Seeking Events Manager: Join The Forum’s Team!

The Forum on Education Abroad seeks an experienced events manager to join our team! This position is responsible for planning the organization’s conferences, events, and meetings, including working with a variety of vendors and event hosts, including hotels, campuses, food & beverage, audio visual, printing, etc. Often, the manager will be communicating with individuals from a variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds so the ability to engage with and support diverse groups and to demonstrate intercultural sensitivity, the highest quality customer service, a sense of humor, and the ability to multitask, are all absolutely essential. The manager is responsible for all logistical aspects of the organization\’s major conferences, multiple smaller events, and associated budgets, including some marketing and sales responsibilities.

Essential Functions

Essential Function #1:
In-person Event Planning & Execution- With the oversight of the President/CEO, plan all logistics for major events, including the Annual Conference, European Conference, a new Latin America Conference, and 3-4 one-day training events annually. Responsibilities include creating an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere, developing event budgets, designing and reviewing the RFP process for venues, negotiating space, room nights, and other costs with hotels, tracking pick-up of hotel nights, selecting and supervising AV and other third-party vendors, selecting meals for all attendees, responding to participants and exhibitors’ dietary needs and questions, organizing receptions for all attendees, negotiating contracts with plenary speakers, arranging accommodations for participants with disabilities, and managing logistics for VIPs. The incumbent will develop the master schedule for events, including draft schedules for concurrent sessions, and developing detailed internal and external checklists, scripts, and timelines which shall include all deliverables, expectations and tasks associated with conference functions. Coordinate Forum Staff travel to the organization’s major events. Supervise an event management intern. Suggest and implement ways to lessen the environmental impact of all Forum events.

Essential Function #2:
Virtual Event Planning – Supervises the work of the Virtual Events Manager and/or other third-party contractors and vendors involved in the planning and delivery of virtual events.

Essential Function #3:
Secure and Facilitate Sponsorship and Exhibitors – In collaboration with Marketing & Sales, develop and implement sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities for all Forum events, including virtual. Assure that relevant information is accurately represented on the website and in communications. Create FAQs and enforce/revise policies as needed to ensure a productive and positive experience for event sponsors and exhibitors.

Essential Function #4:
Communicate with Participants – Respond to attendee questions, dietary, or accommodation requests. Develop a database of services available to assist disabled participants, when needed. Create relevant online forms, monitor and compare event registration data, and utilize reports available from the organization’s Association Management System (AMS). Address invoicing or registration fee questions from participants, exhibitors, and the organization’s billing department.

Essential Function #5
Assessment, Evaluation, & Innovation – Implement and analyze participant, sponsor, and exhibitor evaluations and feedback. Assess success of individual conference and event goals (revenue, attendance, satisfaction, etc.), trends, and suggest improvements. Ensure that The Forum’s events are fresh, exciting, and industry-leading by regularly innovating on existing practices, continually improving and streamlining practices, and staying current with new trends and best practices for event management.


Substantial event planning responsibility along with budgeting and contract negotiation experience, and demonstrated professional, effective writing skills would be an acceptable substitute for a college degree. Many of the responsibilities for this position are similar from event to event, although our Annual Conference is the largest and most complex. Frequently, the manager will juggle numerous lines of communication with hotels, caterers, exhibitors, and participants. When opportunities or issues outside the norm arise, the individual’s supervisor and peers are on hand to support and assist.

Additional Details

This is a full-time position and the person will work remotely from their own home office. Travel to in-person staff retreats of up to 3 days, 3-4 times per year, is required in addition to the site visits and up to two major conferences per year.

The salary for this position will depend on the candidates’ skills and expertise. The expected salary range will be between $45,000 – $55,000. The position comes with a generous benefit package, including several different health insurance plans, employer retirement contributions, 26 days of paid time off and up to 12 paid holidays per year. Candidates residing in Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, or Rhode Island preferred.

We are committed to advancing equity, diversity and inclusion and eliminating structural racism and inequities wherever it is identified whether within our organization, the field of education abroad, and/or our communities. Every member of The Forum’s team is expected to embrace and actively advance the ideas included in this statement on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging.


Apply Now



Solutions in Action: Highlights from the 17th Annual Conference

The Forum on Education Abroad had the pleasure of welcoming nearly 600 education abroad changemakers from across the globe to the 17th Annual Conference, which was held virtually on March 1-5, 2021.

With a theme of “Evolution and Revolution: Solutions in Action,” this year’s conference highlighted the challenges that the field of education abroad has faced due to the global pandemic and the elevated importance of our work while facilitating impactful discussions to drive the field forward.

Over the new five-day virtual format, conference attendees chose from 60 sessions that explored 10 key focus areas:

  • Ethics & Ethical Partnerships
  • Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Health, Safety & Well-Being
  • Mission, Goals, Strategy & Advocacy
  • Professional Development & Training
  • Program Development & Management
  • Research & Data Collection
  • Student Learning & Development
  • Sustainability
  • Technology

And, even in these challenging times, we took time to recognize the 20th anniversary of The Forum’s founding, and all that we’ve learned over the past two decades while looking forward to the future.

Identity: A Key Theme of the Opening & Closing Plenaries

Inaugural poet and author Richard Blanco delivered an inspiring Annual Conference Opening Plenary, exploring the question: “What is home?” Selected by President Obama as the fifth inaugural poet in U.S. history, Richard is the first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in the role.

He shared stories and read his poetry that explore his cultural and national identity as an immigrant, his mother’s journey from Cuba to America, and his personal journey of figuring out what it means to be an American.

“My life has been a study abroad program because I always looked at America like a foreign land,” Richard said. He advised international educators to encourage students to make connections with local people during their study abroad experiences. “The story is in the people,” Richard said. “That’s a real education. Have a chat, think about what their lives have been like. Connect with people as much as you can.”

Richard Blanco delivering his virtual Opening Plenary during The Forum's 17th Annual Conference


On Friday afternoon, Annual Conference Closing Plenary Speaker and Emerson College Professor Jerald Walker read from his essay, “We Are Americans,” from his memoir, Street Shadows: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and Redemption. The essay shares Jerald’s personal reflection on the complexity of living as a Black American in Zimbabwe.

During the Q&A session, Jerald shared his advice to students going abroad. “Write every day,” he said. “Write your thoughts, write your experiences, write your encounters. When you look back on those notes, you’ll really see how you grew from that experience.”

Jerald Walker reading from his memoir during the Closing Plenary session for The Forum's 17th Annual Conference


Reflecting & Forecasting on the Past & Future

In recognizing The Forum’s 20th anniversary, it’s important to reflect on our past, but also to spend time discussing and forecasting what the next five, 10, and 20 years may look like for the organization and the field of international education.

During Tuesday’s “Looking Back: A Conversation with Forum Trailblazers” session, Annual Conference attendees were able to learn about the founding of The Forum and key moments in the organization’s history with the help of education abroad leaders William Cressey, Michael Delaney, Kathleen Sideli, Mary Dwyer, Michael Vande Berg, Michael Stohl, Bill Hoffa, Mark Scheid, Mary Anne Grant, Brian Whalen, and Jon Booth, who moderated the discussion.

The panel highlighted the creation of the five pillars, the development of the Standards of Good Practice, the recognition of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission as the Standards Development Organization in the field of education abroad, expansion of membership and influence outside of the United States, the creation of the Professional Certification in Education Abroad program, and much more. Read Mark Scheid’s words of wisdom for the next generation of education abroad professionals.

At the end of the session, Mary and Mary Anne were surprised with The Forum’s new Cornerstone Award in recognition of their outstanding leadership, vision, and service to The Forum.


Hard Work of Education Abroad Colleagues & Students Recognized

During the Awards Presentations, we celebrated the accomplishments of the recipients of three prestigious Forum Awards:

  • The late J. Scott Van Der Meid was named the 2021 recipient of the Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award. Beloved colleagues and friends, like John Lucas, Kathleen Sideli, and others—including Scott’s husband—spoke of Scott’s contributions to the field during his 20+ years of service and his imprint on all who knew him.
  • James M. Lucas of Michigan State University received the Award for Excellence in Education Abroad Curriculum Design for “Great Ages Modern World,” a course developed and taught by Dr. Lucas. “Teaching and learning has always been at the heart of my work,” he said.
  • Mya Singleton (University of Virginia, nominated by IFE) and Calder Hollond (Pomona College, for work completed with SIT) presented their research that earned them the Award for Academic Achievement Abroad and participated in a live Q&A session. Mya’s research presentation was titled, “In Good Faith: The Absence of Informed Consent in the Retroactive Use of Biological Material in Pathological Research,” while Calder presented, “Infertility & Assisted Reproduction Legislation in Argentina.”

Student recipients of the Award for Academic Achievement Abroad answer questions from the audience after presenting their research at the The Forum's 17th Annual Conference


All week long, Annual Conference attendees had the chance to stop by the Poster Session at the virtual Exhibit Hall to check out the work of students nominated for The Forum’s Award for Academic Achievement Abroad. Featured students include: Molly Pinder (UC Berkeley), Saffron Sener (UC Berkeley), Grace Weissman (Middlebury College), Abigail Shepard-Moore (American University), Delaney Dammeyer (Elizabethtown College), Giovanni D’Ambrosio (UC Berkeley), Louise Curtis (UC Berkeley), and Morgan Galer & Amanda Hagedorn (Michigan State University). On Thursday’s “Student Showcase,” the students shared their projects during a poster session, where attendees were invited to view the students’ presentations and ask questions in real time about their study abroad experiences.

New Publications Announced

Throughout the week of the conference, several recently completed, new, and upcoming publications were announced, including:

Prioritizing Togetherness

Because connection is something that education abroad professionals have been missing this past year, the Forum offered opportunities for colleagues to mix and mingle or simply unwind. Examples of social and cultural virtual events included:

  • The Forum Book Club, which featured conversation about Richard Blanco’s plenary remarks, as well as an analysis and discussion of select poems from his 2019 collection, How to Love a Country.
  • A mid-day concert with Berklee College of Music student Zach Seals, who performed a set of dramatic indie pop ballads, original songs, and covers on Wednesday.
  • Team Trivia Night and networking on Thursday.
  • A highly interactive, two-part Wine & Art Tour of Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
  • Community Connections and Language Lunchrooms to better get to know new international education colleagues.

Screenshot from the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum's Wine & Art Tour during The Forum's 17th Annual Conference


Special Thanks

The Forum thanks the Conference Committee, presenters, and attendees for their participation in the 17th Annual Conference.

Many thanks, as well, to all our conference sponsors (including Gold Sponsors Education in Ireland and IES Abroad) and exhibitors for their support of the Annual Conference.

We look forward to seeing everyone next year at our 18th Annual Conference on March 23-25, 2022, in Chicago in a hybrid conference format.


Post authored by Stephanie Mitchell King. 



Tributes in Memory of Forum Founding Board Member, Geoffrey E. Gee

The Forum was extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Geoffrey E. Gee, a member of The Forum’s founding Board of Directors, on December 28.

Kathy Sideli, a fellow founding board member remembers Geoffrey from the early days of the formation of The Forum:

“Geoffrey Gee was one of the 20 founding board members of The Forum on Education Abroad.  He was at the first informal gathering of a number of those individuals on November 11, 2000 in Montreal after a CIEE conference. On that day the colleagues who assembled together decided it was time to get serious about creating an organization devoted exclusively to education abroad issues. They came from public and private colleges and universities as well as organizations, including providers, but they came together to form a new organization as individuals rather than institutional representatives.

In the next 2 ½ years, Geoffrey attended the frequent meetings of the board which took place around the U.S.—Tucson, Philadelphia, Washington DC, San Antonio, Atlanta and Salt Lake City, along with two long strategic planning weekends at Arcadia University in the summers of 2001 and 2002.  He served on the board’s first Membership Services Committee that envisioned The Forum’s deliverables for the field. And he also served on the Forum Goals Committee on Curricular Development and Academic Design before it transitioned fully to the responsibility of the first Forum Council which was elected in 2002. Geoffrey rotated off the board, along with seven other board members, in June of 2003, as an indication to the field that the founding board members were committed to passing along the leadership of The Forum to other colleagues. After he completed his official leadership role in The Forum, Geoffrey remained a passionate supporter of the organization throughout the rest of his career.”

Jane Edwards, Dean of International and Professional Experience and Senior Associate Dean, Yale College remembers Geoffrey:

“Geoffrey is for me one of those friends from graduate school years who remained a friend, and who also became a valued colleague in international education. Geoffrey stood out in the early years as exceptionally sophisticated, indeed European, dedicated to elegant and flamboyant cuisine and fashion. As we remembered him together, my friends disagreed energetically about whether his favorite velvet pants (this was the 1970s, after all) were green or pink. Through all the years, his unique blend of humor and intelligence made him one of my favorite companions, and I always sought him out in our professional conference life, to share stories in many cities over an expresso or a glass of wine.”

Ann Kuhlman, Executive Director of Yale’s Office of International Students and Scholars remembers the beginning of Geoffrey’s career:

“I may not have this exactly correct, but I am going to take credit for OIP hiring Geoffrey in the late 1970’s as an international scholar adviser at Penn’s Office of International Programs. Geoffrey entered the professional world of international education (a world he had experienced as a student) as a J-1 scholar adviser and that hire for me was the beginning of a long and rich friendship.  Shortly thereafter a study abroad adviser position opened up at OIP and Geoffrey jumped at the opportunity to move into the world of study abroad. He never looked back – it was a perfect fit given his own experience and interest. He was a global citizen before we even coined the term – bi-lingual, well-traveled, and very cultured. (Was it Geoffrey who introduced me to Lillet at the LaTerrasse bar?) One of the joys in the many years that followed was the opportunity to catch up with Geoffrey and Denise at NAFSA conferences. I will treasure those memories.”

Geoffrey served as the Director of Penn Abroad in the Office of International Programs at the University of Pennsylvania. Joyce Randolph, former Executive Director of the Office of International Programs at the University of Pennsylvania worked together with Geoffrey for 20 years.

“I could not have wished for a better colleague—a caring and knowledgeable student advisor, a conscientious mentor to newer staff, an astute advisor to faculty and administrators, and a diligent builder of successful study abroad programs in Europe, Asia and Africa. With his high school experience in France culminating in a “baccalaureat” and his master’s degree in Middle Eastern studies, Geoffrey was truly multilingual, urbane and appreciative of myriad cultures including their cuisines. Complementing his wicked sense of humor were honesty and a huge heart.  I remember especially how he often accompanied various undergraduates to our partner university in Nigeria, to help ease them into a study abroad experience that entailed complete immersion, life in a dorm room without air-conditioning or running water, distant drumming in the night, fascinating cultural experiences and friendships with Nigerian intellectuals. A few of Geoffrey’s students became professors of African studies and stayed in touch with him over the years.  Yes, Geoffrey was the sort of person with whom one wanted to stay in touch.”

Marcia Henisz and January Stayton worked as program managers and education abroad advisors under Geoffrey’s leadership.

“While extremely knowledgeable, Geoffrey did not immediately solve every crisis, allowing a younger generation to grapple with big problems and test our own ideas for solutions that paved the path for future leadership roles for many members of our team. He never sought the limelight for himself, but was incredibly supportive of team members in pursuing professional opportunities that broadened their horizons and contributed to the field of international education. He instilled in the Penn Abroad team a strong feeling that our work and our field were incredibly important, not just to the university, but to our country and to our world and that our work had a substantially positive impact.” (Marcia Henisz, Senior Director of International Health, Safety and Security at Drexel University)

“If you are lucky, you encounter individuals who change the trajectory of your life. Geoffrey Gee was one of those people.  They are like shooting stars, they are rare but leave you in awe of their presence.  Not only did Geoffrey change the path of my life, he helped me move forward on a specific path, pivot when necessary, and all the while expand my experience and knowledge of the world. The cliche of not knowing the impact one’s life has on others, has never been truer, than in the case of Geoffrey. He impacted the lives of many in a quiet way.  He created opportunities for people, he listened, he shared personal stories; he was a reassuring presence: he smiled, he laughed, he endeared himself to others, and helped people grow personally and professionally. Geoffrey was principled and witty. He was an old soul with a young heart.  He loved music and food. We traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sweden, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Denmark. These experiences were fun, exhausting, and confusing, but always brilliant and enriching.” (January Wuerth, Student Success Coach, University Life Coaching)

Geoffrey shared his love of international education with his wife Denise Connerty, former Assistant Vice President, International Affairs at Temple University. The Forum extends its deepest condolences to Denise; children Alexandra Vergne, Emmanuel Gee, and Maddie Gee; and grandchildren Margaux Vergne, Carter and Raquel Gee; and to Geoffrey’s extended family, friends and colleagues.

View Geoffrey Gee’s obituary»



The Forum Signs Letter of Agreement with The Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (IOHE)

OUI IOHE logoOn the margins of the Institute on Online Global Learning virtual event, David Julien, Executive Director of the Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (IOHE) and Melissa Torres, President and CEO of The Forum on Education Abroad (The Forum), signed a Letter of Agreement (LoA) to formalize the collaboration between both organizations.

Under this agreement, the institutions have agreed to increase the opportunities for international academic collaboration between the United States and the Americas. The agreement will:

  1. Serve as a platform to share and discuss issues affecting international education with member institutions and key actors of higher education for the purpose of strengthening their bilateral relations between the United States and the Americas.
  2. Identify joint activities for engagement to promote the value of international education and to foster higher education collaboration opportunities between the United States and the Americas.

The LOA consolidates organizational efforts to provide top-level opportunities to member institutions to enhance their internationalization strategy and connect with key actors in the field.

“Our members from Latin America and the Caribbean have a great appetite for bilateral collaboration with US colleges and universities and we are aware that the interest of US institutions towards the region is increasing as we speak,” stated Julien. “In particular, our Virtual Mobility Space in Higher Education (eMOVIES) provides direct opportunities for student mobility that can benefit all members during these turbulent times. We’re also very excited about welcoming The Forum as a key partner of the Conference of the Americas on International Education (CAEI) next October in Chile and I’m sure this will lead to significant collaboration between our members.”

According to Torres, “The Forum has always been committed to providing its members with the training, resources and standards to enable them to provide the highest quality education abroad programs for students. We are delighted to partner with OUI-IOHE to build stronger relationships between our members so that together we can create a new era of innovation and accessibility in international education.”

This agreement affirms the parties’ mutual interest and commitment to opening the collaboration between both organizations and to ensure the continuity of academic relations between the United States and the Americas. The agreement also allows preferential rates to The Forum’s annual conference (March) and CAEI (October) in order to increase synergies and we invite members to reach out for details.

David Julien, Executive Director of the Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (IOHE), and Melissa Torres, President and CEO of The Forum on Education Abroad, meet virtually on February 3, 2021 to finalize the new agreement between the two organizations.
David Julien, Executive Director of the Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (IOHE), and Melissa Torres, President and CEO of The Forum on Education Abroad, meet virtually on February 3, 2021 to finalize the new agreement between the two organizations.














The Nobel Dialogue Scholarship: High-Impact Student Program in Stockholm

Fueled by a common belief that in order to change the world you need to experience it, EF College Study and The Forum on Education Abroad have created the Nobel Dialogue Scholarship: a high-impact student program in Stockholm, Sweden. This interdisciplinary program is dedicated to including students from diverse backgrounds, and future leaders from all over the world are invited to apply.

To be considered for selection, students must submit an application along with a letter of nomination from a faculty member or administrator familiar with the student’s academic work. Applicants must be enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student in good standing at an institution of higher education, be fluent in written and spoken English, and have access to reliable internet service. Selected applicants must be available to travel to Stockholm, Sweden, from December 5-11, 2021. Students from HBCUs, Hispanic-serving institutions, first-generation families, community or technical colleges, and higher education institutions around the world are strongly encouraged to apply.

Only 10 students will be selected to attend the prestigious program, and selected attendees will be announced July 2021.


Apply Now



Introducing our New Online Portal!

We are thrilled to announce that we have a brand-new online portal!

By setting up your Forum Account in the portal, you will have the ability to:

  • Update your profile and that of your organization;
  • Register for Forum events and trainings;
  • Manage or apply for institutional membership;
  • View past orders and transactions;
  • and more—all from one centralized location.

We invite you now to set up your account and view the features of the portal. Both members and non-members can set up accounts. As a Forum member, you may have previously had log-in access to The Forum’s website, but this is a new log-in process and will require you to set up your account upon your first entry—after setting up your account, you will once again be able to view the member resources on the website. Account set up is simple, and the steps are clearly outlined in this pdf. If you have any issues with setting up your account, you can contact us at for assistance.

We are excited about this new service and the potential it has for engaging all of you in new ways and offering more efficient processes as you interact with The Forum. Additional features will be added throughout the coming months.


How to Set Up Your Account


Access the Portal


The Forum Partners with International Education and Exchange Leaders on New Coalition

The International Coalition for Global Education and Exchange seeks to support the renewal and expansion of international education and exchange opportunities worldwide.

In collaboration with industry leaders, The Forum on Education Abroad announces the formation of The International Coalition for Global Education and Exchange, a group of American and international businesses, NGOs, elected and community leaders, higher education institutions, and individuals who believe that bringing people together through international education and exchange can help tackle the world’s greatest problems.

“The Forum is proud to launch this initiative with our industry partners,” said Melissa Torres, President and CEO of The Forum on Education Abroad. “We are at a critical juncture in the international education and exchange community. The near total suspension of student and youth mobility due to the global pandemic and pressures on businesses and institutions around the world could all too easily lead to long-term disengagement. We believe that more global connections, not fewer, will be crucial in the years to come as we recover as a global community from this threat, and that international education and exchange can and should be at the forefront of that reemergence.”

The mission of The International Coalition for Global Education and Exchange is to connect international education and exchange stakeholders for shared media outreach, advocacy, and research that makes a compelling case for the critical value of global engagement and public diplomacy to achieve a more collaborative and peaceful world. The coalition will be publishing a whitepaper and has planned a virtual launch event in early December.

About the International Coalition for Global Education and Exchange

The International Coalition for Global Education and Exchange is an organizing initiative of institutions, organizations, businesses, families, chambers of commerce, business and trade associations, and community leaders who embrace and support international education and exchange programs. The initiative is coordinated by The Forum on Education Abroad. Founding members of The International Coalition, in addition to The Forum, are CIEE, Cultural Vistas, IES Abroad, InterExchange, ISEP, Rutgers University, World Learning, and San Diego State University.

Find out more about the International Coalition for Global Education and Exchange at

About International Education and Exchange

International education and exchange comprise many different types of programs, throughout the U.S. and all over the world, including high school and college/university study abroad, international students and scholars enrolled at U.S. institutions, international work experiences, volunteering, internships, and directed travel. International education and exchange programs provide young people with the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world, while strengthening the ties between the U.S. and other countries.

  • International students contributed more than $41 billion to the U.S. economy in 2019, and created or supported more than 458,290 jobs across the United States in several sectors.
  • 1 in 3 world leaders is a U.S. Department of State exchange program alum.
  • Only 10% of U.S. college graduates have studied abroad; they are twice as likely to graduate as students who do not, and employers prioritize international experiences in recruitment globally.
  • Participants from more than 200 countries and territories visit the U.S. on J-1 BridgeUSA programs each year, many from countries critical for U.S. foreign policy.

Additional data available here:

Highlights from the 5th European Conference


Timely updates, community building, hope—these are just some of the key takeaways that attendees left with from the 5th European Conference, held virtually from October 26-30, 2020.

Much like what the field of international education is currently experiencing, the 5th European Conference, which was planned to originally take place in Milan, Italy, went fully online with the spread of COVID-19. The silver lining of this change? Almost 240 conference participants were able to fully engage in high-quality programming and interact with colleagues from 16 countries without leaving their homes.

Virtual lobby of the 5th European Conference

Thoughtful, Relevant Programming for a Field in Need

The theme for the virtual conference, Beyond 2020: Innovative Practices for an Evolving Landscape, was developed in Fall 2019 before the pandemic began, it couldn’t have been more timely. But once the coronavirus began directly affecting the field of education abroad, the committee wanted to do more. “We recognized the need to provide content that directly addressed COVID-19 response in the European context, and opportunities for attendees to connect and find support during difficult times,” said Forum Director for Programs and Resources Elizabeth Frohlich, Ph.D., who works with the European Conference Committee and co-presenter for the 5th European Conference.

So, the committee issued another call for session proposals in May 2020. The result? A fresh pool of strong proposals that focused on topics such as the impact of the pandemic, ongoing preparation and planning, and online global learning.

Screen shot of virtual session presenation

In addition to the new session proposals, the conference committee also incorporated new programmatic elements to provide opportunities for virtual connection, support, and networking, including Community Connections sessions in French, Spanish, and Italian, and European Country Updates for Spain, Ireland, France, and Czech Republic. Conference attendees also had the pleasure of creating a robust conference experience that included:

  • 3 Pre- & Post-Conference Workshops on How to Build a Responsive and Adaptive Emergency Action Plan, Student Learning & Development I: Advising & Orientations, and Mental Health Issues in Education Abroad
  • 41 concurrent sessions presented by 83 presenters that covered seven new tracks:
    • Career Development & Internships
    • Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
    • The Forum on Education Abroad
    • Health, Safety & Wellness
    • Partnerships
    • Resident Directors & On-site Staff
    • Student Learning & Development

An Engaging Opening Plenary

The conference began on October 26, 2020, with an introduction to the European Conference and the Opening Plenary, Traveling While Black in France: A Case Study to Improve All Students’ Stay in Europe, by award-winning French filmmaker and activist Amandine Gay.

