation of resident “Quality of Life.” Students interact with policy makers and program specialists at multiple levels in order to understand the social, cultural, and economic factors affecting the quality of life for elderly Japanese and Americans, working in a multicultural group comprised of students from Akita International University and Dickinson College. They gather data on Quality of Life in each community using quantitative and qualitative research methods, and present their findings to community members in each location.

Selection committee chair, Wendy Lombardo of Arcadia University’s College of Global Studies, remarked, “We were very impressed by the level of integration into the local community, the comparative nature of the course and overall academic structure of ‘Living Well in Later Life.’ This course truly gives students a unique international opportunity.” Forum President and CEO Brian Whalen thanked the selection committee “for its excellent work in reviewing the twenty-four nominated courses for this year’s award.”

The award will be presented at The Forum’s Eleventh Annual Conference, It Takes a Campus and More: The Faces of Education Abroad, in New Orleans on March 27, 2015, where Professors Sarcone and Bender will present at a session about the course.

Learn more about the Award for Excellence in Education Abroad Curriculum Design»


 

 

 

Professional Certification Accelerated Residency Program

Professional Certification in Education Abroad – Accelerated Residency Program

June 22-24, 2015
Carlisle, PA

This summer The Forum will offer an Accelerated Residency Program in Carlisle, PA, on the Dickinson College campus. During the three-day program, participants will have the opportunity to attend all six Standards of Good Practice workshops that make up the Professional Certification Program, facilitated by various members of The Forum Trained Facilitators Team. After the Residency, participants will return home to complete accompanying Standards Assignments. Accelerated Residency participants will have a unique opportunity to learn and collaborate with their colleagues in the field and intensely focus on their professional development during their time in Carlisle.

The Accelerated Residency program is open to all participants who have applied and are enrolled in the Professional Certification Program.

Learn more»