Screenshot of Melissa Torres speaking, introducing Amandine Gay during the virtual European Conference

President & CEO Melissa Torres introduced Amandine, and shared, “As education abroad professionals, we know it’s important to create a conversation and to build bridges between students’ experiences to those of their host communities. It’s especially important that we do that for Black students by connecting them to the history and the present-day realities of the people living in those communities.”

Screenshot of Amandine Gay speaking as the plenary speaker for the virtual European Conference

Amandine spoke openly about her personal experiences as a French Black woman studying abroad and traveling the world. “Studying abroad is a way to experience your identity in a new way,” said Amandine.

But her experiences abroad were not without some difficult, teachable moments. She stressed the importance of study abroad professionals needing to prepare their students for micro aggressions and more extreme forms of racism that they may encounter. “Warn students that they will hear things that they’re not used to hearing. They will hear things that will infuriate them and outrage them,” said Amandine.

She advised attendees to research European (and other) countries where they send students abroad to be knowledgeable of the current climate and figure out how to best prepare them for their experience abroad, then initiate conversations with students to ensure they feel comfortable and safe about their experience abroad. “Find ways to make study abroad terms moments of joy, discovery, and [where students] experience freedom and empowerment in discovering another country, culture, and themselves,” said Amandine.

Sessions = Opportunity for Learning & Connection

Tuesday through Friday of conference week was filled with concurrent sessions that highlighted one or multiple conference tracks. Tracks were new to the conference this year so that attendees could easily identify a selection of sessions that would deepen their knowledge around a specific aspect of education abroad.

Screenshot of Natalie Mello presenting the Open Forum Session during the virtual European Conference

An Open Forum on New Challenges in Education Abroad, a conference favorite with attendees, allowed conference participants to have an open dialogue with their fellow attendees about the issues they are currently facing. Themes discussed included:

  • Pros & cons of virtual learning
  • Diversity & inclusion
  • How virtual internships have diversified education abroad opportunities
  • Climate change
  • Staff retention
  • Financial pressures

Ending on a Hopeful Note

Daniel Mulhall, Ambassador of Ireland to the United States, served as the European Conference’s Closing Plenary, providing on overview of Ireland’s proactive approach to handling COVID-19 and highlighting how the country is keeping student health and safety top of mind now and in the future. “This pandemic has shown that this is a global problem, and it requires global solutions,” said Ambassador Mulhall. “It should encourage people to want to study in different parts of the world”.

Screenshot of Daniel Mulhall speaking during his closing plenary of the virtual European Conference

He enlightened attendees and left them with a sense of hope for what Europe, and Ireland specifically, are doing to handle COVID-19 and welcome international students back to Ireland. “Ireland ought to be a very attractive option for students because we have handled [the pandemic] very well, and we have the capacity to deal with these challenges,” said Ambassador Mulhall.

He highlighted students’ access to free medical care, single bedrooms at Irish universities, free transport from the airport to university as just some of the ways that the government prioritizes student health.

Ambassador Mulhall also shared how his eyes were opened when he studied abroad in the United States and Australia, and he hopes that students won’t stay home as a result of COVID-19. “One of the antidotes to isolationism is for students to travel around the world,” he said. “Study abroad is a positive good for anyone who has the inclination and the capacity—spending time abroad is really an important part of a student’s formation.”

Thank You!

The Forum thanks all the colleagues who virtually attended the 5th European Conference. “I hope that attendees appreciated the opportunity to come together at a moment of great challenge to find support and community,” Elizabeth said. “I also hope that we were successful in adapting the hallmarks of Forum conferences—deep discussion around substantive issues and practical takeaways—to address the unique challenges we’re facing at this time.”

The Forum is also grateful to those who dedicated their time to making the conference a success, including session presenters and our 18 European Conference Committee members.

Special thanks to our sponsors IES Abroad and CAPA for their support of the European Conference.

UPDATE: 17th Annual Conference to be held virtually, March 1-5, 2021

While the 5th European Conference is over, we look forward to welcoming you to our 17th Annual Conference coming up in Spring 2021!

Here are some very important updates to the Conference:

  • New Dates: The Annual Conference will now take place on March 1-5, 2021, instead of the originally publicized dates.
  • Longer Conference: We will offer an expanded program spread over five days to ensure you are able to join as many of the thought-provoking sessions as possible. This will also increase your opportunities to increase your potential to network with old friends and new connections, as well as add even more value to attending the Annual Conference.
  • All Online: The Annual Conference will be completely virtual (no in-person events).

Get ready—registration for The Forum’s 17th Annual Conference will open later this month! Plan to join us in March 2021 to celebrate our 20th Anniversary year and explore the conference theme: Evolution and Revolution: Solutions in Action. 

Sponsorship / Exhibition
For our 2021 Annual Conference, we are offering tiered sponsorship packages designed to provide maximum exposure for our sponsors over the course of a five-day virtual conference. These unique sponsorship packages will help ensure your organization is recognized as a leader in the field of education abroad as we emerge from one or our most challenging periods.

As you know, The Forum’s Annual Conference is the only one of its kind, dedicated exclusively to education abroad and typically attracts directors of education abroad and other decision makers at higher education institutions and education abroad organizations. Additionally, next year is our 20th Anniversary, which offers our sponsors another fantastic opportunity for exposure.

For further details and to sign up for one of our tiered sponsorship packages, please visit our website and join those already committed to supporting the conference.

Exclusive Opportunity Available to Higher Ed Leaders: Global Senior Leadership Symposium

This December, The Forum on Education Abroad, EF Education First, and The Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA), in partnership with the Nobel Prize Museum, are bringing a unique and exclusive opportunity to higher-education leaders, focused on international education.

Select applicant triads are invited to attend a complimentary 2-day virtual Symposium designed to encourage collaboration with a diverse global network of peers, explore international strategies, and discuss the role of education abroad and global mobility within higher-ed. Participants will also receive access to content from the 2020 Nobel Week Dialogue around the theme of “The Challenge of Learning”, while hearing from Nobel Laureates and education thought leaders from around the world. Apply now as spots are limited. 

Global Senior Leadership Symposium
A Free Virtual Event
December 15-16, 2020
Applications Due: October 22, 2020


Apply Now


Guidelines Now Available for Conducting Education Abroad during COVID-19

The new Guidelines for Conducting Education Abroad during COVID-19 are now available, offering insights on how to manage partnerships, prepare students, develop contingency plans, and track changes in COVID-19 risks and safety protocols.

Whether you’ve been running programs in a limited capacity already, are looking ahead to plans to reopen programs in 2021 or need a framework for conversations with campus administrators involved in the decision-making, this resource can help.

A series of Forum webinars will supplement these guidelines by offering practical advice and hands-on engagement with the topics covered.


View the Guidelines


The Forum Welcomes Dr. Audrey Murrell as the New Editor of Frontiers

Dr. Audrey J. MurrellThe Forum on Education Abroad is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Audrey J. Murrell as the next Editor of Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, effective September 1.

Dr. Murrell is the Acting Dean of the University Honors College, Professor of Business Administration, Psychology, Public and International Affairs and a Senior Research Fellow in the David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of several books including: Mentoring Dilemmas: Developmental Relationships within Multicultural Organizations (with Faye Crosby and Robyn Ely) and Mentoring Diverse Leaders: Creating Change for People, Processes and Paradigms (with Stacy-Blake Beard). She currently serves on the Editorial Board for the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health and has previously served as an Associate Editor for scholarly journals including the Psychology of Women Quarterly and Sex Roles: A Research Journal.

Dr. Murrell brings to the role of editor experience in both research and practice in education abroad. During her time as the Associate Dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh, she oversaw the implementation of a competency-based global program portfolio that included both academic and career development experiences abroad and has conducted research on the impact of that program. The University of Pittsburgh has a long history of advocating for and supporting global experiences for its students. In her role as Acting Dean of the Pitt Honors College, Dr. Murrell is the chief advocate for interdisciplinary research and experiential learning across the university’s undergraduate Honors experience.

Dr. Murrell will be supported in her role by Managing Editor, Dr. Amelia J. Dietrich, who has served as the Interim Editor of the journal for the past two years, and the esteemed colleagues on the journal’s Editorial Board.

Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, first published in 1995, is the only open-access, scholarly journal focusing exclusively on education abroad research.

Provide Feedback on The Forum’s New Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement

The Forum’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion working group has taken the critical step of drafting an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement for the organization. Now, we are asking for your feedback to ensure that the statement is impactful, will help us to better serve our members, and drives The Forum and the field of education abroad to become ever more equitable and inclusive.   

The public comment period is open through Monday, August 31.


Review the Draft Statement



Join a Committee or Working Group!

Apply today to serve on a Forum committee or working group!

Committees contribute to recurring Forum efforts on a cyclical basis, and term length varies. A committee that is currently seeking new volunteers is the Standards Institute Planning Committee.

Forum working groups are project-based groups with finite start and end dates based around a particular project or deliverable. The working groups that are currently seeking new volunteers include:

  • Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Around the World Working Group
  • Learning from HBCUs, TCUs, MSIs and Community Colleges about Education Abroad Working Group
  • Collaborating Across Institutions Working Group
  • Aligning with the UN SDGs: Environmental Impact Working Group
  • Global Online Learning Working Group
  • Mid-Career Working Group
  • Financial Models and Structures Working Group

The deadline to join the above groups is Tuesday, August 25.


Apply Now


Updates on Travel Advisories, U.S. Passport Applications & Economic Relief Packages

Dear Colleagues,

By now, you have probably heard that the State Department has lowered the Global Level 4 Travel Advisory and has returned to publishing travel advisories on a country by country basis, including COVID-19 considerations by country. U.S. embassies are also contributing information to State Department via their own COVID pages.

The State Department today has also provided an update on U.S. passport applications. Their site indicates that they will update progress on processing the backlog of U.S. passport applications every Thursday.

The CDC has also announced a change from the Global Level 3 advisory to determining risk by individual country analysis. Their Travel Health Notices page inform travelers and clinicians about any current health issues that impact travelers’ health, and specific COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Country highlight a variety of levels. They have also published information about their process for assessing the level of a country’s COVID-19 risk on an ongoing basis.

Finally, as Congress debates the next COVID-19 economic relief package, the Council of Graduate Schools has developed a discussion document on key elements of the Republican relief package and a comparison of higher education provisions included in the CARES Act, the HEROES Act, and the HEALS Act. The Forum encourages members to contact Congressional leaders urging support for federal economic relief for higher education and various education abroad stakeholders.

Best regards,

Melissa Torres
President and CEO, The Forum on Education Abroad

Join Us Virtually for The Forum’s 5th European Conference

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to personally invite you to attend The Forum’s 5th European Conference, which will be held online on October 26-30, 2020.

With everything impacting us this year—a global pandemic, an economic crisis, the uncertainty surrounding the reopening of education abroad—it may seem like you don’t have time to attend a conference. You have undoubtedly been working harder than ever in what seems like one never-ending workday that began sometime in early March. I want to explain why these factors are exactly why you should register today and plan to join us in October.

Things will look quite different for our field tomorrow, a month from now, and certainly three months from now. That is why we need to come together—now more than ever—to share, discuss, and support each other during these challenging times because, together, we can make a difference in how we prepare for the future of education abroad.

Our European Conference is open to all colleagues, including faculty, resident directors, and other international educators and program facilitators. Whether you’re new to the field of international education or a seasoned professional, you’ll be sure to benefit from attending the European Conference. Some benefits include:

  • Premium programming filled with practical takeaways (including tools and best practice examples from other colleagues) that will influence and improve your work;
  • Learning about pandemic planning in various countries;
  • The opportunity to network with new colleagues or catch up with old friends;
  • On-demand sessions accessible in the platform for 90 days after the conference has ended, enabling you to attend many more sessions than a traditional conference;
  • Time to focus on your own professional development; and
  • Culturally immersive events to enlighten and inspire you.

Whether you are in the United States or in Europe, you are welcome to join colleagues and be part of the conversation. Because this invitation is extended globally, it allows for a focus on themes and issues that are important and relevant on a larger scale. You can expect sessions on topics like:

  • Partnerships between home and host institutions and communities;
  • How to apply the 6th edition of the Standards of Good Practice (which went into effect July 1, 2020) outside the United States;
  • Instruction design and virtual learning in education abroad;
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion, both at your home institution and abroad;
  • Study abroad and employability; and
  • The impact of COVID-19 and how to move forward as a field.

This is just a glimpse at the high-quality programming we have in store for you at the European Conference—we hope you are as excited as we are to discuss these ever-important issues in our international education community!

Registration is open now, so please make sure you secure your spot and mark your calendar to attend the European Conference on October 26-30, 2020. If your calendar is anything like mine, it’s important to get these dates in the calendar now in order to safeguard the time.

Should you have any questions about the European Conference, please be sure to reach out to Forum staff at

We look forward to seeing you (virtually) in October!

Best regards,

Melissa Torres
President & CEO, The Forum on Education Abroad


Register Now



Forum Members Invited to Exhibit at Virtual Study Abroad Fair

The Forum is excited to announce our first ever virtual study abroad fair. Planned for September 10, this event is being offered in response to requests from Forum Members. Exhibitors will be able to interact with students via zoom meetings set up in their own booths and during live presentations during a dedicated timeslot. Participation is limited to Forum Member organizations and a maximum of 2,500 students.

The cost for exhibitors to participate is $200 USD and includes the following:

»Registration of up to 2 administrators for your booth;
»Assistance from Forum staff in setting up your booth with photos, documents, videos, and links;
»Use of live zoom links within your booth;
»Chat functionality within your booth;
»A dedicated, concurrent timeslot for a live presentation;
»A list of names and email addresses for everyone who visits your booth during the event.

The deadline to register for an exhibit booth is August 31. All materials, videos and photos must also be uploaded into your booth by August 31. Booths will be reserved on a “first come, first served” basis and will be displayed in the virtual platform in that order. We encourage early registration to maximize your visibility!


Exhibitor Registration Form


The Virtual Study Abroad Fair is free for students to attend. The link for students to register to attend the Fair will be available soon!

Colleges and universities who share information about the event with their students will receive their own complimentary meeting space where they can advise or answer students’ questions. Contact for more information about this opportunity.


Congratulations to New Forum Council Members!

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

  • Emily Gorlewski, Wesleyan University
  • Hannah Hopkins Kilgore, Trinity College, Dublin
  • Craig Rinker, Georgetown University (re-elected)
  • Devin Foxall, The School for Field Studies
  • Kyle Rausch, University of Illinois, Chicago
  • Bianca Schonberg, University of Houston – Clear Lake

Thank you to Forum members for voting in the election. The Forum also thanks the diverse group of highly-qualified colleagues who were nominated this year. We appreciate your commitment to The Forum and the field!



The Forum to Offer Complimentary Crisis Management Consulting

The Forum is pleased to provide complimentary crisis management consulting to a limited number of Forum member institutions and organizations. The field of education abroad is facing unprecedented challenges, and the future is uncertain. Fortunately, The Forum has experienced risk management consultants available to help. Since we know that most offices are facing significant budget cuts, we are making it possible for a select group of Forum members to receive outside guidance from risk management professionals at no cost.

Forum consultants provide guidance related to:

  • Crisis debriefing and assessment of past crisis response efforts
  • Developing, implementing, or improving crisis management plans
  • Scenario planning
  • Program development with an eye to risk mitigation and crisis management
  • Developing sound decision-making protocols
  • Identifying reliable and relevant data and information sources to inform your risk management and crisis response processes
  • Developing waivers, contractual agreements, and/or informed consent documents related to COVID-19 or other health, safety, and security issues
  • Elevated-risk destination reviews and approvals
  • Effective emergency communications
  • Identifying existing resources from which to leverage expertise
  • Guidance on identifying, strengthening, and maintaining a strategic network of on- and off-campus subject matter experts.

Applications will be reviewed by a committee including representatives from the Forum Board, Council, and staff. The selection of member organizations will be based on demonstrated financial need and urgency of current challenges. The Forum encourages applications from a diverse range of organizations, including:

  • Community colleges
  • HBCUs, TCUs, HSIs, AANAPISIs and other MSIs
  • State colleges and universities
  • One-person offices
  • Program providers

Consultants will perform their work remotely, and meet with representatives from your organization via Zoom.

The application deadline for complimentary crisis management consulting was June 26, 2020.


Learn More About Forum Consulting



Anti-Racism & Social Justice in Education Abroad

The following messages appeared in the June 4, 2020 Special Edition of the Forum News.

Dear Colleagues,

Over the course of the past week, the world has watched as actions of police brutality against Black citizens have led to a growing urgency in the public discourse around systemic racism in the United States and direct actions taken to dismantle an unjust system. In our roles as international educators and citizens, we have watched, we have marched, we have cried, we have shouted, we have whispered, written, and read. Hopefully, we have also listened.

Today, we have decided to use the Forum News to center and amplify the voices of colleagues of color who offer us another opportunity to listen and reflect. Some of these are colleagues who serve on The Forum Board or Council, while others have given their time to our committees, conferences, and working groups. They, and so many other members of our field, have helped this organization extend the impact of the work we all do by identifying resources and opportunities to meet the needs of every member of the education abroad community. I am grateful, humbled, and proud that they have chosen to share their thoughts with you through this platform today.

As a field, we value the impact that education abroad experiences have on students’ ability to respectfully engage with and learn from difference and to be good citizens and stewards of the world. We must remember that this applies to who students are and what they choose to do at home as much as it does when they travel overseas. And we must keep working.

We would love to hear your thoughts on what The Forum can do to support your work on anti-racism and social justice in education abroad. Please reach out to with feedback.

Melissa A. Torres (she/her/hers)
President & CEO
The Forum on Education Abroad

Channeling Study Abroad as an Instrument of Social Justice & Equity in a Post-Pandemic World

Gretchen Cook-Anderson
Assistant Vice President for Diversity Recruiting & Advising
IES Abroad

I am an evangelist for study and travel abroad. Some use knowledge of medicine to cure illness, deliver new life and expand access to public health. Some use the power of the law to right wrongs and advocate for those without a voice. I use my knowledge of travel, cultures, and places to cultivate global citizens who reflect the world’s rich diversity. This is my form of social justice. This is my platform for change. And, the horrific incidents of racial injustice over recent weeks, including the linchpin murder of George Floyd, reinforce why I do the work that I do.

As we emerge from this historic pandemic, change and adaptation have indeed become our reality, our uncomfortable, pushy new companions in life. We left one world behind last winter. And, an altered world bows before us, awaiting students, and the rest of us, to eventually explore it again.

We must work feverishly as a field to foster and make concrete the concept of “One World,” and to remind our neighbors, colleagues, students and friends of the humanity we amplify through our efforts. The work we do cultivates diverse global citizens who will be on the forefront of forging a brave new world as we emerge from this pandemic – and we must ensure they’re armed with the empathy, compassion, anti-racism mindsets, intercultural responsiveness, and capacity for innovation the world needs.

And, so I find myself, as many of us do, seeking ways to preserve this unique launchpad to social justice with equity not only intact, but exponentially expanded. I want to see us catapult global education to its rightful place in the hierarchy of drivers of human progress and diversity.

For more than 25 years I’ve had a professional’s front-row seat to observing how travel changes people — women and men, black, white and other. Travel humanizes us. It expands our potential by honing our language, intercultural and other skills, and, deepening our capacity for humility, empathy and fairness. It forces us to reconsider how we think about history, politics, migration, commerce, technology, health care, education and community. My own experiences changed my way of looking at “the other side” of everything. And, it also taught me that I’m never really alone, despite how big and scary and impersonal the world might seem to some. The world, herself, became my friend. And, all of humanity evolved into my extended family.

The smaller the world became in my mind, the bigger my ambitions grew to fight for humanity in whatever small ways might ripple across borders.

I feel empowered in my difference when I travel. I’ve found there’s poetic beauty in others’ differences – the smoothness, kink or curl in their hair, the lilt in their language as it slides of their tongues, the mosaic hues of their skin, their regal religious garb, the salty, sweet or savory of their food, and the sound of their laughter or cries. In recognizing that beauty in others, I also found it in myself. And, to me, that too feels like a kind of equity in the outcome of study abroad.

Sociologist Helen Fein coined the phrase, “universe of obligation,” to define our network of people who we care most about and to whom we remain connected even in times of crisis. People tend to shrink that “universe” in troubled times, to those who are like us and turn our eyes away from those who may be “different.” Rather, study abroad pushes students to stretch and expand their universe of obligation. Their sway in turn reverberates to peers and others in their sphere of influence.

We have a compelling, ground-breaking opportunity ahead. And, though it will not happen overnight, as we emerge from this pandemic, thousands of education abroad professionals like you and me can boldly bring global education to more students, in more ways, more safely, across more cultures, and with greater dividends than ever for humanity.

So, in memory of my then-enslaved ancestors and lost family members like my uncle, Ricky Byrdsong, and the perished with familiar names like Emmitt Till, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, I will decisively continue this work in the time ahead – hopefully in partnership with all of you – to expand diversity and inclusion in a field that is an antidote to hate, prejudice and racial injustice here and around the world.

A Knee and A Breath

Dr. Keshia Abraham
Founder and President
The Abraham Consulting Agency

Inhale deeply. Exhale fully. Feel your breath fill your lungs, breathe again, fill your belly, exhale, inhale, fill your whole body with breath. Exhale fully. On the next inhale, check to see where you are holding tension and breathe into that space, exhale there. Take a moment to experience how you feel being in control of your breath… settling your spirit, resting your mind a bit with the gift of breath in your body. Relax, feel yourself relaxed as you breathe, normally.

This is a simple act.  One that many take for granted, yet, this simple, life giving, life sustaining act, this free feeling, this natural freedom sits at the heart of the tensions we are now sharing as a global community.  “I can’t breathe…” “I can’t… breathe…” “I… can’t… breathe…”

The breath… whether we are talking about the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately killing Black and Brown people while we shield and protect ourselves from each other’s breath or the snatching of breath from black bodies by the police, our ability to breathe, and to breathe easily, has pushed people to the limits of what we can tolerate and live with as a society.

I check myself constantly, how am I breathing? Am I holding it in again? Have I exhaled? All week, not just this week, but every week of working and living while Black in America, engaged in daily conversations around equity, diversity and inclusion, I find myself using my awareness of breath as a touchstone for how safe I feel. I know that in some ways this is a luxury because so many Black people are daily having the life breath forced out of them and this has been going on since my people were first brought here.

We all have so much to learn by considering what it is to be Black in this world. So much of our global curriculum has marginalized the world-views offered by Black scholars, artists, educators, and cross-disciplinary contributions, what we are now witnessing is when the bubble of ignorance bursts and the dream deferred explodes.

And in this moment we have choices to make. We have an opportunity to make big bold moves that cement this time of global change. We can decide, as our cousins did with the Holocaust, to say, “never again” and mean it. We can choose now to ensure that our organizations go beyond hiring and recruiting for diversity and inclusion optics by seeking genuine inclusion which means making room for, and insisting upon valuing the intellectual contributions and perspectives of people of color. This could be the time when we choose not to minimize the lived experiences of students and staff who feel and intimately know discrimination. We could choose to say and mean, “I hear you, I see you, I appreciate you and your experiences. It’s time for change. Let’s do it together. I stand with you, supporting true equity,” so that we can heal from the past, advance the field, and breathe again.

George Floyd on My Mind

Kelechi A. Kalu
Professor of Political Science & Founding Vice Provost, International Affairs
University of California Riverside

The names runoff our tongues as if written into a dirge – Amadou Diallo, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Laquan McDonald, and the list goes on; and, we remember these names with tears in our eyes, and fears that our bodies, and those of our children, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers, and friends, may be next under a police person’s knee, in their choke hold or facing the barrel of their gun, for the “crime” of simply being Black! Reversing the trend of making black bodies, bodies of guilt for crimes not yet committed requires deep self-reflection by the Caucasian communities because therein lie the authority and power from which rogue police officers draw strength to kill people of color with impunity. If the structures of power that sustain the negation of black bodies by many law enforcement officers in the U S is left unattended, I fear that this arrogance that is the result of this raw power, now fully visible in social media across the world will hasten the irrelevance of the United States in the eyes of a steadily-changing global community.  Yes; in the interim, and if not checked, the misapplication of this raw power will deepen existing foundations for a darker governance future across countries with illiberal and sometimes illegitimate governments who kill their own people because they can!

The policemen in Minneapolis who Killed George Floyd did so because he was Black, and they knew they could kill him with impunity.  Historically, Black bodies have been dismembered, mutilated, and simply murdered and displayed as if they never had breath in their lungs.  From the Atlantic Slave ships to the cells of various city and private jails across America, people of color continue to suffocate in a system constructed to be blind to our common humanity.

What is different today from the historical injustices against black people is the availability of information technology and personal devices that enable us to now connect with each other across global communities.  And, using these same tools, we can pull back the curtains and veils of ignorance to reveal America’s value contradictions to the rest of the world.

My name is Kelechi Kalu, a full professor, senior international education administrator, a husband, father, friend, son, brother to some of the most caring human beings I have ever known. And; yet, each time I drive out of my garage or take a walk in my neighborhood, I am always afraid because in this place – the United States of America – I am first and foremost a Black man who is already perceived guilty because I am Black!  I think I live in a free country but I must check in daily with my children just to make sure each one has returned to their homes safely at the end of the day. Somedays I wonder how many of my Caucasian colleagues with a different skin color experience similar fears or must go through similar routines in their daily lives?

For several years now, my role in the university has been to travel to different countries – mainly to non-Caucasian countries – to persuade families to trust me and the institutions I have worked for, to send their children to the United States for a world-class education. Usually, the invitations come with a promise that we will mentor and protect their children throughout their academic experiences in our institutions.  And at home, we work hard to persuade American students that if they have international experience through a liberal arts education and study abroad, their global consciousness and open-mindedness towards others will lead them away from prejudice and its damaging impacts on the most vulnerable, powerless and often marginalized in our increasingly globalized societies.

Yet, in moments of doubt and over the years, I have worried about the future of our world because even as we succeed in bringing international students to American campuses and sending American students on Study Abroad programs, the dial has rarely moved on the face of ingrained systemic racial superiority complexes.  To understand this traumatic moment in American life and the role and leadership of young people of all races, Frantz Fanon’s insightful comment, “every generation must out of obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it,” offers a beacon of hope.  George Floyd’s death took place in full camera view, and the young people have taken up the cause of human rights and justice and are defying their parents’ stubborn unwillingness to live up to the creed that, “All Wo/Men are CREATED EQUAL….”  Each time a police officer suffocates the breath out of a Black person, it is a fundamental violation of everyone’s humanity; and, specifically that individual’s human rights.  In this, we should listen to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who reminded us that, “Justice denied anywhere, diminishes justice everywhere”.

For those of us in International Education, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on the African American community in the United States has been revealing. The needless killing of George Floyd and the anger it has unleashed have also revealed the hidden and lingering dangers of America’s value contradictions. Hopefully, these overlapping events will serve to remind us that teaching students to become globally conscious requires us to first understand what the mirror of our consciences reveal about us and this society. COVID-19’s lack of discrimination about who is worthy of infection has seemed to point out how unnecessary it is to only allow those in the majority to speak our collective futures behind closed door meetings, or how easily the views of the so-called Other contribute to our understandings of our common experience of being Human.  Each of us should know that the impacts of long-standing, low-intensity assaults on the senses of colleagues is tiring for their bodies and tasks their minds beyond their capacity to comprehend as, like the late Rodney King, they frequently ask, “Why can’t we all get along?”  Be nice to yourself, check your own prejudices and come to terms with the reality that we are all human, deserving of every opportunity to take a deep breath. Because, One Breath is all we owe Life.

Where do pronouncements fit in a world calling for action?
Where Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Intersect with Education Abroad

Dr. Joy Gleason Carew
Linguist and Professor of Pan-African Studies
University of Louisville

My home towns of Chicago and Louisville are burning up.  I was born and grew up in Chicago; and for the past 20 years, I have lived and worked in Louisville. They, along with many other US cities, are seething with discontent and disappointment. And, like elsewhere in the US, and as seen in solidarity demonstrations abroad, people are taking to the streets to demand accountability for the rise in police violence against Black and Brown people.

As a Black college study-abroad student, I lived in France during the 1968 student solidarity demonstrations in Paris; and then returned to the US to complete my undergrad studies in Cleveland, OH during the enflamed 1968-1969 year of African Americans’ reactions to the neglect of their neighborhoods. I moved on to do graduate work at Urbana, IL, where the University of Illinois was the focus of intense student anti-war protest in 1970. The commonality of the smell of tear gas and the eminent dangers associated with walking the streets struck me; but more so, what struck me, was the very common thread of  taking direct action when all other measures had failed–whether this was in France, in a largely black US urban setting, or on a bucolic college campus nestled among the corn fields.  This social unrest – then, like now — has often been described as ‘rioting’ (implying a non-thinking desire to just destroy everything). But, what the media did not report, is that here were people for whom words and platitudes no longer worked and whose quest for a better world compelled them to put themselves into extremely vulnerable positions to “be heard.”

These days, over 50 years later, the battle cry “No justice, no peace!” has arisen again and people have again flooded into the streets. This time, though, I am struck by the plethora of statements being issued by educational and cultural institutions acknowledging a legacy of neglect around racial and social issues. To my mind, this is new. Our growing awareness of the importance of equity, diversity, and inclusion, has fostered this new way of interacting with one another. But, we are also faced with the legitimate test of the COVID-19 pandemic. We cannot gather in our traditional venues and in our traditional ways. The pandemic, too, has heightened our sensitivity to the stark economic inequities in this country, not to speak of exposed a history of ignoring the decaying infrastructures of our cities. And added to this has been a troubling, albeit a growing tendency of fearing “the other”-only now, it is because of the disease, and not only because of racial or other difference.

These very real challenges are not insurmountable. Our cultural and educational institutions have the capacity to help bridge the widening divides. The Forum, too, by promoting high quality education abroad experiences, offers invaluable resources to help foster safe and effective programs. The Forum also offers various supports to help minority-servicing institutions have a more equitable access to education abroad. Using what tools we have at our disposal-virtually for now, but in person in the future-we come together for the key common purpose of using education abroad to learn and come to appreciate diverse cultures, ways of doing, and world-views. Education abroad can be a very powerful tool. As I have experienced with my students many times, students placed in the international context–like the first group I took to the USSR in 1973 (9 Black and Brown from inner-city Chicago and 11 white from downstate Illinois)–often learn not only about what they see as the ‘foreign’ culture, but also much more about themselves and the diverse cultures within their own home environment.

Global Learning in Weary Times: Essential and a Source of Hope

Dawn Michele Whitehead, PhD
Vice President of the Office of Global Citizenship for Campus, Community and Careers
Association of American Colleges and Universities

I, like many of you, have long argued that global learning is essential to solve the world’s most pressing problems and to help students see that what happens in another part of the world often directly impacts their own communities. Drawing on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, students are often introduced to the local and global dimensions of world challenges. This spring we were all impacted by the global challenge of COVID-19 as institutions across the world shut their physical doors or pivoted to remote instruction, rushed to help students return from education abroad placements, and many of us lost family and/or friends to virus. COVID-19 transcends geographic boundaries and has reminded us that the world is interconnected.  It has also elevated the importance of the flow of knowledge and information across nations, a hallmark of global learning. International higher education researchers and practitioners worked in partnership with the scientific and healthcare communities on vaccine development, the creation of testing tools, patient treatment, and strategies to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. It also affirms the interdependent nature of our world as COVID-19 has touched countries across the globe.

In the midst of this global pandemic, we’ve seen another powerful example of global interdependence and how an action in one community has an impact in another part of the world. The outcry over the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25th in Minneapolis, Minnesota has been amplified with protests across the country from Minneapolis to Anchorage, from Portland to Bozeman, from Indianapolis to Birmingham, and from Greensboro to Washington, DC. with new voices joining the call for racial justice and systemic change. These calls have also gone beyond the borders of the United States. However, this isn’t the first time a local or national cry has crossed borders. I’m reminded of the Rhodes Must Fall cries in South Africa around 2015, that started with calls from students to remove a statue of Cecil Rhodes on the campus of the University of Cape Town. It grew into a larger movement to decolonize South African institutions, and this action in South Africa spread well beyond the country and the African continent with student demands in the United Kingdom to decolonize curriculum and in the United States of America to take down Confederate monuments (although this wasn’t the first call). The inspiration from South African students influenced students to push for change in their local contexts.

What happened in Minneapolis has been a bit different. People in cities all over the world have been inspired to act in response to George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. There have been footballers in the Bundesliga with George Floyd’s name written on their jerseys to protest his death, footballers in the English Premier League have taken a knee in his memory and used #BlackLivesMatter to spread anti-racist messages, and Black tennis players from all over the world—Serena Williams (USA), Naomi Osaka (Japan), Gael Monfils (France), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (France) and others—joined Frances Tiafoe (USA) for his “Racquets Down, Hands Up” video to spread awareness about the unjust deaths of African Americans. All of these athletes stood up to respond to what happened in Minneapolis and the broader patterns of injustice in the United States. These protests and cries have continued to go out in the midst of this global health pandemic. While many countries have just come off stay-at-home orders, with limitations on the size of gatherings, there have been large protests in London, Berlin, Copenhagen, Dublin, Toronto, and other cities, and vigils and/or tributes in Krakow, Mexico City, and other places. Yet, despite the pandemic, people in many other American cities and cities around the world have still come together to raise their voices against racial injustice.

Seeing these multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multi-national protests has been a bright spot in a weary time, and it affirms that we can come together across differences for good. It also affirms that we, as leaders in education abroad, have to be prepared to take the next step with our students to prepare them for potentially difficult conversations where they hear different perspectives, wrestle with these perspectives, and develop ways of understanding local and global issues to solve the global challenges of the day, including racial injustice.

Cierra Gillison
Believe In the Journey

I have made it my life’s mission to center unheard and underrepresented voices. While I’ve been in the thick of my own identity development, I’ve allowed my pain and trauma to help motivate me to speak into spaces, advocate and find my voice and my influence for change.

I started Believe In the Journey in 2017 after leaving college athletics, and I started it to keep momentum around student athletes participating in international education opportunities. In 2012-13, under the direction of Vice Chancellor and Athletics Director David Williams, I was able to chaperon a group of 25 student-athletes on a service-learning trip to Tanzania. I watched student athletes across all sports bond, grow, and reflect on their own identities. In leaving Vanderbilt, I saw that David’s leadership style was one where he was always pushing the athletic department past and through the status quo. It is from his influence on my life, that I push myself and those around me to do the same.

I joined my alma mater, The Ohio State University in Fall 2013 as an Athletics Academic Counselor and talked with manager about wanting to start a similar program for Ohio State student athletes. My goal was to expand education abroad opportunities to a group of students who have traditionally been limited in their ability to study abroad due to athletic commitments. I worked with David and Athletics Administration to develop this program to mirror that of Vanderbilt’s— starting with one trip to Costa Rica in its’ pilot year and expanding to 2 trips per year across all sports prior to my departure.

I made it my mission to find international education programs that offered flexibility and a tailored/specialized approach to working with student-athletes. In doing so, I found some incredible organizations and partnerships that joined me in my efforts to support student-athletes having these experiences. I talked with colleagues across college athletics and have shared best practices with hopes of expanding representation in study abroad to reflect more Black women and Black men.

Believe in the Journey remains a soul-feeding project for me. While international education faces some evolving conversations right now and always, I am grateful for organizations and friends  across these organizations who are continuing and committed to the dialogue around representation abroad.

I decided to start Believe in the Journey so that I could keep motivating athletic departments to intentionally offer a variety of opportunities for all of their students to study abroad. As I have matured in my ability to honor my own beliefs, and assertively stand in my own intersecting identities, I am most specifically making a case for revenue-generating sports with Black students who would regularly come to me as their advisor and say it was never going to happen-that their coaches would never allow them to miss practices, training, etc., to participate in these experiences.

Believe in the Journey has provided me the space to engage in essential dialogues at the Black Student Athlete Summit and The Forum about where and how to start engaging underrepresented students in international education opportunities.

Cheers to making it happen, and cheers to continuously pushing past and through the status quo.

Naomi Valdez
Program Coordinator
University of Texas at Austin

What can I say about this outrage? A man was senselessly murdered in front of cameras while police disregarded the pleas from him and the bystanders. George Floyd did not die in vain. I keep telling myself he couldn’t have. For the last week, I’ve been working on auto pilot – walking the dog, signing on to work, attending Zoom meetings and advising students from home all the while thinking what’s going to happen next? No one has the answer and that’s okay. I sit with that answer and accept it. Maybe George’s murder will catalyze change for a lot of injustice around the United States for centuries. I can’t say for certain it will happen. But what I can do is hope. I know the protesting that is happening in all 50 states and a handful of countries around the world cannot be ignored and that gives me hope. So, I sit with that too. I hold on to the hope that things can change. That systems of oppression and discrimination that have been gripping this country can be dismantled and broken.

A long time ago, I decided to start a career in higher education so that I can help impact the lives of students of color and underrepresented backgrounds. I was told by one of my graduate program professors that education is the great equalizer. So, I continue to hold on to that hope as well. That the work I do with undergraduate students is going to make the world a better place for future generations. That the students I send abroad are future nurses, doctors, engineers, lawyers, social workers, journalists and directors and their time abroad helps them understand the world better. Or even the United States and the deeply engrained discrimination that exists here.  The experience they have abroad opens their eyes to the injustices here at home. In a time of uncertainty and sadness, I know that the work I do with students is good work. So, I sit with that hope. That the work we do in International Education is good work.

Take Action

Advocacy Alert: Write President Trump in Support of International Exchange

The Alliance for International Exchange is leading a letter writing campaign to President Trump urging the Administration to exclude international exchange programs from any future executive action suspending employment-based immigration.

Cultural exchange programs help support our national security. Exchange visitors develop a more positive view of the United States and maintain friendships here for years to come. Additionally, these programs add more than a billion dollars to the American economy each year.

The Forum urges its members to take immediate action and join this campaign. Please take just a few minutes to sign a letter to President Trump to reinforce the message that the Exchange Visitor Program is a cultural exchange, not a work program, and should not be included in any executive action regarding employment-based immigration.


Sign the Letter Now!



2020 Forum Council Candidates Announced

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

  • Devin Foxall, Director of Institutional Relations, The School for Field Studies
  • Emily Gorlewski, Associate Director of Study Abroad, Wesleyan University
  • Rob Hallworth, Vice President for Academic Administration, IES Abroad
  • Hannah Hopkins Kilgore, CASA-Trinity Programme Director & Study Abroad Manager, Trinity College Dublin
  • Kyle Rausch, Director of Education Abroad, Purdue University Northwest
  • Craig Rinker, Director, Office of Global Education, Georgetown University
  • Bianca Schonberg, Executive Director, Education Abroad and Scholar Services, University of Houston-Clear Lake
  • Bianca N. Sylvain, Study Abroad Advisor, The State University of New York at New Paltz

Institutional Representatives from Forum member institutions and organizations have received an email with voting information (please check your spam/junk folders!). If you are an Institutional Representative and you did not receive the email ballot, please contact us at

The deadline to vote in the 2020 election is 5 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, May 22.

Devin Foxall, Director of Institutional Relations, The School for Field Studies

Devin Foxall’s primary interest is developing economic strategies to help the Education Abroad field remain financially sustainable during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we face an existential threat, Devin believes the Forum has a unique opportunity to research, develop, and disseminate the data-driven tools and resources that members need to continue their missions.

Devin works for The School for Field Studies, an environmental study abroad organization, and has experience using data to address real world issues. With Mercy Corps in Niger, he developed economic toolkits for reducing famine caused by climate change. He served on the Forum’s Data Committee, the HBCU Working Group, and presented at the 2018 and 2019 Forum conferences. Most recently, he discussed the economics of carbon offsets for the Forum’s “Greening Your Education Abroad Programs” webinar. He holds a Master’s in International Economics from Johns Hopkins and an English degree from Dartmouth College.

Devin would bring to the Council a diverse background of experience. He spent several years traveling across the globe, setting foot in 40 countries on five continents, and writing about young people living in conflict and post-conflict countries such as Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iran, Laos, Rwanda, and Somalia. As he wrote in his book, this showed him the value of traveling and meeting people beyond his imagination. He returned to Afghanistan to serve an NGO operating schools for girls in Kabul. This taught him the value of education, why it is precious, and that there is joy in giving something back.

Emily Gorlewski, Associate Director of Study Abroad, Wesleyan University

Emily Gorlewski, Ed.D., is the Associate Director of Study Abroad at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Emily would be honored to be a part of the Forum Council as it promotes the new Standards, engages in strategic planning, and grounds the conversation on the future of education abroad. As a member of a two-person office, she enjoys interacting with colleagues from other organizations and having space to reflect on trends and best practices in the field. She has done this as a leader in the state, regional, and national NAFSA organizations, and most recently as Chair of The Forum’s Standards Update Working Group. She has been in the field for fifteen years and earned a Master of Science and Doctor of Education degree along the way.

As Chair of the Standards Update Working Group, Emily is intimately familiar with the recently released 6th Edition of the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad. As a member of the Forum Council, she would have the opportunity to introduce the Standards more broadly and help promote their adoption and use throughout the field. The updates to this edition were perhaps more significant than those of previous editions in terms of the form and structure, and the first professionals to see them had many questions. Ultimately, the updates were right and necessary, but it can be challenging to see an important document appear so different from what it was before.

The Forum will be soon be undergoing a strategic planning process. As a member of the Forum Council, Emily would be honored to participate or assist with this. She has been involved with strategic planning in various ways in the past and enjoys the process of thinking about what an organization is really about and tying everything back to the mission. Ideally a strategic plan inspires staff and volunteer leaders, providing the backbone for why they do the work they do. Thinking about why we work in education abroad is crucial at this time in history. As we deal with the devastating COVID-19 crisis, global and intercultural learning are still essential. The Forum, its staff, and its volunteer leaders will have an enormous role in promoting and preserving them in higher education.

Emily brings diverse experience, which helps her to understand and identify with many different Forum constituents. She knows what it is like to work at a small, private, liberal-arts university, as well as a regional state university and an R2 doctoral university. This brings different perspectives on financial aid, athletics, housing, campus culture, equity and inclusion, etc., all of which are germane to education abroad. She has also worked, studied, and/or lived in the Midwest, West, and Northeast, as well as in urban, suburban, and rural areas of the U.S.

One of Emily’s research interests has been the intersection between multicultural and intercultural education. For her dissertation, she interviewed multicultural student affairs professionals about their engagement in internationalization. Since equity, diversity, and inclusion and internationalization are values which, according to their proponents, should be infused throughout an institution, it is useful for The Forum to think about ways to internationalize multicultural education and build equity, diversity, and inclusion into international education. Some great work has already been done in this direction, and Emily would be happy to continue this as part of the Forum Council.

Rob Hallworth, Vice President for Academic Administration, IES Abroad

The mission of the Forum on Education Abroad has been a guiding principle throughout my career and I greatly appreciate the opportunities the Forum affords to the field of international education. Over more than two decades, I have served the Forum in a variety of roles. I am currently a member of the Forum Council and am seeking a second term. In the past, my service to the Forum included serving on the Forum Strategic Partner Committee, the Standards of Good Practice Consensus Body, the Forum Council Nominations Committee, the Good Business Practices Working Group, the European Conference Planning Committee (2018), the Forum Institute Planning Committee, the Forum Trained Facilitator Team, the Curriculum Committee, and the Curriculum Award Selection Committee.

I have presented and/or conducted more than twenty Forum Conference sessions/workshops over the years. I hope to continue my work with the Forum on issues related to diversity and inclusion, the Standards, program assessment, and crisis management. In this current time of crisis, the work of the Forum is more important than ever. Creativity, innovation and cooperation will be crucial for international education to persist and grow. I believe that my experiences working in a variety of settings (public and private universities, the private sector, and currently with a program provider and partner) allow me to bring a breadth of knowledge to the Council. Thank you.

Hannah Hopkins Kilgore, CASA-Trinity Programme Director & Study Abroad Manager, Trinity College Dublin

Hannah has worked in the field of study abroad for over a decade, first at Harvard College for six years, followed by Trinity College Dublin, where she now serves as the Study Abroad Manager. As part of her role at Trinity, she also serves as the Resident Director for Trinity’s program with the Consortium for Advanced Studies Abroad (CASA). At Trinity, she focuses in particular on study abroad strategy, programme development and management, partnership management, student advising and academic advising, and health and safety. Her experience at a US sending university, direct enroll receiving university and a US program site abroad, have all provided her with a keen understanding of the field from many perspectives.

She has been a passionate advocate for study abroad since her first experiences studying abroad in high school, followed by a summer study abroad in Paris and a full year abroad at Trinity College Dublin as an undergraduate. She holds a Masters in Higher Education from Harvard and an MPhil from Trinity College Dublin in Medieval Studies. She serves as a volunteer reviewer for the Fund for Education Abroad, is an active member of the Association of Study Abroad Providers in Ireland, and has served on the Board of the Harvard Club of Ireland since her arrival in Dublin, first as the Schools & Scholarships Chair and now as President.

Hannah is an active member of The Forum on Education Abroad, presenting at and regularly participating in its conferences, workshops and webinars, and has served as the Chair of The Forum’s Outcomes Assessment Working Group. Leading the working group and working collaboratively with colleagues across the field on the topic of Outcomes Assessment was very rewarding, and she hopes to continue this work by lending her time and expertise to the Council.

If elected, Hannah would be a strong advocate for resident directors, non-US universities, and US universities alike. The Forum has already placed an increased emphasis on diversifying the types of institutions and voices represented, and Hannah is particularly interested in supporting this work – as well as contributing to work such as creating new resources in light of COVID-19, contributing to the new Forum strategy and five year plan, and continuing work on outcomes assessment. The Forum’s place in the field is more crucial now than ever before, and it would be a privilege to give back at such a pivotal time in our field by serving on the Council. Thank you for your consideration.

Kyle Rausch, Director of Education Abroad, Purdue University Northwest

I am interested in serving on the Forum Council because during my past several years in the field of education abroad, I have found the resources and advocacy that the Forum spearheads to be among the most important available. Education abroad has continued to professionalize over the past couple of decades and the Forum has been an important driving force behind this. I would like to contribute to the critical work being done in this space.

I believe that my experience working in education abroad at three different institutions affords me a breadth of experience, which would allow me to contribute thoughtfully to the Forum Council’s efforts in developing resources and content that speak to the wide variety of institutions and organizations that comprise its membership. Additionally, as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, a first-generation college student who studied abroad on multiple occasions, and a scholar-practitioner who has conducted research on supporting diverse populations in education abroad, I would like to advance the work being done to support underrepresented students’ access to education abroad. I believe it is time that we come together to bolster the academic reputation of the field through data and research and would like to contribute to projects that support these initiatives.

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

Craig Rinker has spent 25 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 recruitment, development, and management including on-site program delivery, student advising, program development and marketing, and health, safety, and security 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. He has worked in higher education domestically and internationally at many different types of organizations including Arcadia University – College of Global Studies, Babson College, Davidson College, the University of Georgia, and the University of Florida.

Since 2017, Craig has served the Forum on Education Abroad member organizations as a representative on Forum Council. He has been an active and outspoken participant of the Forum and has supported and lead a number of initiatives for the field of education abroad. Most recently, Craig served on the Standards Updated Working Group, responsible for revising the Standards for Good Practice for Education Abroad. Previously, Craig served as a member of the Advocacy Committee, developing a clearinghouse of campus-based advocacy resources; and on the Marketing Committee, serving as a volunteer to develop best practices for marketing on college and university campuses. Craig has completed the QUIP (Quality Improvement Program) Peer Review Training and 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 evolve. The current pandemic crisis is further evidence that we live in a borderless world where our well-being depends on global cooperation. Education abroad has never been more important in the broader concept of global education and understanding. Craig would be honored to continue to serve the needs of the Forum on Education Abroad member organizations.

Bianca Schonberg, Executive Director, Education Abroad and Scholar Services, University of Houston-Clear Lake

The quickly changing landscape of education abroad and campus internationalization demands and needs become variables to consider as institutions face enrollment, risk management, and retention goals.

Dr. Bianca Schonberg has worked in the field of international education for over twenty years. She is the Executive Director for Education Abroad and Scholar Services at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. A Fulbright Russia alumnus, Bianca, has been a passionate and effective leader in the international field, developing visionary services and progressive initiatives in higher education. The opportunity to transform educational experiences and broaden international opportunities is a commitment to Bianca.

Bianca has engaged and collaborated with highly regarded professionals in the field to problem solve, increase higher education internationalization, and to enhance the academic experiences for faculty and education abroad participants. Under Bianca’s leadership, she has increased education abroad awareness, strengthened partnerships with foreign institutions, and expanded services with the LGBTQ+, first-generation, and disabled students. Her efforts in creating an environment for growth and development have resulted in vast numbers of students and scholars attaining their academic and professional goals.

Bianca has lived internationally and traveled extensively, thus allowing her to develop a keen understanding of the diverse global market.  Some of the leadership roles and honors that reflect her commitment to the international community include the National Association of International Educators (NAFSA) Region III co-chair of the multicultural special interest group and the United Nations Association Houston chapter membership co-chair. She has been published in the International Educator Magazine and continues to present her work globally.

The Forum on Education Abroad allows for a greater opportunity to build on collaborations domestically and internationally to strengthen the education abroad industry.  Bianca views the Forum Council role as an opportunity to advocate and be a proponent for the collective needs of colleagues and the industry.  The education abroad industry has fiercely dedicated colleagues that stand to learn from each other and use networks to be transformative and thriving in this unprecedented time.

Bianca N. Sylvain, Study Abroad Advisor, The State University of New York at New Paltz

I have been in the field of education abroad for over three years as a study abroad advisor at SUNY New Paltz, and I have dedicated my work to making study abroad accessible to all students. I strongly believe global learning should be embedded as an integral part of education, especially for students from a minority background.

Collaborating with these offices has allowed me to serve with offices such as the Equal Opportunity Program and Scholars Mentorship Program which serves students from underrepresented backgrounds to excel in higher education. Collaborating with these offices, has allowed me to serve as an application reviewer for Gilman, Fund for Education Abroad and Capacity Building Grants for U.S. Study Abroad for greater access to students from an underrepresented background.

In addition to accessibility to all students for education abroad, I have taken a keen interest in the student experience upon their return. I have routinely planned our re-entry workshop, providing new and fresh ideas on how to engage students. More recently, I have taken the lead with our Spring 2020 students who need a revised re-entry series catered to their unique study abroad experience shaped by having top return abruptly to the US during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another area, I am passionate about is working with colleagues from the field on how to recruit and retain professionals of color. I strongly believe that students of color will participate more in education abroad if they see someone like them advocating for them. I have engaged in conversation with various colleges at different institutions and study abroad providers on how professionals of color could be better represented in the field.

In conclusion, I am committed to my work in education abroad and look forward to potentially being a part of the Forum Council.

Introducing a New Book Series: Standards in Action

The Forum is pleased to announce a new publishing opportunity! Standards in Action is a book series that seeks to bridge big ideas and foundational principles in education abroad to the creative approaches and practical tactics that can turn those concepts into reality.

We are seeking proposals for innovative approaches and fresh perspectives on essential topics in our field that use the 6th Edition of the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad as their guide. Proposed content should be strongly grounded in theoretical frameworks and evidence-based practice. Authors and editors of proposed volumes should represent a wide array of scholars and practitioners from across our field and build bridges to partners in related fields. Proposals with authors and/or co-editors from multiple countries are strongly encouraged.


Read the Call for Proposals


COVID-19 Recovery Program: Individual Membership Opportunity

To support our colleagues during the COVID-19 crisis, The Forum invites education abroad professionals who have experienced job loss as a result of the pandemic to apply for complimentary individual membership. To qualify, the individual must have been employed by a Forum member institution in good standing at the time of separation, and separation must occur between January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020 for the individual to be eligible. Membership will begin on the date the applicant is notified of acceptance and will continue until June 30, 2021. Additional benefits and services may be available throughout this period, including Annual Conference scholarships, Forum Fellowships, and member rates to attend Forum events and professional development opportunities.


Apply Here


Urgent: Contact government officials to request economic aid for international education

Dear Colleagues,

Earlier today, the U.S. Senate introduced a $1 trillion emergency economic aid proposal in response to the coronavirus pandemic. According to news reports, the proposal includes $300 billion to be used for loans to small businesses, as well as private nonprofit organizations.

Under this plan, businesses could take out loans from banks and lenders that would be guaranteed by the Small Business Administration. According to the proposal, those loans must be used to pay salaries, mortgage payments, other debt obligations and payroll support including health care benefits, and paid sick, medical and family leave.

It is imperative that you speak with your government relations officers as quickly as possible, or reach out directly and contact your state’s Congressional delegation to request that international education be included in this economic aid package. Please feel free to adapt this outreach template provided by CIEE’s Government & Public Affairs department, to your own specific circumstances.

We need as many voices as possible to be heard making the same request on behalf of international education in all its forms and for all its constituents.

Thank you,

Melissa Torres
President & CEO
The Forum on Education Abroad

The Forum Issues Letter to the CDC

In recognition of the unparalleled support provided by many organizations committed to ensuring the health and well-being of students during their education abroad programs, The Forum, along with more than 30 co-sponsors, issued the following letter to the CDC in response to their March 1 guidance. Although we are all responding daily to this rapidly evolving crisis, we believe it is important to establish processes by which future CDC guidance can be informed by the industry’s Standards of Good Practice.

March 11, 2020

Robert R. Redfield, MD
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA. 30329-4027

Dear Dr. Redfield:

Thank you for your proactive leadership in responding to the COVID-19 virus. As President and CEO of The Forum on Education Abroad, I am writing to tell you more about the work of our organization and to express some concern about the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recent guidance on education abroad. In the following paragraphs I will explain further.

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. The Forum develops and disseminates comprehensive standards of good practice, resources and training; advocates for education abroad and its value; and engages the field in critical dialogue to benefit students. The Forum’s 800+ institutional members include U.S. colleges and universities, overseas institutions, consortia, agencies, and over 100 program providers. Our members comprise over 90% of students who study abroad, and are committed to The Forum’s Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad. The Standards 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. In particular, Standard 8: Health, Safety, Security and Risk Management, is one of the best ways to assess where an institution is in managing crisis situations. Standard 8 emphasizes that all decisions should be based on triangulated data and recommendations published by expert organizations around the globe that include the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Department of State, the CDC and others. That information must be considered thoughtfully and decisions must be made that are consistent with the organization’s established emergency action plans.

On March 1, 2020, the CDC issued Guidance for Student Foreign Exchange Travel for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) which advises IHEs “to consider postponing or canceling student foreign exchange programs” and “to consider asking students participating in study abroad programs to return to the United States.” It has since been retitled Guidance for Institutions of Higher Education with Students Participating in International Travel or Study Abroad Programs. We believe that the unprecedented statement targeting a single, relatively small population, is inconsistent with the CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel, which recommends that only older adults or those who have chronic medical conditions consider postponing travel to countries with a Level 2 Travel Health Notice and that travelers should “practice usual precautions” when visiting countries with a Level 1 Travel Health Notice. Based on the CDC’s own advice, as well as the science and data reported thus far, it is our opinion that COVID-19 should be taken seriously, but we should also keep in mind the current information from the WHO that shows that 82% of all those infected have only minor symptoms and there has been a 99.8% recovery for college aged students. As potentially comforting as those numbers might make some of us, we remain committed to educating and working with our students on being part of the solution to limit the spread by following WHO and CDC guidance. In fact, the Education Abroad world is uniquely positioned and capable of extending such guidance.

Further, the CDC’s guidance for student exchanges did not consider longstanding practices in education abroad risk management. Unlike typical travelers, students are supported on the ground at their various study sites by professional staff, faculty, and others who work to assure that students are provided information, assistance, guidance, and help when necessary. It is also worth noting that no other industry (i.e. cruise industry) or group of U.S. travelers, tourists, expats, or military personnel and their family members are being asked to “consider” ceasing travel or discontinuing their work around the globe. We collectively ask that the CDC revise its guidance for students to be more consistent with its overall classification system for international travel.

Education abroad enables students to build crucial skills and knowledge, prepare to solve the world’s toughest challenges, and to compete in the 21st century workforce as responsible, engaged citizens. Further, the National Survey of Student Engagement recognizes education abroad as a High-Impact Practice, which represents “enriching educational experiences that can be life-changing” and contributes to student engagement and retention. According to the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Open Doors 2018 report, over 431,000 U.S. students engaged in education abroad in 2017-18. IIE further reports that 47% of U.S. study abroad students are STEM or Business majors, areas in which it is vitally important for students to remain internationally competitive to ensure our country’s future economic well-being.

Since the mid 1940’s, U.S. colleges and universities have partnered with education abroad provider organizations to achieve their internationalization goals by expanding opportunities for their students to live, study and learn alongside peers from across the country and around the globe. Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) trust these partners to provide students with high quality academic programs that enable their students to develop an understanding of other cultures, languages, and approaches to global challenges, among other benefits. Many IHEs have students who have directly benefitted from providers’ well trained staff who support students’ physical and mental health and well-being, whether by providing access to the best possible medical care, coordinating international insurance response, and/or supporting students’ recovery.

Education abroad provider organizations are absolutely essential to our nation’s ability to meet the growing curricular and geographical interests of students. Many colleges and universities simply do not have the resources to accommodate the dazzling array of program models, academic disciplines, research projects, and career skills that today’s students expect to develop during their education abroad experience. Further, program providers are uniquely positioned to support the health and safety of students, have a long history of successfully doing so, and will continue to prioritize the welfare of students throughout the current crisis. The Forum continues to recommend that all institutions and organizations involved in education abroad closely monitor the spread of the disease and swiftly make changes as necessary to mitigate the health risks in each location where their students are located. The Forum on Education Abroad would be pleased to collaborate with the CDC on future guidance.


Melissa A. Torres
President & CEO
The Forum on Education Abroad

On behalf of:
Academic Studies Abroad
American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS)
Alliance for International Exchange
API Abroad
Athena Study Abroad
Autonomous University of Social Movements
Barcelona Study Abroad Experience (SAE)
CAPA: The Global Education Network
Cultural Experiences Abroad (CEA)
CET Academic Programs
Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)
CIS Abroad
Diversity Abroad
Foundation for International Education (FIE)
Global Academic Ventures (GAV)
Global Experiences
Global Vision International (GVI)
Go Overseas
Intercultural Outreach Initiative (IOI)
International Studies Abroad (ISA)
International Student Exchange Program (ISEP)
Knowledge Exchange Institute (KEI)
SAI Programs
School for International Training
Tennessee Consortium for International Studies (TnCIS)
The Education Abroad Network (TEAN)
University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business
Verto Education
Villanova University
Western Kentucky University



Update: The Forum’s Annual Conference Will Be Hosted Virtually, April 21-23, 2020

3/12/20 UPDATE

The following update was sent via email to all conference registrants on Thursday, March 12.

Dear Colleagues,

As you are aware, we sent a message yesterday about The Forum’s Annual Conference being moved to a virtual platform. We want to reiterate that the conference is NOT cancelled. Although we will not be coming together in Kansas City, we will make every effort to deliver to you the high quality sessions, sharing of best practices, and camaraderie that are hallmarks of The Forum’s conference in this virtual format.

In light of today’s designation of the global level 3 health advisory by the U.S. Department of State and the CDC, we recognize that many colleagues may not be able to prepare for and participate virtually in two weeks’ time. For this reason, we have decided to postpone the virtual conference for April 21-23, 2020. We expect that this postponement will give presenters additional time to prepare for the change in format, and give all of our attendees the much needed time to address the crises within which they are currently embroiled.

We will continue to update you with more information as it becomes available. We kindly ask for your patience as we work out the details and consider all of the components involved.


Melissa Torres
President & CEO
The Forum on Education Abroad

The following message was sent via email to all conference registrants on Wednesday, March 11.

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to you today with the news that you probably saw coming, but we had hoped to avoid: The Forum’s Annual Conference will not be able to proceed as planned in Kansas City. We simply cannot justify risking the health of our attendees and that of our host community, with an in-person meeting.

The staff and I have looked at a dozen different options for hosting this conference and ultimately, we went back to the conference theme established by our conference committee: Education Abroad at a Crossroads: Actions for a Sustainable Future. It almost feels as though a golden opportunity has been dropped in our laps: So you want to have a conference focused on sustainability? Ok! Let’s force you to do it virtually!

Thank goodness, we have the benefit of a team of Forum staffers who have put every ounce of creativity they have into pivoting to a virtual conference. It wasn’t our first choice, but I think you will be pleasantly surprised at our solution. In partnership with VConference, The Forum’s 16th Annual Conference will occur completely online during its scheduled dates, March 25-27. Of course, this is a major departure from our usual format. The beauty of this platform is that all of you who are registered for the conference will still have the ability to choose between multiple sessions, visit our exhibit hall, and interact with your colleagues. I will miss seeing your faces in person, but I am 100% convinced that you will not only gain the benefit of The Forum’s hallmark high quality sessions, you will also benefit from the opportunity to view multiple, recorded sessions, during and after the conference. The site will remain live for 90 days so you can go in and view all of the sessions that you had not attended. If you are one of our many colleagues embroiled in endless COVID-19 meetings, you can go back and view the sessions at your leisure. You can also interact with exhibitors whose booths will be “live” for a full 90 days. You can even invite some of your colleagues to join you in a conference room and we’ll pretend we don’t know that you only signed up for one registration!

With regard to next steps, you should cancel your hotel reservations directly with the hotel. Please also note that The Forum’s conference refund policy remains in effect. More information about the virtual platform will be forthcoming as we finalize those details, and subsequent email communications will be sent with updates and instructions for accessing the virtual conference. Forum staff will communicate directly with all of our valued presenters, sponsors and exhibitors within the next 24 hours to provide instructions and assistance with preparations. We appreciate your patience as Forum staff works diligently to prepare and make all of the necessary arrangements to offer this conference virtually.

We know this is not the answer that some of you were hoping for, but these are not the normal times that any of us would have predicted just a few short months ago. I’m looking forward to interacting with all of you in a new and different environment, and I’m excited by the opportunity to share the highest quality, most advanced presentations and discussions available in education abroad anywhere in the world. We think this virtual conference could be a way to further our equity and diversity commitment by engaging colleagues who cannot travel to future events due to resource limitations, visa restrictions, or other issues. It is, of course, purely accidental that our sustainability theme happens to coincide with the need for a virtual conference. Nevertheless, Plato taught us that “necessity is the mother of invention” and it is a lesson we are embracing to the fullest! Please join us and your education abroad colleagues for some much-needed camaraderie, a sharing of best practices and common challenges, and of course, a discussion about COVID-19, the new 6th edition of the Standards of Good Practice, and so much more!


Melissa Torres
President & CEO
The Forum on Education Abroad



The Forum and Pulse Issue Joint Statement on COVID-19

Dear Colleagues,

The Forum on Education Abroad and Pulse have worked together to issue this joint statement regarding COVID-19.

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued Guidance for Student Foreign Travel for Institutions of Higher Education on Sunday, March 1, 2020.

We want to point out that the CDC has never before issued guidance like this regarding student mobility. We have reached out to the CDC and asked for more insight into why they issued this statement. Additionally we want to reiterate:

  • Both The Forum and Pulse strongly urge colleagues to read this statement as it is written – as guidance to consider. It is not a directive that is being handed down. Instead, the CDC is asking our field to consider postponing or canceling student foreign exchange programs.
  • Students are not typically members of the population who may succumb to a virus like COVID-19. Those populations have often included the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
  • Unlike typical travelers, students are supported on the ground at their various study sites by professional staff, faculty, and others who work to assure that students are provided information, assistance, guidance, and help when necessary.

We also want to acknowledge that different institutions will have different capacities to manage a complex issue such as COVID-19. Not every organization can be expected to react in the same way as those with professional staff devoted to addressing international health and safety considerations. We urge those institutions to reach out to your colleagues through professional networks. Look to what they are saying and recommending and then scale it so that it fits your context.

Looking to the Standards of Good Practice, particularly Standard 8, is one of the best ways to assess where your institution is in managing this situation. All decisions should be based on measured, careful thought that is consistent with your established emergency action plans. Triggers should have been established in that plan and those triggers ought to be heeded.

Be sure to triangulate your sources of information so that you can create a much more complete picture of what is being recommended during these trying times. Look to multiple sources of information to inform your decision making. Advice provided by the World Health Organization is measured and practical. Other places to seek information include the

Your colleagues at The Forum and Pulse stand ready to assist in providing credible updates as they become available.

Best regards,

Andrea M. Bordeau, Executive Committee, Pulse: Higher Education International Health and Safety Professionals
Natalie A. Mello, Vice President for Programs, Training & Services, The Forum on Education Abroad
Melissa A. Torres, President & CEO, The Forum on Education Abroad



Forum Response to COVID-19: Advocacy, Programs & Resources

The Forum has been working diligently to provide support and resources to colleagues during these uncertain times. To date, we have published Guidelines for Conducting Education Abroad During COVID-19; initiated a tool to track program cancellations; offered a complimentary membership opportunity to individuals who have experienced COVID-19-related job loss; conducted numerous webinars focused on COVID-19 response; pivoted an on-site conference to a virtual format to allow for colleagues to connect and engage in critical discussions; and developed additional financial and program-related resources. We have advocated and will advocate on behalf of education abroad and the professionals in our field as the crisis continues to unfold.

Last Update: December 9, 2020

NEW! Guidelines on Conducting Education Abroad During COVID-19

The new Guidelines for Conducting Education Abroad during COVID-19 are now available, offering insights on how to manage partnerships, prepare students, develop contingency plans, and track changes in COVID-19 risks and safety protocols.

Whether you’ve been running programs in a limited capacity already, are looking ahead to plans to reopen programs in 2021 or need a framework for conversations with campus administrators involved in the decision-making, this resource can help.

Keep an eye on the Forum News for upcoming webinars and additional resources on this topic.


View the Guidelines


COVID-19 Program Status Tracker

The Forum is tracking information related to current and future program cancellations in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. We hope this information will be useful to the field as you all work to respond to this unprecedented global situation. We encourage you to submit your programs to be included on the list.

The tracker provides the following information:

  • Program closures/cancellations/moved to remote learning by Universities and Colleges
  • Program closures/cancellations/moved to remote learning by Education Abroad Program Provider Organizations
  • Which programs were not closed or cancelled due to COVID-19 during the Spring 2020 term
  • Which programs are still able to welcome students displaced from programs cancelled in upcoming terms


View the Program Status Tracker


COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Program: Individual Membership Opportunity

To support our colleagues during the COVID-19 crisis, The Forum invites education abroad professionals who have experienced job loss as a result of the pandemic to apply for complimentary individual membership. To qualify, the individual must have been employed by a Forum member institution in good standing at the time of separation, and separation must occur between January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020 for the individual to be eligible. Membership will begin on the date the applicant is notified of acceptance and will continue until June 30, 2021. Additional benefits and services may be available throughout this period, including Annual Conference scholarships, Forum Fellowships, and member rates to attend Forum events and professional development opportunities.


Apply Here


Call for Submissions: Learning from COVID-19

Over the coming months and years, our field will look back on this period in education abroad history to learn from it. As the field looks ahead to recovery and seeks ways to improve upon and perhaps replace established practices, sharing our experiences will be an essential tool for growth.

Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad invites practitioners and scholars of education abroad to submit case studies, think-pieces, and essays related to COVID-19 impact and response for immediate publication.


Find Out More


Conducting Education Abroad during COVID-19 Webinars

October 6, 2020: Developing Communication Plans that Can Pivot with You | Request Access to the Recording

November 4, 2020: A Seat at the Table for Education Abroad | Request Access to the Recording

November 11, 2020: Managing Crisis Response Across an Institution | Request Access to the Recording

December 2, 2020: Partnering with Students to Prioritize Health and Safety Onsite | Request Access to the Recording

Visit our Webinars page for more details.

Responding to COVID-19 Webinars

April 16, 2020: #6 Academic ContinuityWatch the recording | View presentation slides

April 9, 2020: #5 Refunds | Watch the recording | View presentation slides

April 2, 2020: #4 Virtual Exchanges and Summer 2020 (Ideas and Resources) | Watch the recording | View presentation slides

March 26, 2020: #3 Taking Care of Our Students and Ourselves | Watch the recording | View presentation slides

March 19, 2020: #2 Sharing Strategies and Updates (Part 2) | Watch the recording | View presentation slides

March 12, 2020: #1 Sharing Strategies and Updates (Part 1) | Watch the recording. | View presentation slides

Forum Advocacy

March 24, 2020: Virtual Town Hall Meeting, Advocating for COVID-19 Relief Bills | Watch the recording | View presentation slides

March 19, 2020: Call to Action! Contact government officials to request economic aid for international education

March 18, 2020: The Forum signs joint letter to Congress requesting assistance for international educational and cultural exchange community impacted by COVID-19

March 11, 2020: The Forum issues letter to the CDC in response to March 1 guidance

March 2, 2020: The Forum and Pulse issue a joint statement on COVID-19

Forum Guidance

Education Abroad Professional’s Guide to Online Global Learning

Refund Policy Examples for COVID-19-Related Program Changes

State level financial assistance for COVID 19: List by State

PPP Loan Forgiveness

  • Previously, the small business association has provided very little in the way of guidance regarding the inner workings of the Payroll Protection Program’s loan forgiveness. This information provides some important points to keep in mind as well as multiple suggestions that should prove to be helpful when securing the loan.
  • As a non-profit organization, you will have to meet a specific set of criteria in order to be eligible for a PPP loan through The Cares Act. This page compiles questions that you may have as a non-profit borrower as well as answers that should help guide you through the application process. In addition, it covers some of the finer points regarding loan forgiveness and loan deferral, particularly for non-profits.

External Resources

The Forum shares its members’ concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and the efforts being made to prevent its spread. The Forum encourages members with international programs to familiarize themselves with guidance provided by the CDC and governments abroad. We have provided links below to direct you to the most up-to-date and reliable external resources, and will continue to add to this list as additional resources become available (newest additions appear at the top of the list).

Re-open EU: Interactive Tool for Planning Travel in Europe

Diversity Abroad: 2020 Snapshot Survey: Student Study Abroad Experiences During COVID-19

NAFSA Financial Impact Survey

IIE: COVID-19 Research and Infographics Portal

Johns Hopkins University & Medicine: Coronavirus Resource Center

Data 2x: Gender and Data Resources Related to COVID-19

International Transportation Air Association: list of travel and entry restrictions

WorldAware COVID-19 Risk Intelligence & Resource Center

The Italian Ministry of Education

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

CDC website


U.S. Department of State’s COVID-19 Travel Alert

International SOS

NAFSA Coronavirus Critical Resources

Federal Student Aid

The World Health Organization

Overseas Advisory Council (OSAC)

British Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Education New Zealand: COVID-19 information for students, agents and the international education sector


New Certified Professional: Elizabeth Coder

The Forum is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Coder of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Elizabeth 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 Elizabeth!

“I have found the Standards of Good Practice to be invaluable in my work managing international education programs outside the United States. Attending the Accelerated Residency and then working through the Certification assignments has helped me reflect on how I can work collaboratively with my colleagues both in the U.S. and abroad to develop and implement policies and practices that align with the Standards which, in turn, helps us better support students.”

– Elizabeth Coder

New Certified Professional: Tineka Lebrun

The Forum is pleased to announce that Tineka Lebrun of Pennsylvania State University successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Tineka 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 Tineka!

“Forum Certification gave me the time and space, away from my busy day-to-day work life, to reflect on the best practices of our field and envision tangible ways to use them to tackle the challenges we face. Everyone should try to take the time for this important reflection.” – Tineka Lebrun

New Certified Professional: Megan Griffin

The Forum is pleased to announce that Megan Griffin of Florida State University – London successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Megan 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 Megan!

“The Forum Certification [Program] has truly been a transformative experience. I was able to re-evaluate my own practices as well as our programmes and work towards providing a better quality international experience for students, faculty and staff. I would very much encourage anyone in study abroad and international learning to explore [the Program].” – Megan Griffin

New Certified Professional: Aaron Rose

The Forum is pleased to announce that Aaron Rose of Brigham Young University successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Aaron 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 Aaron!

“I have been in the education abroad industry for 20 years, at two different institutions. While the Standards of Good Practice are being used every day in my job, doing the Certification Program has reminded me to be very bold in how I talk about the Standards at my institution, while working with my faculty directors and team, etc. Many of us claim to have ‘stumbled upon’ our jobs in education abroad, but completing Certification is my deliberate commitment to not only my career, but the philosophy of education abroad, and what we all stand for. – Aaron Rose

New Certified Professional: Rebecca Baskerville

The Forum is pleased to announce that Rebecca Baskerville of University of Nebraska – Lincoln successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Rebecca 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 Rebecca!

“I enrolled in the Certification Program with a goal of internalizing the Standards of Good Practice to adopt them as a framework for my work and decision-making. I appreciated the opportunity to complete all of the workshops and make connections with colleagues at the three-day Accelerated Residency. The assignments proved to be challenging and in-depth (around 30 pages combined), which made the credential very meaningful. As questions arose in my office, I often found myself saying, ‘I just completed a Forum assignment about this!’ I will continue applying this experience and The Forum’s resources in my day-to-day work and toward my long-term aspirations.” – Rebecca Baskerville


New Certified Professional: Anita Casper

The Forum is pleased to announce that Anita Casper of Bucknell University successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Anita 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 Anita!

“In starting the certification process little did I know how rigorous the process would be nor how much I would gain from the program. The structured modules and final project prompted me to dig deeply into multiple aspects of education abroad programs. I found the member resources exciting tools that offer many opportunities for application at our institution. The modules and project encouraged meaningful examination of issues, reflection on various program models and institutional structures, greater knowledge of the dimensions of providing international education programs, and the critical synthesis and application of the materials. I love learning, and the Certification program provided the impetus to expand my knowledge and hone my skills. As my own international experiences shaped my life, I am particularly interested in structuring programs that provide supportive, cultural learning for participants while collaboratively involving faculty and the university in the creation of a sustainable framework. The program enabled me to gain a meaningful appreciation of the standards of international education and, through critical reflection, gain a thorough understanding of the best practices to enhance my work.” – Anita Casper



Sara’s Wish Foundation Continues Its Generous Support of The Forum

The Forum thanks Sara’s Wish Foundation for continuing its generous support of The Forum this year! It’s recent $5,000 donation will again 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. With this scholarship support, recipients are 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.

New Forum Fellowship to Support HBCUs, TCUs, & HSIs

The Forum is pleased to announce a new program in support of our ongoing commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. Inspired by the Forum Council, the Forum Fellowship will support education abroad professionals from HBCUs, Tribal Colleges, and Hispanic Serving Institutions. Up to five Fellowships will be awarded in 2020 and Fellows will be enrolled in The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Fellows will participate in the Accelerated Residency held at Dickinson College on June 22-24, 2020 to begin the Certification journey.

This unique opportunity will support the professional development of each Fellow by matching the Fellow with an experienced mentor, expanding the Fellow’s network of colleagues through participation in the Certification cohort, and providing the Fellow an in-depth introduction to the new 6th edition of the Standards of Good Practice.

The application deadline for the Fellowship is February 7, 2020.

Learn more and apply»



Recognizing the Use of Journalism to Enhance Education Abroad Pre-Departure Preparations

An example of the winner's Instagram posts, demonstrating news content from ChinaThe Forum on Education Abroad is pleased to wrap up its celebration of International Education Week 2019 by announcing the winners of this year’s New York Times inEducation Award for Innovation in Education Abroad, an award that recognizes the year’s most original, creative example of how The New York Times news, content, and archives can be used to enhance education abroad learning before, during, or after the education abroad experience.

This year’s winning submission came from Amy Dooling and Lauren O’Leary of Connecticut College’s Walter Commons for Global Study and Engagement, who discovered in re-entry surveys that students weren’t learning about their host culture as much as they would have liked before traveling abroad for an educational experience. To fill this gap, they’re turning to New York Times coverage, which they plan to share on Instagram under the hashtag #CamelsAbroad, to share content about regions where their students are preparing to study abroad. They hope that this initiative will not only help students prepare themselves for their sojourns abroad, but also help students make the connection between keeping up with current socio-political events and global citizenship and establish a lifelong habit of reading The New York Times and other news sources.

Dooling and O’Leary will be featured on The New York Times’ inEducation website in the coming weeks. They will also receive a $500 cash prize. Read more about their social media initiative and view all of the interesting ideas submitted for the award in the Education Abroad Digital Resource Center, a Forum member resource.

Learn more about the award»



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

Headshot of Dr. Rodolfo Valdez-Vasquez, a smiling man with a bald head and brown eyes. He is wearing a suit and a pin with the Colorado State mascot, Cam the Ram, on his lapel.In celebration of International Education Week, The Forum is pleased to announce the 2019 recipient of the Award for Excellence in Education Abroad Curriculum Design: “Sustainable Buildings,” a course co-developed and led by Professor Rodolfo Valdes-Vasquez of Colorado State University. The short-term Construction Management course has been taught in Costa Rica in collaboration with EARTH University since 2014. Several co-leaders have assisted Dr. Valdes-Vasquez over the past five years, including Mehmet Ozbek, Svetlana Olbina, Jeff Wilkes, and Caroline Clevenger. All of them are also recognized for their contributions.

Laura Thornes, Colorado State’s Director of Education Abroad, stated:

CSU is very pleased that Dr. Rodolfo Valdes-Vasquez and his colleagues in Construction Management (CM) have been recognized with The Forum’s Award. The Sustainable Buildings program in Costa Rica exemplifies the thoughtful pedagogy we wish for all programs abroad. This short-term program uses traditional lecture, peer-to-peer instruction, community-engaged projects, homestays, guest lectures, reflective journaling, and project-based learning to enrich student learning outcomes. The faculty leaders in this program also invite students from EARTH University to be part of the program, which gives global perspectives to everything learned in and out of the classroom. Finally, the faculty leaders have collaborated with CSU’s Sociology department to map both Social and Learning Networks as well as High Impact Learning Practices in this program. We are fortunate to have Dr. Valdes-Vasquez leading this program with his collaborators and advancing best practices within the field of Education Abroad.

The Selection Committee was particularly impressed with the incorporation of multiple High Impact Practices, the diversity of majors represented, the inclusion of EARTH University students and faculty, and the exercise of creating personal definitions of sustainability and personal mission statements. As one committee member put it, “The innovation is in the many-layered benefits that are programmatically designed into the single syllabus on a variety of knowledge-based content and experiential learning levels.”

The Forum’s Award for Excellence in Curriculum Design honors instructors 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 instructors 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.

The award will be presented at The Forum’s 16th Annual Conference, Education Abroad at a Crossroads: Actions for a Sustainable Future, in Kansas City, MO on March 27, 2020, where Drs. Valdes-Vasquez and Ozbek will present a session about the course.

Read more about the Award»



The Forum Announces Winners of the 2019 Award for Academic Achievement Abroad

To kick off our celebration of International Education Week, The Forum on Education Abroad is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2019 Award for Academic Achievement Abroad, an award which recognizes excellence in academic work completed by undergraduate students as part of an education abroad program.

Announcing the 2019 AAAA Winners from The Forum on Education Abroad on Vimeo.

Congratulations to the winners of this year’s award:

Siri Lee

Nominating Member: University of Chicago
Program: Exchange Program at Peking University, Beijing China
Project: “ZÀO: A History of Chinese Dishcourse through Famine and Revolution”

Taylor Garner

Nominating Member: Elon University
Program: CIEE Liberal Arts Program in Buenos Aires, Argentina &  Arabic language program at an-Najah University Arabic Institute in Nablus, Palestine
Project: “Women as Transmitters of Memory in Contexts of Violence and Struggle”


Read more about the Award for Academic Achievement Abroad»



New Certified Professional: Michael Scharff

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Michael Scharff of Limestone College successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Michael 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 Michael!

“I enrolled in the certification program because Limestone College is initiating a unique study abroad program whereby all students can participate in an all-inclusive short-term faculty-led study abroad program covered by their tuition. The student needs only a passport and spending money, all other expenses are covered. The Forum’s Certification Program was invaluable to our school as we developed policies and procedures to ensure we maximize the learning opportunities for students and mitigate risks to the university.” – Michael Scharff




Opportunity Available for a Marketing Intern

Job Title:  Marketing Intern
Dates of employment:  Fall 2019 – December 31, 2019, with the possibility of extending to June 30, 2020 depending on availability and successful performance
Hours per week:  15
Wage/Salary:  $12/hour
Hiring Manager/Supervisor:  Director for Membership and Outreach

Position Summary:

The Forum on Education Abroad is looking for an enthusiastic and self-motivated marketing intern. You will have administrative duties in developing and implementing marketing strategies and will participate in all stages of marketing campaigns. Your work will also include preparing presentations, monitoring social platforms, and conducting market analysis. Your insightful contribution will help develop and enhance our marketing channels as we expand our initiatives to grow membership and participation in Forum activities. The position offers a flexible schedule (15 hours per week) and practical experience in current marketing techniques.

In addition to being an excellent communicator, the successful candidate will have excellent multitasking abilities and in-depth knowledge of marketing techniques and social media platforms.

The internship offers the ability to work remotely, so close proximity to Forum headquarters is not required.


  • Perform market analysis and research on latest trends
  • Research and evaluate competitors’ marketing and digital content
  • Develop and present social media and marketing campaign ideas
  • Assist with the creation and execution of promotional activities, including social media, email campaigns, and marketing materials
  • Perform quantitative and qualitative analysis for marketing campaigns and various projects
  • Help organize marketing events and trade show participation
  • Perform data collection, data cleaning, and data validation in association management system (AMS)
  • Support The Forum team in daily administrative tasks as needed


  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Solid understanding of marketing techniques and social media strategies
  • Familiarity with marketing computer software, online applications and social media platforms
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Ability to work independently and complete assigned tasks within identified time frames
  • Must possess a high degree of accuracy and pay close attention to detail
  • Passion for the marketing industry and its best practices
  • Strong desire to learn along with professional drive
  • Current enrollment in an MBA program with a specialization in Marketing preferred

Application Instructions: Send resume, cover letter, and a media sample to Lindsay McCauslin, Director for Membership and Outreach, at



New Certified Professional: Amy Forsberg

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Amy Forsberg of Kishwaukee College successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Amy 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 Amy!

“After completing my junior year abroad in May of 1993, I knew that I would have a career in international education. Most of that career has been spent teaching French to college students and English to adult speakers of other languages. In recent years, I have had a desire to take a break from the classroom and transition to the field of education abroad. Completing Professional Certification in Education Abroad challenged me to become familiar with each of the Standards and to apply them to relevant case studies on campuses today. Through the years, I have written many references for students who wish to study abroad. Now I am thrilled to be able to assist them with their journey, from program selection through re-entry back to their home campus.” – Amy Forsberg



The Forum is Shortlisted as Finalist for Global Youth Travel Award

The Forum is honored to be shortlisted as a finalist for Best Travel Safety Initiative in WYSE Travel Confederation’s Global Youth Travel Awards

The Forum’s safety initiative is a multi-faceted and ever-evolving approach that responds to the needs of a growing field. At the foundation are the health and safety standards infused throughout the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad and supporting publications. The initiative builds from there to include health and safety training for beginners and experienced professionals, an annual one-day event for safety and risk management specialists, and, most recently, the new and improved Critical Incident Database, an online tool that allows users to track critical incidents that occur on their education abroad programs in order to ensure proper response and reporting. The combined efforts, conservatively, reach more than 2000 professionals representing universities and program provider organizations each year, which in turn has affected the educational experiences of hundreds of thousands of students since the initiative began.

Winners will be announced at the Global Youth Travel Awards gala dinner on October 11.  Thank you to WYSE Travel Confederation and the award judges for this opportunity and for recognition of The Forum’s health and safety efforts!

Learn more»



New Certified Professional: Annika Campbell

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Annika Campbell of Mississippi State University successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Annika 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 Annika!

“The Professional Certification in Education Abroad curriculum was thorough, challenging, and relevant to the field. I found all of the assignments to have practical application to my job and by completing them I had numerous take-aways that have applied at my institution. The self-paced and flexible nature of the Certification modules was exactly what I needed. I am grateful for this opportunity and all I have learned through the completion of the program.” – Annika Campbell

Latanya Mapp Frett to Deliver Opening Plenary at the 16th Annual Conference

Latanya Mapp Frett is the plenary speaker for the 16th Annual Forum ConferenceThe Forum is thrilled to announce Latanya Mapp Frett as the plenary speaker for its 16th Annual Conference in Kansas City.

Latanya Mapp Frett is President and CEO of Global Fund for Women. Previously, she was the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Global, the international arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, with regional and country offices in Africa and Latin America. She quadrupled the size of the program in four years to become one of the most innovative and sustainable global health organizations in the field.

Ms. Frett has long made the connection between women’s health to sustainable development. In past talks, she has stated: “What we know for sure is that an educated woman is going to take care of herself, her family, her community, and her country…and that means the environment.”

Join us for Latanya Mapp Frett’s Opening Plenary on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, for what is sure to be an insightful and thought-provoking introduction to The Forum’s 16th Annual Conference, “Education Abroad at a Crossroads: Actions for a Sustainable Future.”

Read more»



Join The Forum Team as the Marketing/Social Media Manager

Reporting to the President & CEO, this is an exciting new role for a B2B marketing-manager to join The Forum team! We are looking for an experienced self-starter who can help us achieve bold goals for increasing membership, resource utilization, and both national and international recognition. The successful candidate will oversee The Forum’s marketing strategy and is to advance The Forum’s goals for diversity and inclusiveness.

Essential Functions:

  • Plans & implements The Forum’s comprehensive marketing strategy and develops future marketing and social media strategic plans; Oversees the development and implementation of The Forum’s social media, digital advertising and communications strategy and planning.
  • Works in close collaboration with other Forum staff, marketing colleagues at Forum partner organizations, and outside agencies (as needed) to ensure cohesive and efficient global marketing efforts.
  • Leads the production of the Forum Storytellers video podcast series, the development of our Annual Report, materials for conferences, online programs and other communication pieces and methods, as needed.
  • Collects and analyzes data to guide decision-making and evaluate and assess the effectiveness of specific marketing and social media initiatives.
  • Manages ongoing market research both nationally and internationally to identify emerging social media trends and proposing new methods for reaching current Forum members and potential new members; Ability to periodically travel within and outside the United States is required.
  • Develops and implements an annual marketing plan and budget, incorporating targeted campaigns (concepts, messaging, visuals, additional assets, content calendars, and timelines).
  • Leads website design update and development, and manages online content.
  • Collaborates with other Forum staff to manage The Forum’s brand identity (including naming conventions, taglines, key messages, and visuals).

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Marketing with 3-5 years work experience
  • Experience with CRMs (specifically WordPress), and managing websites;
  • Experience with video capture and editing on mobile devices, preferably with sound editing experience (Add which software you use or have used in the past);
  • Experience creating content and managing social media business accounts;
  • Experience developing and implementing marketing and social media strategy;
  • Skill in creative problem-solving and the ability to handle multiple tasks, deadlines and changing priorities;
  • Knowledge of marketing best practices in higher education and education abroad;
  • Ability to communicate in a timely and manner to multi-layer remote team members
  • Ability to garner feedback and build buy-in from different groups/constituencies
  • Ability to be a team player, to build and maintain cooperative working relationships with colleagues, to provide an exquisite level of customer service, and to value and positively contribute to The Forum’s work culture.
  • Excellent organization, communication and presentation skills;
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, accuracy, and consistency;
  • Demonstrated commitment to the principles of diversity;
  • Demonstrated ability to create, follow, assess and adapt a marketing and social media plan;
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and follow timelines.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree
  • Experience with marketing in a university or program provider/education abroad environment;
  • Demonstrated ability to provide the highest level of customer service.

Candidates invited to interview will be expected to share examples of their work and to submit a video as part of the interview process.

This position will be based at The Forum’s headquarters at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania for a minimum introductory period, after which working remotely may be possible.


Apply Now


Forum Internship Opportunity: Conference Intern

The Forum seeks an undergraduate intern, who is a junior or senior during the 2019-20 academic year, to assist with general office duties as well as details related to its Annual Conference scheduled for March 25-27, 2020 in Kansas City, MO, including travel and on-site event operations at the conference. Qualified candidates for the position are professional, organized, flexible, have a strong attention to detail, and have experience in event planning. The intern is expected to work 8-10 hours per week in The Forum’s office or remotely during the Fall ’19 and Spring ’20 semesters. If a junior and successful in the role, the intern may be invited to return his or her senior year (2020-2021) to serve as a second-year intern. The intern will report to the Associate Director for Conference and Events.

Position Details
The Forum Conference Intern will assist with general office duties as well as details related to its Annual Conference scheduled for March 25-27, 2020 in Kansas City, MO, including travel and on-site event operations at the conference. Transportation to Kansas City and accommodations for the conference will be covered by The Forum, assuming the intern has demonstrated ability to add value during the event. The Conference Intern must commit to working 8-10 hours per week and will be compensated at $7.29/hour. The Intern will be expected to submit weekly timesheets and activity reports, and will report to the Associate Director for Conferences and Events.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Assisting with the planning, developing, and orchestration of the Annual Conference, as well as smaller events;
  • Learning the entire scope of the event process from the initial planning phase to execution on site;
  • Aiding the Associate Director with organization of sponsor, session presenter, and other stakeholder information;
  • Building relationships with Sponsor Organization contacts throughout the conference planning process;
  • Helping to research and arrange smaller auxiliary events during the conference.

The ideal candidate for this internship is organized, enthusiastic, and able to see opportunities in obstacles. The candidate has organized events in the past (informal and formal) and is able to take ownership over projects and see them through to fruition. Desired candidate must have a deep understanding of current technology practices, as well as a proficiency in working with conference apps, registration processes, and spreadsheets. The desired candidate is a team player, has a passion for event planning and providing exquisite levels of customer service, and is preferably educated in hospitality.

Required qualifications also include:

  • Demonstrated event planning and management experience;
  • Strong project management skills with the ability to work efficiently under pressure;
  • Ability to work independently and complete tasks with minimal supervision;
  • Creative thinking, critical analysis, and adaptability;
  • Excellent writing and proofreading skills;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook)

Candidates able to work remotely, either for the entirety of the internship, or with occasionally visits to Carlisle, PA, will be considered.

How to Apply
Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to by Friday, September 13.


Opportunity to Serve as The Forum’s Strategic Partner

This Request for Proposal (RFP) introduces the opportunity to serve as The Forum on Education Abroad’s next Strategic Partner (SP).

As the landscape of international education continues to expand, The Forum’s work has never been so essential. As students increasingly see the importance of international programs to their overall education and institutions of higher education recognize the importance of education abroad as central to fulfilling their mission, the field of education abroad increasingly relies upon The Forum to advocate for high standards, research, assessment and investment.

The Forum has been fortunate to partner with Dickinson College for the past 13 years. The current contract between the two organizations expires on June 30, 2021 and as is best practice, we are opening the process to consider all interested SPs, including Dickinson College. Through this RFP process, The Forum’s Board of Directors is reviewing the current and future needs of the organization to identify the SP who can best help us achieve our vision for The Forum’s future. The Board seeks a SP who supports the mission of The Forum and is willing to provide The Forum’s secretariat access to facilities, staff, programs and resources. The SP will be an organization or institution with a solid reputation in and commitment to education abroad and desires to help The Forum grow and prosper. The ideal SP will have:

  • The capacity and willingness to work collaboratively with The Forum on matters of strategic importance to the field of education abroad;
  • An established record of leadership in the field of education abroad;
  • A location that allows for interactions with a number of university and educational communities and provides convenient access to air and other transportation;
  • The resources and services to provide in-kind support as described in the RFP;
  • The willingness to commit to a minimum term of five years as the SP, with the likelihood of extending the relationship to a second or third term.

Guidance on sharing an expression of interest is provided in the full RFP. Questions about this opportunity can be directed to Melissa Torres, President and CEO, at

View the full RFP»



Advocacy Alert: Study Abroad Legislation

The first and primary responsibility of every international educator is the health and safety of students. Program providers, colleges, universities and organizations that provide services to the field of education abroad continue to prioritize student safety above all other aspects of their roles. To support their endeavors to keep students safe, The Forum on Education Abroad has focused much energy and attention on providing resources, data and best practices related to student health and safety. The Forum’s Standards of Good Practice (current Standard 8) include guidelines and queries to help institutions assess their own health and safety policies and feature more than 60 resources submitted by Forum members on this topic. In 2016, The Forum first conducted research comparing student mortality rates in the U.S. with mortality rates while abroad, and then updated and expanded the data in 2018 to inform international educators and the public. In 2019, The Forum relaunched a new and improved Critical Incident Database, enabling members to track critical incidents that occur while students are off-campus, including reportable information as required by the Department of Education in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the Clery Act), Title IX, and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Collecting and analyzing incident data can help to improve health, safety, security, and risk management policies and procedures, inform staff training efforts, prepare orientation information for students, and more.

Currently, there are efforts underway to pass state and federal legislation to collect and publicize study abroad incident data. As reported and explained by PULSE: Higher Education Health, Safety and Security Professionals (Tsantir, Friend, & Simmons, 2019), this legislation includes:

State Legislation that has been passed

Minnesota: In 2014, a law was passed in Minnesota resulting in an annual report hosted by the MN Office of Higher Education. The law requires MN colleges and universities to report deaths and hospitalizations abroad on a yearly basis. In 2015, a bill was passed in Minnesota to regulate K-12 student activities abroad, which was modeled after the higher education law.

Virginia: In 2016, Virginia passed a law requiring that the State Council of Higher Education develop Guidelines for study abroad. The developed Guidelines do not include a requirement for data reporting as in Minnesota but instead codify already established best practices in the field.

State Legislation that is pending

Massachusetts: In January 2019, Massachusetts state Senator Sal DiDomenico introduced Bill S.743 to the Joint Committee on Higher Education. A hearing occurred in April and it is unclear whether or not it has enough support to move forward.

New York: This state has seen proposed bills based on language similar to Ravi Thackurdeen Safe Students Study Abroad Act. The latest, Senate Bill S3844A/Assembly bill A7010A, sponsored by Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson, is pending for the 2019-2020 legislative session, resting with the Senate Rules Committee and Assembly Higher Education Committee.

Federal legislation that is pending

The Ravi Thackurdeen Safe Students Study Abroad Act: Currently introduced in the House and Senate. The text of both bills is identical. This bill would require universities to maintain a health and safety plan for credit bearing study abroad programs, including collecting and providing statistics for various categories of incidents incurred by students participating in the programs. The bill would also require institutions to provide pre-departure orientations for all students “interested” in studying abroad and post-program debriefings/interview for all students. A summary of the bill has recently been published by NAFSA.

Senate – SB 1572 – Sponsor Portman (R-OH); Co-sponsors Smith (D-MN), Gillibrand (D- NY), Markey (D-MA)
Status: Active
Current action – referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

House – HR 2785– Sponsor Maloney (D-NY); King (R-NY); Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Krishnamoorthi (D-IL); Olson (R-TX)
Status: Active
Current action: Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor.
The House Bill has been introduced in 2014, 2015 and 2017 and never made it beyond committee.

American Students Abroad Act: Currently introduced in House and Senate. This bill would authorize U.S. Department of State to provide consular reports on US citizens abroad to the CDC, which could then be classified to determine trends and risks. It is important to note that in previous version of this law in the House tied it to the Thackurdeen Act. The current language does not. Thus, support for this law does not entail support of the Thackurdeen Act.

Senate – SB 1575, Sponsor Portman (R-OH); Co-sponsors Gillibrand (D-NY), Markey (D- MA), Warren (D-MA)
Status: Active
Current action: Senate foreign relations committee

House – HR 2876 – Sponsor Maloney (NY); Co-sponsors King, (R-NY), Olson (R-TX), Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
Status: Active
Current action – referred to House Energy and Commerce and House Foreign Affairs committees

In addition to the pending federal legislation, the Higher Education Reauthorization Act (HEA) is again up for renewal. This legislation could potentially include a revision of the Clery Act. Should the HEA be renewed, it is possible that language used in The Ravi Thackurdeen Safe Students Study Abroad Act could be used as a template. If that were to happen, the incident reporting requirements would become federal law without a standalone bill being passed.

It is important for international educators to educate themselves, campus leaders, concerned parents and policy makers on the existing significant resources that are already dedicated to assist administrators, faculty and program providers to assess risk, prepare students, and establish effective emergency and crisis protocols. It cannot be overstated that the health and safety of students is of the utmost importance to our profession, as evidenced by the Standards of Good Practice.  Under the Clery Act, U.S. colleges and universities already comply with multiple federal reporting obligations of incidents occurring during study abroad. The proposed legislation would impose a higher reporting mandate on study abroad than exists on domestic campuses, without regard to whether the institution owns or controls a building or property at such location, even though recent research demonstrates that students are less likely to be victimized or die while abroad.

It is critical to be able to cite data from your own institution when speaking about the proposed legislation and student health and safety while abroad. Utilizing The Forum’s Critical Incident Database to track incidents involving your own participants and assessing your institution’s response is an important first step. Coordinating public comment or outreach to lawmakers with your senior international officer and state or federal relations officer(s) is highly recommended. Assisting decision makers to understand the full picture of resources available and measures already in place can help prevent expanded reporting requirements that do little to actually improve student safety so that campus resources can focus on the most effective safety practices.

The Forum’s President and CEO has reached out to University Risk Management and Insurance Association (URMIA), PULSE: Higher Education International Health and Safety Professionals, American Council on Education (ACE), NAFSA: Association for International Educators, the Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange and several universities to collaborate on this issue.



Tsantir, S.B., Friend, J.A., & Simmons, D. (2019). Efforts to Pass Legislation Compelling Incident Disclosures on Study Abroad Programs: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for PULSE members (Draft 25, Version 32).


New Certified Professional: Jason Good

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Jason Good successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Jason 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 Jason!

“I highly recommend the Forum’s Professional Certification Program. As a Director of Study Abroad, the assignments and resources were directly connected to my day to day work and my strategic goals. In many cases they affirmed what we were already doing at my institution, but in other cases they pushed me to think about international education and programming in new and innovative ways. The program helped me adapt programming and procedures to fit with best practices and work towards our goals of providing accessible and quality programming to our student body.” – Jason Good



The Forum Board Welcomes Two New Members

The Forum Board of Directors thanks departing members Mary Anne Grant, Donna Scarboro, Kathryn Howard and Annette Smith-Parker for their service. The Board also welcomed two new Board members at its meeting last week at Brown University in Providence, RI.

Christopher Elliott is the Assistant Dean of Global Affairs and Director of the Center for Global Commerce at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce. In these roles, he co-develops/teaches global courses and manages a portfolio of curricula and partnerships to support students’ global learning. Elliott completed his B.A. and M.Ed. at the University of Delaware, home to the earliest study abroad program in the U.S., where he took a semester abroad in Costa Rica to study Spanish and tropical ecology. Two decades later, he still credits that formative experience for growing a career in international and higher education that seeded at University of Delaware, caught wind at Northern Arizona University, and took root at the University of Virginia. Interested in the gender-aware leadership and identity development of college students, he developed a theoretical “Transcendence Model of Identity Construction” out of his PhD work at the University of Virginia, where he co-founded the Men’s Leadership Project at the UVA Women’s Center. He is eager to continue exploring how college students develop a transcending sense of self through our collective innovations in education abroad.

Lorna Stern was appointed Vice President of Arcadia University and Executive Director of The College of Global Studies at Arcadia University in October 2013. She is a leading figure in international education, with more than 22 years’ experience supporting Arcadia University in its vision for innovation in global education. Lorna leads The College as it serves a diverse group of students, offering global learning opportunities that stimulate and challenge their world views, broaden their notions of where they may work and contribute, and provide a context where learners can assume greater responsibility for their lives and choices. As Vice President, Lorna travels widely, managing relationships with institutional partners both in the U.S. and around the world. She oversees all aspects of the work of The College, such as its strategic direction, vision, mission and operations, and works collaboratively with Arcadia faculty, staff and partner institutions. Furthering Arcadia’s mission of global understanding, Lorna has served on several national boards in the field, has delivered countless presentations throughout the world of international education, and is one of the most well-known experts in the field today. At different phases of her tenure at The College of Global Studies at Arcadia, she has served as Deputy Director, Special Advisor, Director of Student Services and Director of Marketing and Communications, Director of Institutional Relations, Director of Strategic Development and Associate Vice President. Lorna earned her BA in international relations with an emphasis on African affairs at Wells College. She was a Rotary Scholar and studied at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, where she concentrated on comparative African government and law. She directed Cornell University’s International Living Center, a residential housing complex for international students, where she developed programs and events that brought undergraduate and graduate international and home-campus communities together. Her Master’s in Law and Diplomacy, with a focus on international law and the Middle East, is from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Lorna serves as an Advisor to Language Corps, an overseas training program for ESL teachers. She is a member of NAFSA: The Association of International Educators; AIEA: The Association of International Education Administrators; and has served on the Forum Council of the Forum on Education Abroad. She regularly presents at a variety of international forums and conferences, contributing her knowledge and skills to the field of international education.


Latest Issue of The Forum Focus Now Available

Cover of the June 2019 issue of The Forum Focus, Volume 5, Issue 3The latest issue of The Forum Focus is now available. The Forum Focus is an online publication that provides perspectives on current education abroad topics and issues. This issue includes the following short articles:

“The Costs Are the Benefits: Challenges and Value in Field-Based Education,” by Michael Cox, Associate Professor, Environmental Studies Program, Dartmouth College

“Religious Identity & Off-Campus Programs,” by Kyle Anderson, Director of Center for Global Citizenship, Centre College; and Ellen Tyra, Research Intern in Center for Global Citizenship, Centre College

“Education Abroad for Everyone: How One Community College is Making It Happen,” by Morgan Lindberg, Japanese faculty, Portland Community College; and Susan Watson, Web Development & Design faculty, Portland Community College

“Incorporating Engaged Learning Pieces into Curriculum,” by Uttiyo Raychaudhuri, Cornell University; Richard Kiely, Cornell University; Basil Safi, Cornell University; Eva Infante, Cornell University; Melina Ivanchikova, Cornell University; Davydd Greenwood, Cornell University; and Kendall Brostuen, Brown University

“President’s Corner,” with Melissa Torres, President and CEO, The Forum on Education Abroad

Read the latest issue»

Read past issues»



Update: 6th Edition of the Standards of Good Practice

The comment period for the 6th edition of the Standards of Good Practice has ended. Click here to view the report of comments received and stay informed as the process to update the Standards continues.

The process to create the 6th edition of the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad continues and a draft is now available for review and public comment. The Standards Update Working Group (SUWG) has spent more than 6 months listening and collecting feedback from the field, and the group worked diligently to compile a draft based on that feedback. The comment period is open through June 30, and information collected will inform the 2nd draft of the Standards which will then go to the Consensus Body for consideration. This process will continue until the Consensus Body is satisfied and agrees that the Standards have hit their mark.

Take advantage of this opportunity to provide feedback!

Learn more»



Congratulations to the 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:

  • Tracey Bradley, Tennessee Consortium for International Studies (re-elected)
  • Brian Brubaker, The Pennsylvania State University (re-elected)
  • Elena Corbett, AMIDEAST
  • Annette Mares-Duran, University of New Mexico
  • Joy Phaphouvaninh, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Uttiyo Raychaudhuri, Cornell University (re-elected)

Thank you to Forum members for voting in the election. The Forum also thanks the diverse group of highly-qualified colleagues who were nominated this year. We appreciate your commitment to The Forum and the field!


Education Abroad Field to Benefit from New Collaboration

The Forum on Education Abroad and The Global Leadership League have formed a partnership and will work collaboratively to benefit the education abroad field. By supporting each other’s organizations, The Forum and The League hope to better serve their members by developing new professional development opportunities and expanding access to resources in best practices. This cooperation is an extension of The Forum’s strategic plan of diversifying its membership and broadening the range of resources and training to meet the needs of the field.

As a priority, The Forum and The League will work together to develop workshops that draw on both organizations’ interests and expertise, and which address themes relevant to both of their audiences. The organizations are currently considering a co-facilitated workshop in 2020 about negotiation and with special emphasis on colleagues who may or may not be successfully utilizing the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad as part of negotiation at their campus. The League has also suggested an expansion of the basic negotiation practices of the Standards Workshop to include a self-awareness and emotional intelligence aspect to the negotiation process.

Forum President and CEO Melissa Torres is thrilled with the new partnership: “We are excited to partner with The Global Leadership League to advance the field of education abroad by bringing together two organizations committed to the professional development of people in our field. Through collaboration on workshops and events promoting dialogue and knowledge sharing, The League and The Forum will create dynamic, exciting opportunities focused on our members’ professional and personal success.”

Cynthia Banks, Executive Director for The Global Leadership League, looks forward to working more closely together: “These two organizations began a unique collaboration by co-hosting the 2018 Forum Conference Critical Dialogue on women’s leadership. This now formal partnership is a natural outcome as we both recognize the importance of supporting professionals in our field with strong skills-based leadership training for both new and more experienced leaders. Partnerships such as this one are critical in this fast-changing field.”

The Forum has recognized The Global Leadership League as a charitable member under its membership designations and The League will continue to have access to Forum sponsorship opportunities, online resources, and member discounts. The Global Leadership League has welcomed The Forum as an Advocate and to all of the benefits it entails.

About The Global Leadership League
The Global Leadership League is an award-winning professional organization in international education designed for women and their allies. We provide a platform for community, knowledge, and dialogue. Our goal is to create a vibrant, safe space to learn from each other and advance careers and the field.



Visit The Forum’s Booth at NAFSA

The Forum will be exhibiting at the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo again this year! Please stop by booth #939 to discuss The Forum’s initiatives, services and benefits of membership. Or, schedule a meeting in advance by sending an email with a date, time and topic to Forum staff members Melissa Torres, Natalie Mello, Elizabeth Frohlich and Lindsay McCauslin look forward to seeing you there!


New Certified Professional: Margaret Kowalsky

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Margaret Kowalsky of King’s College successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Margaret 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 Margaret!

“I learned so much from the certification process. I tried to focus my assignments on concrete examples from my work as the director of the office of study abroad at King’s College. As a result, I was able to use the certification process to advance the needs of my office and to become a much more confident advocate for the standards with partners on my campus more generally.” -Margaret Kowalsky

New Certified Professional: Jonathan Sylvia

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Jonathan Sylvia of Dartmouth College successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Jonathan 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 Jonathan!

“I am an active member of our international education community and over my career have participated in many conferences and workshops. Due to this experience and training, I naturally assumed to have gained a solid understanding of how to best engage students, faculty and administrators in purposeful learning and cross-cultural global engagement. However, The Forum’s three-day Accelerated Residency Program followed by self-paced learning of The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad has exposed me to the myriad layers we as education abroad practitioners must understand to ensure we competently serve our students and institutions while providing impactful instruction in a secure learning environment. I look forward to implementing my knowledge of the Standards to enhance the quality of our off-campus program offerings by building on strong partnerships and service to constituents.” -Jonathan Sylvia

2019 Forum Council Candidates Announced

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

Institutional Representatives from Forum member institutions and organizations will receive an email with voting information. The deadline to vote in the 2019 election is May 17.

Tracey Bradley, Executive Director, Tennessee Consortium for International Studies

Tracey has been a supporter and innovator in international education for over a decade. Her first experience in education abroad materialized through her bold spirit and belief that all students can and should benefit from a study abroad experience. As an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee, she developed and led programs abroad in both South Africa and India. Taking Community College students to live and study in these less available program locations reinforced her dedication to collaborate with others in the state to create study abroad programming that is academically rigorous, financially accessible, and with more diverse locations. To that end, she has served as the Executive Director for the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies (TnCIS) for the past eight years. TnCIS works extensively with most of the state’s 13 community colleges. All of those institutions are involved with education abroad and are offering credit bearing study abroad courses to their students. TnCIS is headquartered at Pellissippi State Community College (PSCC) and the TnCIS office serves as the International Education office for the college. PSCC has become a nationally recognized community college leader in the field of education abroad. In addition to the community colleges of the state, Tennessee State University, a HBCU in Nashville, Tennessee, is also a member of TnCIS.

Tracey has been an active and vocal participant of the Forum on Education Abroad for many years and has had the opportunity to support and lead different initiatives. She previously served on the Annual Conference Selection Committee; was a contributor on the Inclusive Excellence Working Group; and served as the Vice Chair of the Advocacy Committee. She is a current member on the Forum’s Council and of the Community College Working Group. Most recently she served as moderator for the Forum’s Critical Dialogue, Education Abroad at Community Colleges.

Tracey is seeking reelection to the Council, in part, to represent non-traditional institutions and to continue to advocate for inclusion and diversity within the field of international education. If reelected, she would consider it an honor to continue to serve and collaborate with other colleagues in the field

Brian Brubaker, Director of Education Abroad, The Pennsylvania State University

Brian Brubaker has worked in the field of international education for over twenty years. His experience spans several facets of the field including English teacher abroad, corporate international assignment manager, and international student adviser; however, his most in-depth experience is in education abroad. He has engaged in education abroad work at many different types of organizations including Dickinson College, IES Abroad, Arizona State University, and currently, The Pennsylvania State University.

As director of Education Abroad at Penn State, Brian leads a large team in providing student support services and strategic direction for a 24-campus university sending nearly 3000 students abroad each year. Key initiatives on which he’s focusing include: access and inclusion for historically underrepresented students in study abroad, enhanced offerings of high-impact experiential learning abroad, development and assessment of universal learning outcomes, and communication strategies for the entire student life cycle with education abroad. Brian is a Forum Certified Professional as well as a Forum Trained Facilitator who loves leading workshops on the Standards of Good Practice. He has worked on an institutional team conducting and writing a self-assessment for the Forum’s Quality Improvement Program (QUIP) Review and has also served as a QUIP Peer Reviewer. Similarly, Brian has served as an external reviewer for peer institutions, as well as on advisory boards for several international education organizations. For the past three years, Brian has valued being a part of the Forum Council’s dialogue and has especially enjoyed leading the Standards Committee on the development of the new Leading Short-Term Education Abroad Programs piece released in 2017. He currently serves chair of the Ethics Working Group.

In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Brian has taught global marketing courses and co-authored a business case study on organic/fair-trade coffee entrepreneurship in Cameroon. Brian holds an MBA in international management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and has a BA in international studies from Dickinson College. He studied away on an internationally-focused internship program in Washington, DC as well as in Yaoundé, Cameroon as an undergraduate.

Elena D. Corbett, Director of Education Abroad, AMIDEAST

Elena D. Corbett first went to Jordan the summer after her second year of university because she thought she wanted to be an archaeologist. Archaeological field school served instead as the gateway to a personal and professional life dedicated to learning as much as she can about the MENA regions and working hard to be better at Arabic. While a humbling, life-long path, nearly 25 years after that first opportunity to study abroad changed her life, Elena is a passionate advocate for engaging all learners in Middle East area studies and education abroad in the MENA regions. Freed from the tired paradigms and biases that characterize the creation of knowledge about the MENA regions, learning about them and experiencing them firsthand is universally relevant and enriching. Her professional mission is to be the supportive educator, mentor, colleague, and friend to others as have graced her life and made her journey possible. Most recently, she became a founding contributor to the Studying Abroad in the Global South podcast.

Elena is an alumna of Semester at Sea and Middlebury Language Schools, and a graduate of Bucknell University. She is fortunate to have received scholarship support over many years for language study and research, including from the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) and Fulbright-Hays. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where she specialized in modern Middle East history. Among her publications is a book based on her dissertation, Competitive Archaeology in Jordan: Narrating Identity from the Ottomans to the Hashemites. Before it even had the name CLS, Elena was the first CLS program coordinator in Jordan. While a career in traditional academia was ultimately not in the cards, she was faculty at the U.S. Naval Academy and Penn State Behrend, where she developed and implemented faculty-led programs for students to Jordan and Palestine. Before coming to AMIDEAST as Director of Education Abroad, she was Center Director at CIEE in Amman for almost five years.

Education abroad is a second career for Elena that stems logically from her first. The same forces and histories that create the inequities that one has a responsibility to acknowledge and challenge as a practitioner with specialization in the Global South are evident in the core issues with which we must engage as contemporary international educators. For this reason, Elena has enjoyed getting more involved with Forum. Having been back in the States for two years and settled into her role as director of a small, specialized provider, Elena is eager to serve on the Forum Council to be of better service the field and the interests of its many, various stakeholders, while learning alongside a diverse group of collaborative colleagues.

Ryan Dye, Director of Education Abroad, Miami University

Ryan Dye’s first time abroad also was his first time on an airplane. It was his junior year at Notre Dame, and he flew to London for a semester abroad. That experience ignited for Ryan an interest in British and Irish History, which led to a PhD work in that area at Northwestern University that included dissertation research in Liverpool. Ryan was then hired to teach History at St. Ambrose University, a Master’s-level comprehensive institution in Davenport, Iowa.

After serving as a professor at St. Ambrose for seven years, Ryan was asked to be its Director of International Education. What started as a part-time role soon became a full-time job and then a profession. At St. Ambrose, Ryan helped to build a unified Center for International Education, where he oversaw Education Abroad, International Student Services and International Admissions. Working at St. Ambrose gave Ryan a deep understanding for the unique challenges facing international educators at small institutions during an era of declining enrollments, deepening budget cuts and rising nationalism. What Ryan appreciates most from his tenure at St. Ambrose is the importance of building coalitions across campus who buy in to the potential for international education to make a transformative impact on students from all backgrounds.

As international education became Ryan’s profession, he developed a particular interest in Education Abroad because of how important study abroad was in his own life journey. He became a Forum Certified Education Abroad Professional, and currently serves as both a workshop facilitator and an assessor for the certification program. Ryan also is a current member of ISA’s Academic Advisory Board and of Diversity Abroad’s Task Force on Religious Identity.

In February Ryan was named Director of Education Abroad at Miami University, an “original public Ivy” that is about as different from St. Ambrose as he can imagine! Miami is one of the leading senders of undergraduates abroad, and is committed to being one of the top universities in the country for international education. Recently, Miami was recognized for its good work by earning NAFSA’s Simon Award for Campus Internationalization.

Ryan is eager to contribute to the Council’s work in the areas of strategic planning, curriculum, faculty development, conference planning and other areas of need. He believes that his experience in the Midwest—which is often an underrepresented region on major boards—combined with his experiences at both a smaller private institution and an influential public university can offer the Forum Council a unique set of perspectives.

Devin Foxall, Director of Institutional Relations, The School for Field Studies

Devin Foxall’s primary interest is uniting data, statistics, and economic theory to find creative and inclusive ways to minimize the environmental impact of Education Abroad programs. On the Forum Council, he hopes to raise sustainability to the same level of consideration that members provide safety and staffing. The rising college generation prioritizes the environment and perceives climate change as an existential threat. Yet in the recent State of the Field survey, Forum members reported that they lacked the data or knowledge to respond to student concerns over the environmental effects of studying abroad. Devin plans to research, develop, and disseminate the data-driven tools and resources that members need to consider or prepare for the environmental consequences of their programs.

Devin has worked for the last five years for The School for Field Studies, an environmental study abroad organization, and has experience using data to address real world issues. At Johns Hopkins, he conducted graduate level coursework on natural resource conservation, quantitative methods in environmental policy, and the economics of carbon offsets. Working for Mercy Corps in Niger, he analyzed data surrounding strategies for reducing famine caused by climate change. He recently served on the Forum’s Data Committee, helping write and later present at The Forum’s Boston conference the 2017 State of the Field report. He currently serves on the Forum’s HBCU Working Group and presented at the 2019 Forum conference on using a cohort model to improve study abroad diversity.

Devin would bring to the Council a diverse background of experience. He spent five years traveling across the globe, setting foot in 40 countries on five continents, and writing about young people living in conflict and post-conflict countries such as Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iran, Laos, Rwanda, and Somalia. As he wrote in his book, this taught him the value of traveling and meeting people beyond his imagination. He returned to Afghanistan to work with an NGO operating schools for girls in Kabul. This taught him the value of education, and why it is precious. In Niger, he learned that data combined with listening produced tools that could improve peoples’ lives. Devin’s experiences showed him that working together is the best way forward, and that there is joy in giving something back. For these reasons, he is grateful to be considered for the Forum Council.

Maritheresa Frain, Vice President for Academic Affairs, The Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA)

Dr. Maritheresa (MT) Frain has over 25 years of experience in international educational exchanges. She currently serves as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at The Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA). Previously, she was the Director of Study Abroad at the George Washington University and worked at the Council for International Educational Exchanges (CIEE) in senior leadership roles. She has lived/taught in Spain, Portugal, Russia, Greece, and Switzerland. While living in Seville, Spain, she served as the US Department of State’s Consular Agent for Western Andalusia. She earned her Honors BA from The Pennsylvania State University in Foreign Service and International Affairs. MT has a MA and Ph.D. from Georgetown University in Government.

It has been an honor for her to serve on the Forum Council over the past three years. Throughout this time, she has leveraged her experience in the study abroad provider space and higher ed to support projects related to language learning abroad, outcomes/assessment and student academic achievement. She is committed to supporting the new leadership vision at The Forum to ensure it will continue to be THE leader in the space of establishing the highest quality standards in international educational exchanges. With over 25 years’ experience working abroad in program management and development, she is keenly aware of the dynamic field we are working in, and excited about the goal to make learning abroad more accessible to students of under-represented majors and demographics. It would be honor for her to continue to serve on the Council for another term.

MT’s contribution to the diversity of the skills represented on the Council can be found in her background in higher ed administration. Given that she has a doctoral degree, she has been able to leverage her academic credentials and management acumen to work her way up to senior leadership positions in the field of international educational exchanges. She started in the trenches, working abroad in the design and delivery of programs. She has experienced the good, bad and ugly. She knows what it is like to execute on program learning goals with the highest standards of excellence. At the same time, she understands the complexity of relations with host institutions, finding the intersection of shared educational values and working to support those through respectful partnerships. Having lived abroad for most of her professional career, she can easily understand and adapt to different cultural values related to education, duty of care to students, and creating a robust learning environment for our students to thrive in — and have fun! She believes this background makes her an interesting contribution to the different voices currently sitting at the Council table.

Annette Mares-Duran, Faculty-Led International Program Coordinator, University of New Mexico

Annette Mares-Duran is the first Faculty-Led International Program Coordinator in the Global Education Office at The University of New Mexico (UNM), the largest research university in New Mexico with over 26,000 students at the undergraduate and graduate levels at its main campus. New Mexico is a large, mostly rural state with a high proportion of minority, first-generation, and low-income students and UNM is a Hispanic-serving institution with over 43 percent of students identifying as Hispanic. UNM additionally serves a large population of Native American students, many of whom come from one of 24 unique indigenous communities in the state. Annette is representative of the population she serves as she was born and raised in rural New Mexico and is a first-generation college graduate. She understands the challenges underrepresented students face attending college, maintaining family and financial responsibilities, and considering study abroad opportunities. Many of UNM’s students have never traveled domestically, and a substantial number have never traveled internationally. As a result she is deeply committed to ensuring equity and inclusion for all students in study abroad.

Annette is mid-career professional with over six years of experience and spearheaded the centralization and expansion of UNM’s faculty-led programs by stimulating collaboration with faculty, academic units, and administration. She creates and implements policies and procedures, with emphasis on study abroad health and safety, to develop and support over 40 group study abroad programs annually to destinations all over the world. Currently, two-thirds of the students studying abroad at UNM are doing so as part of faculty-led programs, and the participation rate in overall study abroad has increased by over 80 percent to about 900 students in the last five years. Through targeted program development, support, and outreach, Annette has played a key role in moving UNM’s vision to double the number of students studying abroad by 2020. As a group leader herself, Annette leads groups to Ecuador and Peru. She currently serves as the co-chair of the campus-wide health and safety committee and additionally serves on the Academic Affairs Study Abroad Allocaions Committee. Her work as a Gilman campus advisor has assisted many students with seeking additional support to make their study abroad aspirations possible.

Prior to this role, she coordinated international exchange programs with institutions in Latin America and Spain.

Annette received her MA in Language Literacy & Sociocultural Studies, and her BS in Education, at UNM. As a student, she was the studied abroad in Spain and Nicaragua before serving as a Student Affairs Intern at Casa Xalteva in Nicaragua. In her free time she enjoys listening to podcasts, spending time with family, designing jewelry, and eating bean burritos!

Annette is a fiercely dedicated proponent of international education and is eager to actively serve in a position that allows her to network with like-minded colleagues, exchange innovations and ideas, and contribute to greater understanding in the field around best practices in stimulating participation of underrepresented students in study abroad programming.

Jonathan (Yoni) Kaplan, Vice Provost, Rothberg International School, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Jonathan brings 40 years of experience in international education to the Forum Council. Born in rural Illinois and raised in university towns in the United States and Canada where his father taught as a professor of music, Jonathan grew up in a very multi-cultural atmosphere. After moving to Israel, Kaplan studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, ultimately completing a PhD in modern history. As a researcher and teacher, he developed curricula to help students from diverse backgrounds, both local and international, to gain an understanding of the complexities of the peoples and religions of the Middle East. As Director of Semester Programs, Freshman Programs and later Director of Undergraduate Studies, Jonathan managed larger programs serving hundreds of students from around the world. Partnerships were created with other academic institutions in Jerusalem to encourage Music, Dance and Fine Arts students to study at the Hebrew University. For the past 4 years, Dr. Kaplan has served as the Vice Provost and Chief Administrative Officer of the Rothberg International School, which now hosts some 2,400 students annually, from over 70 countries around the world and attends to the welfare of another 1,000 students and international fellows throughout the university.

In his executive position, Jonathan has been involved in program development, outreach, public relations, finances, and emergency management. He has tried to solidify connections with American universities and has guided the school toward increased activity within the Forum, taking a share in sponsorships, presenting in several conferences and serving as a member of the 2017 conference committee. Kaplan has also taken a central role in Diversity Abroad, serving as a member of the 2018 conference committee and most recently as a member of the review team for the organization’s new AIDE Roadmap. Jonathan is especially committed to helping diversity students gain an international education and has succeeded in raising considerable funds for diversity scholarships. Last year he visited a number of HBCUs and MSIs in an attempt to encourage more students to take advantage of these opportunities to gain an international experience. This year saw the first fruits of this labor with a number of minority students joining both summer and semester programs. Kaplan is also a participant in the EU-funded project “WILLIAM” to develop strategies for “internationalization at home,” along with several European and Israeli institutions of higher education.

Jonathan brings to the table a unique combination: familiarity with American students, experience in running international academic programs and involvement in building university-wide strategies to enhance campus internationalization and the integration of international students into the social and academic fabric of the entire university. Kaplan will also put at the council’s disposal his vast experience in security matters and student welfare – gained in a country where the concern for security is ever present.

Jonathan would also 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. Beyond this exists the need for institutions outside the US to set standards that meet their own special needs and constraints.

Joy Phaphouvaninh, Director of Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Joy is a committed education abroad professional with over a decade of experience in both urban public and land-grant higher education institutions, including six years at the City University of New York (CUNY) system and currently at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as Director of Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange. As a mid-career leader, Joy is eager to serve the Forum through critical discussions and active participation with colleagues in the field, and would bring both curiosity and administrative and strategic insight to the Forum Council.

At CUNY, she focused intensely on the development of foundational education abroad policy and procedures to impact risk management and safety abroad and faculty-led programs. Joy also managed a total of over $1.2 million in study abroad scholarships to support high-financial need students from New York City. At Illinois, she currently leads the campus-wide study abroad office and serves on the university study abroad policy committee to develop impactful practices that are aligned with Forum Standards. In 2016, Joy was selected to participate in the University of Illinois Emerging Women Leaders program. She also actively participates in the Big Ten Academic Alliance study abroad directors’ group.

As a first-generation Laotian-American woman, Joy is passionate about ensuring that all students have the opportunities for education abroad. Joy conducted fieldwork on minority religious experiences and studied Telugu in Hyderabad, India as an undergraduate at Kenyon College. She then worked for several years in the refugee and immigrant service field, and completed her Master’s degree in sustainable development from the SIT Graduate Institute. Her range of cross-cultural experiences informs her deep appreciation for the complexity of global human movement, including student mobility.

Her commitment to diversity, access, and inclusion is evidenced through past service on the Benjamin Gilman scholarship panel and most recently on the conference selection committee for 2019 CIEE conference, which is focused on increasing diversity. Under her leadership, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign joined the Diversity Abroad network as an institutional member.

A lifelong learner, Joy is pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Policy, Organization, and Leadership while informally studying Italian in her free time. Joy also recently participated in an EAIE spotlight seminar series on refugees and will co-facilitate a faculty led service-learning program to Greece this summer on the refugee crisis.

Uttiyo Raychaudhuri, Executive Director, Office of Global Learning, Cornell University

Uttiyo Raychaudhuri is the first Executive Director for the new Office of Global Learning at Cornell University which brings together two groups that support students, faculty and colleges in international learning: Cornell Abroad and International Students and Scholars Office. He has worked in the capacity of faculty and administrator at large public land-grant Universities (UGA and Clemson before Cornell) and has actively engaged in international education for over 18 years. His leadership in education abroad has been recognized twice for the institutions (2012 & 2014) with the IIE Heiskell Award for Best Practices and Innovation in International Education.

Uttiyo is an entrepreneurial academic who intricately understands the nimble frameworks and the business and educational environment (including the challenges and opportunities) of leading international programs at institutions of higher education. His work and campus leadership and research promote global citizenship, environmental justice, and international engagement. An area of strength is Uttiyo’s work in identifying the critical need for curricular integration of education abroad that incorporates global learning. Among the key highlights of his international education career has been related to access and inclusion of educational opportunities. At land-grant institutions he has worked to remove the barriers such as resource allocations, especially cost of studying abroad and the challenges of navigating foreign cultures. Uttiyo has advanced global initiatives including the Universities’ roles being re-envisioned as incubators of economic development through international connections and re-energized with integration across all university verticals. He has directed education abroad programs on every continent (including Antarctica) and his interdisciplinary interests have ranged from architecture to natural resource management, and have combined a multicultural upbringing from India to America allowing myriad experiences and learning opportunities.

Uttiyo is a member of leading professional organizations and has presented his research and practice widely including at The Forum, NAFSA, CIEE and other national/international conferences. He has been actively engaged with the Forum for Education abroad for over a decade and has been a council member for the last 3 years including being the vice-chair of the curriculum committee, member of the faculty development sub-group and a member of other key groups such as the

Forum Curriculum Award working group. Uttiyo is eager to continue his engagement with the council and is seeking your support for his re-election.

Nominate Yourself to Serve on the Consensus Body

The Forum has convened the Standards Update Working Group with the intent of revising the current Standards of Good Practice for Education AbroadIn preparation for the 6th edition, the Standards Update Working Group has hosted listening sessions to give stakeholders (you!) the opportunity to provide feedback on the usefulness and applicability of the Standards in your work, how the Standards are being used, and areas for improvement to help guide the field. This feedback is vital to the Standards Update Working Group as they draft revisions to the Standards, and is still being collected via the online feedback form.

Another critical element of the process to update the Standards is the Consensus Body. This body is responsible for voting to approve all proposed revisions made by the Standards Update Working Group. The Consensus Body is made up of 50 members from diverse interest categories in the field:

  • U.S. higher education institutions
  • Higher education institutions outside of the U.S.
  • Education abroad providers
  • Professional associations
  • Service providers and charitable organizations
  • General interest members
  • Individuals from the governing bodies of The Forum

The membership term for the Consensus Body is five years, and all work will be done remotely with no travel required. The Forum anticipates that most of the activity for this very first Consensus Body will occur between June 2019 and July 2020.

Learn more»



Now Accepting Nominations for the 2019-2020 Forum Council

The Forum is now accepting nominations for colleagues who can dedicate their time and provide their expertise 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, including but not limited to community colleges, international institutions and organizations, young and midcareer professionals, minority-serving institutions, and institutions with diverse student populations.

There are eight spots available on this year’s slate of candidates for six open Forum Council seats. The deadline for nominations is Thursday, April 18.

Learn More»


The Forum Partners on DOE-Funded Survey of Career Outcomes for Study Abroad and Language Learning Alumni

The Forum on Education Abroad is partnering with researchers at Penn State University and the American Councils for International Education conducting a large-scale research project that will explore the longitudinal effects of language learning and study abroad on career outcomes. The project is funded by the Department of Education’s International Research and Studies grant program. We invite Forum members to engage with this research in two ways:

  • Help us reach your education abroad alumni! Contact Amelia Dietrich, Director of Research and Resources, to get started.
  • Did you study abroad? Take the survey.

The survey is open now. Data collection will continue until early May.

Learn more»



Plenary Speaker for the 10th Annual Standards Institute: Scott Duffy

Headshot of Scott Duffy, plenary speaker for the 10th Annual Standards of Good Practice InstituteThe Forum is pleased to announce Scott Duffy, TV/Online Personality and Business Growth Expert, as the plenary speaker for the 10th Annual Standards of Good Practice InstituteBeyond the Basics of Health, Safety, Security and Risk Management.

Scott Duffy began his career working for best-selling author and speaker, Tony Robbins, and went on to work for several small businesses that became big media brands like CBS Sportsline, NBC Internet, and Next, he founded Smart Charter, an online booking tool for private aviation, which was acquired by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. Today, Scott is a champion for entrepreneurship. He has been listed as a “Top 10 Keynote Speaker” by Entrepreneur. He has spoken at the NYSE and provided commentary in numerous media outlets including CNBC, FOX News, and CBS Radio. He is the Co-Host of “Business & Burgers” and Best-Selling Author of “Breakthrough,” a roadmap for building great companies.

Duffy will deliver his Institute plenary address on June 27 at the University of San Francisco. Registration for the Standards Institute will open on February 28.

Learn more»



New Certified Professional: Jen Murray

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Jen Murray of Bard College successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Jen 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 Jen!

“I attended the Professional Certification program to enhance my leadership capacity at Bard Abroad. I look forward to new challenges as I work to maintain certification. I highly recommend the program!” – Jen Murray



Message from The Forum’s President

Melissa Torres, Forum President/CEODear colleagues,

At the dawn of a new year and a new era for The Forum on Education Abroad, I am once again struck by the enormity of the work before us and the significant role of this organization. As Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” and that is exactly what The Forum on Education Abroad was meant to do. In the same way that The Forum was founded—responding to a lack of national and international voices for outbound students from U.S. institutions—we must look for new ways to share our members’ challenges, discoveries, and strategies for expanding students’ worldviews.

I am excited to be able to contribute my own skills, experience and passion to this effort. Our success is dependent upon forging new partnerships within and beyond the education abroad community, energizing members around our strategic plan, and making sure that diverse voices are a robust part of every conversation and initiative. The Forum will be stronger, more efficient, and more impactful by partnering with complementary organizations, advocating for education abroad at all levels of education, government and the private sector, as well as with families and students from all backgrounds and academic disciplines. By expanding membership to the institutions that serve these students both within the U.S. and abroad and updating the Standards of Good Practice so that they remain current and relevant, we will build bridges and develop resources to benefit students no matter where their studies, careers, or life journeys take them.

Innovation, creativity, and an entrepreneurial spirit are key attributes that The Forum’s Board, members and staff all share. We must continue to learn from and inspire each other, and also from colleagues outside our existing network, so that our impact is magnified and sustained. New technologies, evolving pedagogies and our interconnected world provide an unprecedented opportunity to expand our own relationships and knowledge so that we infuse our standards, programs, and learning objectives with the highest possible quality. I look forward to sharing this adventure/work with you!

Best regards,

Melissa Torres
President/CEO, The Forum on Education Abroad



Stay Up to Date with the Latest Education Abroad Research

Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad closes out our celebration of International Education Week with fresh new research on education abroad program design, intercultural learning, and student motivations for studying abroad. Read the Fall 2018 issue of Frontiers, the only peer-reviewed, open-access, academic journal in our field, today.

Read Frontiers»

Subscribe now (it’s free!)»



Latest Issue of The Forum Focus is Now Available

The Forum is participating in International Education Week by celebrating quality education abroad and the contributions of colleagues to the field. A new issue of The Forum Focus is now available, which is an online publication that provides a platform for colleagues to voice their perspectives on current education abroad topics and issues. The November 2018 issue includes the following short articles:

  • “Standards Update: A Call to Action,” by Emily Gorlewski, Associate Director, Office of Study Abroad, Wesleyan University
  • “Education Abroad: The Cure to Cultural Despair?” by Janet Alperstein, Assistant Vice President, Office of Global Programs, New York University
  • “The Case for Going Global, Like China,” by Matt Meltzer, Founder and CEO, Sage Corps
  • “Critical Issues in Education Abroad: Have They Changed?” by Jon V.C. Booth, Interim Executive Director, The Forum on Education Abroad

Read the November 2018 Issue of The Forum Focus»



The Forum invites colleagues to submit articles for consideration and ideas for future topics for The Forum Focus. The word limit for articles is 1,200 and is strictly enforced. Please send submissions to:



The Forum Recognizes Excellence in Education Abroad Curriculum Design

Markus Crepaz's professional headshot. A middle-aged man with grey hair and glasses, wearing a black suit jacket with a white shirt.In celebration of International Education Week, The Forum is pleased to announce the 2018 recipient of the Award for Excellence in Education Abroad Curriculum Design: Markus Crepaz of the University of Georgia, for his course “The Politics of Development,” which is part of UGA’s South Africa Study Abroad Program in Stellenbosch.

Noel Fallows, Associate Provost for International Education at the University of Georgia, stated:

It is a great honor for the University of Georgia that Professor Markus Crepaz has been selected as this year’s recipient of The Forum’s Award for Excellence in Education Abroad Curriculum Design. The program in Stellenbosch, South Africa, integrates substantive core classes with a unique after-school program in the Kayamandi Township on the outskirts of Stellenbosch, thereby bridging the gap between theory and praxis, as our students become fully engaged in meaningful and impactful service learning projects. Markus’s work underscores the fact that the faculty-led programs at UGA are underpinned by our firm commitment to curriculum innovation and academic rigor.

The course, which has run for ten years, has strong ties to Stellenbosch University and to local NGO, Vision Afrika, enabling the students to form connections to the local community in an intentional way, with an emphasis on best practices service learning.

The Forum’s Award for Excellence in Curriculum Design honors instructors 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 instructors 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.

The award will be presented at The Forum’s 15th Annual Conference, Broadening the Circle of Education Abroad, in Denver on March 29, 2019, where Professor Crepaz will present a session about the course.

Learn more about the Award»



The Forum on Education Abroad Recognizes Student Academic Achievement Abroad

The Forum on Education Abroad is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2018 Award for Academic Achievement Abroad, an award which recognizes excellence in academic work completed by undergraduate students as part of an education abroad program.

Naomi Caldwell, recipient of the 2018 Award for Academic Achievement Abroad


Student: Naomi Caldwell
Nominating Member: Middlebury College
Program: Middlebury-C.V. Starr School in Argentina
Project: “History and Evolution of Monuments: Buenos Aires”



Jared Belsky and Mackenzie Nelsen, winners of the 2018 Award for Academic Achievement Abroad


Students: Jared Belsky and Mackenzie Nelsen
Nominating Member: The Umbra Institute
Program: Food and Sustainability Studies Program
Project: “Cultivating Activism Through Terroir: An Anthropology of Sustainable Winemakers in Umbria, Italy”



Naomi Caldwell, a student at Swarthmore College, is being honored for her work on the history and evolution of monuments in Buenos Aires, completed at the Middlebury-C.V. Starr School in Argentina. Naomi visited multiple archives and physical sites, and held interviews throughout the city to conduct “an innovative and original study of several lesser-known landmarks, in-use buildings and monuments, and a compelling argument about how urban spaces can themselves serve as historical archives.” Naomi’s mentor, Dr. Lisa Ubelaker of the Universidad de San Andrés wrote that, “Naomi…asked questions that quickly tapped into real issues in the city, …she fully took advantage of her opportunities…, heading far outside the normal geographical terrain of the city’s visitors, and essentially building her own archive of information that will be of real use to her future research, or that of other scholars.”

Upon learning that she’d won this year’s award, Naomi wrote: “[The mentorship I received] was invaluable to my learning abroad as I felt supported and inspired to learn the history of the city through its urban archives. Interacting with so many professionals and students through my work pushed me to be flexible and humble as an outsider recording histories. I am thrilled to see my project recognized [by The Forum] and excited to continue to engage with historical research as a way to understand distinct cultures and societies.”

Mackenzie Nelsen, who studies at UNC-Chapel Hill, and Jared Belsky, a student at Hamilton College, worked together on a project while studying at the The Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy, supervised by Dr. Elisa Ascione. The two shared of their experience: “This project was a chance for us to step outside of our comfort zones and really get to know the people and the place of Umbria. Conducting ethnographies at alternative wineries and speaking to the vignaioli introduced us to the oft-overlooked cultural/political dimensions of terroir and sustainability. Coming off of such a formative study abroad experience at The Umbra Institute, we built upon an ever-accumulating knowledge of food systems by working closely with wine, a central player in Italian food culture. We are truly honored that [The Forum] would recognize us for an experience that has already been so pivotal to our academic and personal development and we are excited to find more opportunities to do similar research.”

All three students will present their work at a plenary session at The Forum’s 15th Annual Conference in Denver, CO on March 29, 2018.

The students’ projects were reviewed by faculty members from Forum member institutions and organizations and winners were selected by the members of the Award for Academic Achievement Abroad Selection Committee, a team of dedicated and experienced education abroad professionals who will also mentor the students as they prepare for their conference plenary.

Learn more about the Award»



The Forum and The New York Times Recognize Innovation in Education Abroad

Professors Jennifer Harrison and Timothy Palmer of Western Michigan University on location in IndiaThe Forum on Education Abroad is pleased to kick off its celebration of International Education Week 2018 by announcing the inaugural winners of the New York Times inEducation Award for Innovation in Education Abroad, an award that recognizes the year’s most original, creative example of how The New York Times news, content, and archives can be used to enhance education abroad learning before, during, or after the education abroad experience.

This year’s winning submission came from Professors Jennifer Harrison and Timothy Palmer of Western Michigan University, who plan to use The New York Times in two ways in their faculty-led education abroad course “Social Justice and Sustainability in India.” First, students will read New York Times content to complement academic publications as research for a course paper they will prepare. Then, students will use the recycled newsprint to create origami baskets to be carried to India to collect materials they will share with one of the recycling microenterprises they’ll visit during their sojourn.

Professors Harrison and Palmer are currently featured on The New York Times’ inEducation website. They will also receive a $500 cash prize which they plan to use to enhance the on-site experience of their students when they travel to India later this semester. Read more about their course on sustainability in India and view all of the interesting ideas submitted for the award in the Education Abroad Digital Resource Center, a Forum member resource.

Read more about their winning submission»



The Forum Announces Melissa Torres as New President/CEO

Headshot of Melissa Torres

The Forum on Education Abroad’s Executive Search Committee and Board of Directors are pleased to announce Melissa Torres as The Forum’s new President and CEO.

According to Enda Carroll, Chair of the Forum Board of Directors: “Melissa brings an impressive breadth of experience and knowledge of the field to The Forum and we are delighted to welcome her to this pivotal role for our organization. I am certain that The Forum can look forward to a new level of inclusive membership and creative programming under Melissa’s leadership and direction.’’

Melissa Torres comes to The Forum with two decades of experience in higher education and program development. She has served as Vice President for Academic Programs at IES Abroad where she supervised 36 international study abroad centers in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Her campus-based experience includes leading a variety of international initiatives for three institutions, including Brown University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and The Ohio State University. She also worked as a change management consultant for Accenture. Most recently, Melissa has worked with a variety of colleges and universities to develop innovative, service-learning programs as Vice President of Institutional Relations at Global Vision International.

Melissa has created numerous education abroad programs focused on language, technology, and business, among other topics. She has chaired multiple committees to review faculty research proposals, developed the nationally recognized Ohio Export Internship Program, and has implemented more than 30 exchange partnerships around the globe. She has successfully competed for U.S. Department of Education grants for the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at Ohio State and Equity Assistance Center funding at Brown. She is the recipient of a Commendation of Appreciation from the U.S. Office of Civil Rights for her work supporting immigrant families and fighting discrimination in public schools via the New England Equity Assistance Center.

Melissa has presented at numerous conferences and seminars, including The Forum, NAFSA, AIEA, and the Global Internship Conference. She served as Chair of The Forum’s Outcomes Assessment and Research committee for three years, is a member of NAFSA’s Work, Internships, Volunteering and Research Abroad (WIVRA) subcommittee and a founding member of the Business International Studies Network (BISNet) Business Colloquium. She is a member of the Board of Directors for Creature Conserve, an outreach organization dedicated to bringing artists and scientists together to foster sustained and informed support for animal conservation. Melissa holds a BA in International Studies from Stonehill College and a Master’s degree in Global Education from The Ohio State University. She considers herself an avid adventurer who loves to learn about new cultures and places, a strong advocate for animal rights, and a collaborative bridge-builder. She speaks Spanish fluently and has studied French, Irish Gaelic and Portuguese.

John Lucas, Forum Board member and Chair of the Executive Search Committee, is confident in this selection: “Melissa’s experience in the field of education abroad is both broad and deep. She brings a keen intellect, proven experience designing and building successful education abroad programs, and an ability to forge institutional relationships across cultures. Melissa’s experience and background speaks exactly to the kinds of experience and creative ideas the Forum membership told us they were looking for in the survey and during the interview process.”

Melissa states: “I am deeply honored to be selected by the Board to be the next President and CEO of The Forum on Education Abroad. I look forward to working with the membership and staff to ignite innovation, expand and diversify member institutions, and advance The Forum’s long and distinguished history of providing quality assurance for education abroad for all students.”

Melissa will officially join The Forum as President and CEO in early January. Please join us in welcoming and congratulating her on this appointment!



Conference Funding Opportunities: Ron Koehn Award & Travel Grants

Now that registration for the 15th Annual Conference is open, it’s time for you to start thinking about funding your conference participation! The Forum is pleased to offer two opportunities that can help defray the costs of attending the Annual Conference in Denver. The deadline to apply for both of these opportunities is November 30. 

Ron Koehn Conference Grant Award for Innovative Education Abroad Programs: This award is given annually to a colleague who has been especially effective in contributing to innovations in education abroad program design. Ron was a pioneer in the development of study abroad programs for community college students, creating ways to combine affordability with quality, and effective curricula with high standards. This award honors his legacy by recognizing colleagues who design education abroad programs that increase opportunities for underrepresented constituencies. Colleagues from Forum Member institutions are invited to apply, particularly those from community colleges, minority-serving institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs).

Conference Travel GrantsAll colleagues who have a financial need and are employed by a Forum member institution/organization are encouraged to apply for a conference travel grant. Selection is based on demonstrated need and anticipated benefit from attending the conference, and in accordance with The Forum’s strategic goals, preference will be given to colleagues from community colleges, minority-serving institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), as well as international colleagues.



Now Accepting Proposals to Host 5th European Conference in 2020

During the 4th European Conference in Prague, The Forum announced that it is now seeking proposals for hosting its 5th European Conference in October 2020. Forum member institutions and organizations are encouraged to submit proposals on how they can meet the requirements listed in the RFP.

Hosting The Forum’s European Conference is an excellent way to showcase your campus or program site, to the 400-500 education abroad colleagues that attend the conference, as well as to the wider education abroad community that follows The Forum’s activities. Benefits of serving as a host include: acknowledgement on The Forum’s website, in the e-newsletter, in all European conference printed material and communications, and on-site at the conference; promotion of the host’s pre- and post-conference events; access to sponsorship selection prior to its opening to the general membership; and five complimentary conference registrations. Past hosts include: University College Dublin (2012), Universitat Pompeu Fabra (2014), College Year in Athens (2016), and NYU Prague (2018).

The deadline to submit proposals is January 13, 2019.

View the RFP»

Read more about The Forum’s most recent European Conference (hosted by NYU Prague)»

European Conference Archive»




Notification of Standards Development

The Forum on Education Abroad is pleased to announce that Standards Update Working Group has been convened with the intent of revising the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad in preparation for a 6th edition.

All interested parties are invited to share their thoughts on revising and updating the Standards with the Working Group through attendance to any of the virtual or in-person meetings listed in the Timeline for Standards Development, or at any time via our online form. The first listening session will be held in person at our 4th European Conference in Prague, Czech Republic on Friday, October 19 at 10:45 a.m. CET.

Learn more»



Frontiers Celebrates Diversity in Peer Review: Peer Review Week 2018

Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad is pleased to take part in Peer Review Week 2018 by recognizing all of the professionals who share their time and expertise to make the peer review process possible. Follow the journal on Twitter all week long to learn more about how Frontiers is supporting Diversity in Peer Review.

»View the list of Frontiers‘ Peer Reviewers
»Follow @FrontiersSA
»Volunteer to serve as a peer reviewer for Frontiers

Dickinson College Renews Recognition for Meeting Standards of Good Practice

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Dickinson College recently completed a successful Quality Improvement Program (QUIP) review to maintain its recognition for being in substantial conformity with the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad. Dickinson College first earned QUIP recognition in 2009.

The Forum’s Quality Improvement Program for Education Abroad is a rigorous process of self-study and peer review that recognizes institutions and organizations for meeting the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad while offering suggestions and recommendations for quality improvement.

Congratulations to Dickinson College!

View the list of all QUIP-recognized organizations

Nominate a Colleague for the Peter. A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award

The Forum’s Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award honors a colleague who has been remarkably effective in influencing institutions of higher learning to understand and support education abroad through the promotion of The Forum’s mission: developing and disseminating comprehensive standards of good practice, resources and training, advocating for education abroad and its values, and engaging the field in critical dialogue. The 2019 award will be presented at the 15th Annual Conference in Denver, CO.

The deadline to nominate a deserving colleague for the 2019 Wollitzer Award is December 14, 2018.


Learn More


New Certified Professional: Carolyn Lutes

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Carolyn Lutes of Academic Programs International (API) successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Carolyn 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 Carolyn!

“The certification process was valuable to me in the middle of my career as a way to take a broader view of my work. In the midst of busy work days, this enriched my daily tasks by helping me to remember both the fundamental principles behind our work and also the bigger picture and connection to the field at large. I look forward to continuing on and maintaining that comprehensive view of my work and our field.” – Carolyn Lutes



API Earns Recognition for Meeting Standards of Good Practice

The Forum is very pleased to announce that the Academic Programs International (API) recently received recognition for being in substantial conformity with the Standards of Good Practice by successfully completing The Forum’s Quality Improvement Program (QUIP).

The Forum’s Quality Improvement Program for Education Abroad is a rigorous process of self-study and peer review that recognizes institutions and organizations for meeting the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad while offering suggestions and recommendations for quality improvement.

Congratulations to API!

View the list of all QUIP-recognized organizations

Presenting the New and Improved Critical Incident Database

Sign up now to access the new and improved Critical Incident Database (CID), which provides a secure, easy-to-use tool for Forum members to track critical incidents that occur while their students are off campus, including those incidents that should be reported in the Annual Security Report as required by the Department of Education in compliance with the Clery Act. Using the CID also helps The Forum track health and safety issues to better inform the field and improve future training and resources. The CID is available to Forum members at no cost. Learn More…

Jan Urban to Deliver Plenary Address at the 4th European Conference

Jan Urban, Plenary speaker for the 4th European ConferenceThe Forum is pleased to announce that Jan Urban will deliver the Plenary Address at the 4th European Conference in Prague. Urban, who has recently worked on several projects in Iraq training journalists and working on building reconciliation measures through the reconstruction of cultural heritage sites, was one of the leading dissidents in Czechoslovakia before 1989. In 1974, he graduated with a degree in history and philosophy from Charles University. From then until 1989, Urban, forbidden by the communists to continue his academic career, worked as a schoolteacher and a manual laborer. He was one of the founders of the Eastern European Information Agency, a dissident network, and helped found the Civic Forum, the movement that led to the eventual overthrow of the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia. He was elected as the Civic Forum’s spokesperson and leader and led it to its victory in the first free democratic elections in June 1990.

Urban resigned from all political positions one day after announcing the electoral defeat of Communism and returned to pursue his career in journalism. He has won two international human rights awards and served as a war correspondent in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1993 through 1996. More recently, he has made two documentary films and is the author of three books, and is currently working on a book of interviews with the founder of the People in Need Foundation, Simon Panek.

Read more about Urban»



Now Available: Forum President and Chief Executive Officer Position Profile

Dear colleagues:

We are happy to provide, as promised, a brief update on the search for the next President and Chief Executive Officer. The search committee has released the final position profile which is now available on The Forum’s website.

The position profile was developed based on input provided through the online survey and conversations with the Board, Council, and follow-up interviews with a broadly representative group of The Forum’s membership. The profile outlines The Forum’s many strengths, lists some of the key opportunities and challenges facing the next President, and captures the experiences and qualities the Board seeks in an ideal candidate. Our search consultants from Storbeck/Pimentel have already begun to share the profile with potential candidates for the position as well as with sources who can suggest names of other talented individuals who may be an excellent match for The Forum.

The committee and its consultants seek to build a strong and diverse pool of candidates. We encourage you to share the position profile with colleagues around the country who may be a good match for this position or who may be able to suggest strong candidates. We also encourage you to send the names of potential candidates directly to our search consultants by email at They will follow up on all suggestions that come from within The Forum’s community.

Thank you for your time and your interest in the search as a community, and for the input and suggestions you have contributed to date. We are excited to be moving on to the next phase of the search and will update you on our progress again soon.


John Lucas, PhD
President and CEO, ISEP
Chair, Executive Search Committee
The Forum on Education Abroad


Read the position profile»



Sponsorships Now Available for 15th Annual Conference in Denver

Sponsorship, exhibit and advertising opportunities are now available to all Forum members for the 15th Annual Conference in Denver, CO. The conference will be held at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, March 27-29, 2019.

Sponsorships are an excellent way to show your support of The Forum’s mission and gain visibility for your organization in the education abroad community. All sponsors and exhibitors will be recognized in conference materials and on the Forum website, providing maximum exposure. The Exhibit Hall will again be open for 3 days, and many of our event sponsorships include a sponsor table for use during the event.

Learn more»



New Certified Professional: Erin French

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Erin French of Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Erin 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 Erin!

“The Forum’s Professional Certification program has enabled me to understand how the Standards of Good Practice work together to increase the quality of education abroad programming. I am implementing the Standards for the programs I develop and coordinate, and this allows me to guide faculty partners, to collaborate with fellow international education staff to develop university-wide policies and procedures, and to demonstrate to students and their families that Iowa State University’s College of Human Sciences is committed to providing quality academic and cultural study abroad experiences. I look forward to further developing as an international educator by publishing and presenting to fulfill the program’s maintenance requirements.” – Erin French



Sara’s Wish Foundation Continues Its Generous Support of The Forum

This year’s $5,000 gift from Sara’s Wish Foundation provides 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 two international universities, one community college, three public universities, and two private universities. 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.



New Certified Professional: Mike Nelson

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Mike Nelson of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Mike 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 Mike!

“The Professional Certification program provided me with a thorough understanding of the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad. Education abroad is complex, and the Standards have helped me develop a more comprehensive approach to student advising and a variety of projects in my office. I’m especially glad that I did the Accelerated Residency workshops to start off the program in close collaboration with several of my colleagues and to meet others in the field who work in different contexts. I highly recommend this program for professional development and for improving your contribution to the rewarding work that we all get to do in this field.” – Mike Nelson



Congratulations to the 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:

  • Keshia Abraham, Director of Strategic Initiatives, CIEE
  • Christina Carroll, Director, Risk and Emergency Management, Florida State University
  • Leo Rowland, Director of Study Abroad, University of Redlands

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

Thank you to Forum members for voting in the recent election. The Forum also thanks the diverse group of highly-qualified colleagues who were nominated this year. We appreciate your commitment to The Forum and the field!



New Certified Professional: Stacy Fischer

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Stacy Fischer of Drew University successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Stacy 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 Stacy!

“The Forum’s Professional Certification program has been as an opportunity to learn about and contribute to the changing landscape of Education Abroad. The role and responsibilities of the Education Abroad Professional have become increasingly complex, calling for expertise in program development, student learning, outcomes assessment, and risk management. Understanding the Standards of Good Practice and how to apply them has given me confidence and a solid foundation from which to tackle those challenges. I am looking forward to continuous professional development through fulfillment of the Certification maintenance requirements.” – Stacy Fischer


Latest Issue of The Forum Focus is Now Available

Forum Focus Cover - May 2018

The Forum Focus is an online publication that provides perspectives on current education abroad topics and issues. The latest issue includes the following short articles:

  • “Intercultural Competence: Literacy for the 21st Century,” by Tracy Rundstrom Williams, Director, Center for International Studies, Texas Christian University
  • “International Education 2020: Do We Need a Bigger Boat, a Different Boat, or Something Else?” by Adam Rubin, International Education Consultant, AWR International
  • “APUAF: Reflecting on 10 Years of Community,” by Loren Ringer, President, APUAF (Association des Programmes Universitaires Américains en France)
  • “A Message from the Forum Board Chair,” by Mary Anne Grant, President Emerita, ISEP

Read the May 2018 issue of The Forum Focus»

The Forum invites colleagues to submit articles for consideration and ideas for future topics for The Forum Focus. The word limit for articles is 1,200 and is strictly enforced. Please send submissions to:



Seeking Beta-Testers for the New & Improved CID

The Forum is now seeking member organizations to beta-test the new Critical Incident Database (CID) through June 30, 2018. By participating your organization will have early access to the CID, providing you with the opportunity to see just what this instrument can do for you. The Forum will seek feedback on your experience using the CID via a survey later this spring. Suggestions made will be considered as the CID undergoes further development. To apply, complete the user application and upload a list of programs that will be tracked.

Learn more»



Proposed Bylaws Change

An online vote to adopt a proposed revision to The Forum on Education Abroad’s bylaws will take place May 4-May 25, 2018. Institutional representatives from all member institutions will receive an email from The Forum on May 4 with a link to vote on the proposed change.

The proposed bylaw change will be discussed at The Forum’s Annual Business Meeting offered online on Tuesday, May 22, at 12 p.m. (EDT). The Business Meeting will also include an update to the membership on the Forum President and CEO search, a report on Forum prorgrams and services, and a report from the Forum Council. Register for the Annual Business Meeting.

View current bylaws

Proposed addition to the bylaws:

Section 8.05.01 Past Chair. The outgoing Chair shall serve for one additional term on the Board in the role of Past Chair.

The purpose of the addition is to provide greater continuity on the Board. The Past Chair position will not replace an open position on the Board; there is no limit on the number of Directors who may serve on the Board.

The addition of the Past Chair position may increase the cost of Board meetings though members in the field are expected to pay their own travel and lodging to attend Board meetings.

For additional information or questions contact

2018 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 will receive an email with voting information. The deadline to vote in the 2018 election is May 19.

Keshia Abraham, Director of Strategic Initiatives, CIEE

Keshia brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with her to the Forum Council. She has been engaged in advocacy and capacity building for increasing diversity in study abroad for decades. A champion of HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and other institutions with demonstrated commitment to supporting students of color, Dr. Abraham has participated in forums, seminars, workshops, lectures, conferences, and community-based programming promoting international educational exchange everywhere. Born in Pittsburgh, PA to African American parents who were passionate educators and community caregivers, Keshia developed a passion for international education early, being the first person in her immediate family to obtain a passport (which was used to participate in a program in Sweden at the age of 12). Following this with a more traditional study abroad program at 16, Keshia began writing and advocating for deeper intercultural knowledge and experience both for other students and for the faculty and K-12 teachers. Upon return from Italy, she founded a student United Nations team at her high school while volunteering with numerous anti-apartheid campaigns at local colleges and universities. Her choice to attend Spelman College was grounded in her expectation of going abroad to study and live in Southern Africa which became her home for many years, even while pursuing her PhD in Comparative Literature with concentrations in African/diasporic literature, women’s studies and popular education at Binghamton University.

In her role as the Director of Strategic Initiatives at CIEE, Keshia is able to draw on her many years holding simultaneous positions as Associate Professor of English, Director of International Education, Chair of Humanities and Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Florida Memorial University, and prior work with other MSI-serving institutions around the world. In particular, her role involves managing CIEE’s partnership with the University of Pennsylvania Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) and the strategic priorities within this partnership which include the Frederick Douglass Global Fellows Program, Project Passport, Project Passport Global Fellows, the Minority Serving Institution International Faculty Development Seminar, and developing special programs with these institutions; while developing and offering workshops, trainings and specialized programs for our global faculty and staff and teaching.

She is honored to be in a position that supports our shared mission of helping people of all backgrounds surpass the barriers of cost, culture and curriculum, to acquire understanding, skills and knowledge of this globally diverse world.

Janet Alperstein, Assistant Vice President for Global Academic Planning, New York University

Janet F. Alperstein joined NYU’s Office of Global Programs in 2011 and serves as the Assistant Vice President overseeing global academic planning.  Prior to that she was the Director of the Office of Academic Affairs at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem for five years and the first full-time Dean for Study Abroad at Barnard College for six years before that. While working at Barnard College, Janet completed her PhD from Columbia University in Sociology and Education. In addition, she has annually taught a graduate class on gender and inequality and the role of schools since 2000, at Teachers College until 2011 and at NYU’s Steinhardt School from 2013 to present.

Throughout her career she has focused on helping develop study abroad opportunities for students who have had limited options. At Hebrew University, Dr. Alperstein developed innovative study abroad programs for instrumental music and dance majors at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. More than ten years later, these opportunities continue to provide students in these vertical majors an option to study away. Over the last few years in partnership with senior faculty in each of the disciplines at NYU, she has developed and implemented study abroad opportunities for students in Instrumental Music Performance, Recorded Music, Drama, Film and Television, Biology, Physics, and Computer Science. In the pipeline to launch in Spring 2019 are study abroad opportunities for Math, Chemistry and Engineering (pre-major declaration). Similar to Hebrew University, these study abroad opportunities are for students in majors which have often been underrepresented in study abroad. Since working at Barnard College, Dr. Alperstein has advocated for students with high need to be able to take advantage of all study abroad has to offer.

Advocating with students, faculty, families, faculty and administrative offices such as Career Development, Multicultural/Diversity and Financial Aid about the value of study abroad and addressing challenges to participation are an area that Dr. Alperstein hopes to work with through the Forum’s Council, committee and membership. Her involvement with The Forum on Education Abroad includes serving on the Boston and Prague Conference Committees.

Christina Carroll, Director, Risk and Emergency Management, Florida State University

In Christina’s seventeen-year tenure at Florida State University International Programs, she has worn many hats (like most of us in the field): immigration officer, U.S. ambassador, spokesperson, travel agent, tour guide, guidance counselor, financial advisor, and on more than a couple of occasions, a miracle worker.

In her latest incarnation, she serves as the Director of Risk and Emergency Management. In this role, she is in charge of codifying, evaluating and implementing relevant university standards, ethics and policies for all risk and emergency management issues related to FSU study abroad programs, as well as the application of the Standards of Good Practice established by The Forum on Education Abroad. This position has opened up yet another fascinating facet of her work, just when she thought she had experienced them all.

Among her more noteworthy accomplishments, to date: she has developed two courses for FSU that focus on global engagement through active participation in the study abroad location. Christina believes study abroad should be viewed as an essential part of higher education and that Florida State University is leading the charge on this front by including it in their liberal studies curriculum as a “formative experience.”

Previous to her current position, Christina has served in many capacities. She was the Assistant Director of Program Management that oversees the coordination of FSU’s study abroad programs, which combined, sends over 2,000 students abroad annually. She has worked as the Manager of College for High School and Faculty Services, for which she designed, implemented and marketed study abroad programs aimed at high school students for college credit. She also became FSU’s first immigration specialist, developing protocols and managing all immigration processes for students and faculty on their international programs. Christina also served as FSU’s first international internship coordinator, responsible for establishing and implementing FSU’s internship program.

Christina has actively participated with The Forum for many years and currently serves as the Chair of the Advocacy Committee and the Working Group for Strategic Communication for Health and Safety. Christina also served on the Conference Selection Committee for the 14th Annual Conference in Boston this year.

Christina is proud of the work she has accomplished these past three years on the Council and is seeking re-election to contribute far more going forward. Her background in program development and student affairs, combined with her current work in risk and emergency management will allow her to continue to contribute varying perspectives of membership interests. Christina is eager to continue to foster an increasing collaboration among her education abroad colleagues and hopes you will consider her for re-election.

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

Jonathan (Yoni) 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. The Rothberg School hosts over 2,200 international students annually and offers undergraduate and graduate studies in a variety of formats. As the school’s chief administrative officer, Yoni has been involved in program development, outreach, public relations, finances, and emergency management. He has also worked closely with American universities in these areas. Kaplan has brought together leading academic institutions in Jerusalem to offer joint programs in the performing and plastic arts. He has also guided the school toward increased activity within The Forum, providing sponsorship for its activities, presenting in multiple conferences and serving as a member of the 2017 conference committee. A historian by training, Yoni specializes in 20th century Jewish history and has written on the Holocaust and Jewish nationalism.

Yoni has been a major supporter of programs encouraging diversity and minority populations to study abroad. In this regard he has succeeded in raising considerable funds for diversity scholarships. During the past month he visited a number of HBCUs and MSIs in an attempt to encourage students to take advantage of these opportunities and to develop joint programs that would enable additional universities to send students to the Middle East. To this end he has also taken an active role in Diversity Abroad as a member of the 2018 conference committee.

Kaplan has been responsible for numerous collaborations with organizations and universities throughout the United States. Colleagues from prominent American universities have counseled Israeli staff in areas such as Title IX, security, student life and diversity issues. Some 30 faculty-led programs have been tailored to the needs of American institutions. Joint programs have been run with dozens of universities. Through these projects, Yoni has been in close contact with university leaders from around the country.

As the senior administrator of international programs at a prominent university abroad, Yoni is thoroughly familiar with both sides of the education abroad divide: the workings and concerns of American universities as well as the issues and challenges faced by host institutions overseas. From this vantage point, he is ideally positioned to understand changing university strategies and trends while at the same time paying attention to the minute details that make an international study experience safe and successful.

Yoni 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, and could 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? A third issue of major concern today is safety and security, and Kaplan’s experience in the planning and operation of programs in conflicted areas could be of benefit to The Forum. For these reasons Yoni would be most interested in joining the Standards Committee.

Jonathan 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.

Leo Rowland, Director of Study Abroad, University of Redlands

Leo Rowland has been involved with higher education in a variety of capacities for 15 years in the United States, Seoul, South Korea, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Close to a decade of this time was in Buenos Aires where he held faculty and administrative positions at distinct organizations including a public university (Universidad Nacional de San Martin/Lincoln University College), a U.S. educational organization (IES Abroad) and a large language school with university programs (Expanish). He also lectured at various institutions while in Argentina such as Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Industrial and Pepperdine University, Buenos Aires. In the U.S. he has taught at the State Center Community College District (CA) and at the University of Redlands where he is currently the Director of Study Abroad. Other professional experience includes work as a journalist, translator, and editor/abridger for major publishing houses.

In the arc of his experience in the U.S. and overseas, his involvement with international education has ranged from high level strategic planning, overseas program development and management, and joint-degree program creation to engagement with students through teaching a range of writing and cultural studies related courses as well as through the full cycle of student advisement and support.

Since moving to the U.S. three years ago, he has taken advantage of being stateside with corresponding opportunities to contribute to and learn from the field. He has served on The Forum’s Curriculum Toolbox Working Group and Advocacy Committee and is currently a member of the Academic Working Group of the Overseas Advisory Council (OSAC) and OSAC’s Austria Country council. As a current member of the IES Academic Council he recently chaired the assessment of an IES study center. He has also served as a panelist for the Benjamin Gilman and Boren Scholarship Programs administered by IIE. At Redlands he is a member of the Latin American Studies Program Faculty and the university President’s chartered Committee on Comprehensive Internationalization and will be leading his first overseas course for the university in Italy this summer. He will also spend the fall semester guiding a self-study for a QUIP review.

Leo is eager to contribute to the work of The Forum through joining the Forum Council. He believes his background in teaching and administration at both U.S. and international institutions on three continents along with his strengths in strategic thinking will prove valuable to the activity of the Forum Council.


New Certified Professional: Karl Dowling

The Forum is very pleased to announce that Karl Dowling of Foundation for International Education successfully completed The Forum’s Professional Certification in Education Abroad Program. Karl 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 Karl!

“The primary function of enrolling in the program was to become a more well-rounded international educator. In our field it is vital to keep your finger on the pulse of innovation, best practice and peer support, which is exactly what the professional certification offers. Going through the program has further opened my eyes to challenges my colleagues, students and partners can face and has infused my work with a greater level of expertise, understanding and empathy.” – Karl Dowling



Council Review Task Force Proposal Available for Review

The Council Review Task Force, comprised of Forum Council, Board, and staff representatives, is proposing changes to the efficiency and structure of The Forum’s Council, committees, and working groups in order to support the implementation of The Forum’s recently released strategic plan and continued growth. Forum members are invited to review the proposal and share their feedback by April 30th.


Review the Proposal


Forum Board Appoints Jon V.C. Booth as The Forum’s Interim Executive Director

Jon BoothThe Forum Board of Directors announces the appointment of Jon V.C. Booth as The Forum’s Interim Executive Director. Jon is well known in international education and study abroad with more than 40 years’ experience in the field.  He served as Executive Director of SU Abroad at Syracuse University, Director of the International Study and Travel Center at the University of Minnesota, and in advising positions at the University of Michigan and the Experiment in International Living/School for International Training. Jon also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in India. Jon has held numerous leadership positions at NAFSA, including Vice President and National Conference Chair, and Chair of SECUSSA, and was awarded Life Membership in 2012. Jon was a Founding member of the Forum Board, Chair of the Standards Committee, member of the team that developed The Forum’s Professional Certification Program, and received the Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award in 2012. Jon was interviewed and featured in season 1 episode 5 of the Forum Storytellers podcast, in which he describes what motivated his work and shares his favorite memories from his career in education abroad.

The term of the Interim Executive Director will be approximately six months as the Board conducts a search for a new chief executive. Further information on the process will be provided to the membership as the search proceeds.



New Report on Student Mortality Abroad Released at 14th Annual Conference

Education abroad professionals need to know as much as they can about critical incidents and deaths occurring abroad so that they can make informed decisions about what they can do to try to keep students safe. The Forum’s latest data reporting efforts contribute to that goal.

“Comparing U.S. College Student Mortality Rates in the U.S. with Mortality Rates while Abroad” was released last week at The Forum’s Annual Conference in Boston. The report analyzes insurance claims data from two major insurance companies in the field, insuring over one million education abroad participants over seven calendar years, to determine an approximate mortality rate for U.S. students participating in education abroad and compare that with domestic mortality rates. The results suggest that students are no more likely to die while participating in education abroad than they are while studying on their domestic campuses. Additional information about geographical region and cause of death is also provided in the study.

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The Forum Board Welcomes Three New Members

The Forum Board of Directors voted unanimously to welcome three new Board members to begin their service on July 1. Vice Chair and incoming Chair Enda Carroll commented: ”We are really looking forward to working with Martha, Evie and Dawn on the Board of Directors to further the mission of The Forum as the collective voice for the field of education abroad.”

Dr. Martha Johnson is the Assistant Dean for Learning Abroad at the University of Minnesota. She has worked in international education since 1991 for organizations and institutions in the U.S., Ireland, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Her experience includes on-site program management, program development and marketing, management of a large university education abroad office, and teaching of short-term programs. She holds a Ph.D. in American Studies with an emphasis in drama and the performance of gender, race, and cultural identity from the University of East Anglia (UK). She has presented at numerous international conferences and has authored articles and chapters for publications including Frontiers and Text and Performance. She has served in leadership positions for NAFSA, the Global Leadership League, The Forum on Education Abroad, and the Fund for Education Abroad.

Eveadean Morrison Myers, J.D. currently serves as Special Advisor to the President for International Programs at Prairie View A&M University. As the Senior International Officer at Prairie View A&M University, Myers coordinates university-wide internationalization strategy and efforts and has been instrumental in raising the profile of PVAMU as a globally identified Historically Black Land-Grant Institution. She is the recipient of a Fulbright International Education Administrators Program award, and participated in the Fulbright U.S.-Japan 2013 program, where she had the opportunity to meet with educational leaders and visit universities across Japan. She previously served as the Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Global Outreach at North Dakota State University for seven years. Myers served as a member of the President’s Cabinet and was NDSU’s first executive director and chief diversity officer. Myers’ career expands more than two decades in administrative positions both in public higher education and corporate America. Myers earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from Iowa State University and her Juris Doctorate degree at the University of Iowa, College of Law. Myers was recently appointed to the Study Texas Board for 2018-2019 where she will serve as the President-Elect. Currently, Myers serves NAFSA as the Region III Diversity & MSI Liaison, and as a Mentor for the Diversity Impact Program. Myers also serves on the Diversity Abroad Advisory Board and the ACE, American Council on Education’s Women’s Network Executive Council. Myers is a former co-chair for the NAFSA MIG Blacks and Multicultural Professionals in International Education, BMcPie and National Board Member of the National Association for Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE). She previously served as a Board Member for the American Association for Affirmative Action and national membership chair.

Dr. Dawn Michele Whitehead is the Senior Director for Global Learning and Curricular Change at the Association of American Colleges and Universities. At AAC&U, Whitehead’s work focuses on advancing practices, strategies, and projects for integrative global learning and curricular change across the undergraduate curriculum. In her work, she has advanced thematic local and global curricular and co-curricular experiences to provide students with global learning opportunities throughout their undergraduate education to prepare them for life, work, and citizenship. She has also worked on projects that integrate high-impact practices across general education and the majors and curricular change initiatives to provide students with consistent, high-quality educational experiences. The concept of inclusive excellence, ensuring that all students have access to high-quality global learning experiences, guides her work. She has presented nationally and internationally on civic engagement, curricular change, inclusive global learning, liberal education, and strategic planning for global learning initiatives. Prior to her work at AAC&U, she served as a faculty director for global service learning programs in Costa Rica, Ghana, Kenya, and the Kingdom of Swaziland, facilitated institutional partnership activities and educational opportunities in Indonesia, Mexico, and Thailand, taught Global and International Studies courses—including the use of international interactive videoconferencing—and supported development of internationalized curriculum and global service learning campus-wide. Whitehead earned her Ph.D. at Indiana University Bloomington (IUB) in Education Policy Studies with a doctoral minor in International and Comparative Education and a concentration in African Studies and her master’s degree in International and Comparative Education at IUB.



Brian Whalen to Depart from Forum President & CEO Post After 12 Years of Outstanding Service

The Forum on Education Abroad Board of Directors announces that Brian Whalen will be stepping down on April 30, 2018, after a successful 12-year career serving as The Forum’s President and CEO, and will continue to serve as Senior Advisor to assist with the transition to a new President and CEO. Whalen commented: “With the implementation of the new strategic plan actively underway, The Forum is in excellent shape and is thriving. This is the right time for me to help with the transition to a new President and CEO who will lead The Forum into the future, as I embrace new opportunities myself.”

The Chair of The Forum Board of Directors Mary Anne Grant commented, “Brian Whalen has been instrumental in The Forum’s growth and development from a fledgling non-profit to the vibrant membership association that it is today. Brian’s commitment and contributions to The Forum will be a lasting legacy for the field.”

During Brian’s 12 years at the helm, The Forum has had rapid and sustained growth in all areas of the organization. With the leadership and guidance of highly dedicated Boards and Councils, Brian has helped to lead the transformation of The Forum from a young organization to a global membership association, with 208 members in 2006 to more than 800 today. In 2006, Brian led the establishment of a strategic relationship with Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, set up central office operations on campus, and hired a professional staff that has grown from one to nine full-time employees. Attendance at the annual conference has gone from 212 to 1,400+, while a bi-annual European conference attracts over 400 attendees. During his tenure as President and CEO, Brian directed the development of a wide range of signature resources to support Forum members, including the Quality Improvement Program, the Professional Certification Program, regional and customized workshops, Standards Institutes, Critical Dialogues and webinars, and a variety of print and online resources. Under Brian’s leadership, The Forum’s financial reserves have increased from less than $1,000 to over $1.8 million.

Brian’s association with The Forum began in 2002 when he met with the Board of Directors in his role as founding editor and publisher of Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, the field’s first peer-reviewed academic journal. The result was a strategic partnership that resulted in every Forum member receiving a complimentary subscription to Frontiers. In 2015, The Forum became Frontiers permanent home.

In 2002, Brian was elected to the first Forum Advisory Council, chaired its Outcomes Committee, and assumed the duties of chair when then chair Peter Wollitzer became too ill to serve. Brian also served in 2005 as chair of the Second Annual Forum Conference in Miami. In 2005, The Forum Board asked Dickinson College to serve as host and strategic partner of The Forum and for Brian to be released half-time from his College positions to serve as The Forum’s President and CEO. In 2010, Brian resigned his positions at Dickinson to devote his full time to The Forum’s presidency.

In 2007, Brian steered The Forum through the scrutiny of the field initiated by a front-page story in The New York Times questioning business arrangements in study abroad, and the subsequent issuing of subpoenas by the New York and Connecticut Attorneys General. Brian led The Forum’s immediate, proactive response by convening an Ethics Summit that led to the creation of a Code of Ethics. He responded to the widespread media attention, and, as the sole representative of the field, personally met with the New York and Connecticut Attorneys General offices to advocate for the ways in which the field takes seriously ethics and the Standards of Good Practice.

A hallmark of Brian’s leadership has been the establishment of mutually beneficial partnerships to advance The Forum’s mission. Examples include a partnership with The New York Times to develop a Digital Resource, a joint initiative with the Institute of International Education (IIE) to train EducationUSA and Fulbright advisors in Brazil, India, and Turkey in the Standards of Good Practice, and a collaboration with AIFS and the AIFS Foundation to establish a special permanent collection of education abroad historical materials in the archives of the Dickinson College library.

Brian worked closely with Forum colleagues to pilot the first Standards workshops in many venues in the United States, and in Australia, Egypt, India, England and Spain. In addition, Brian launched a task force to study the idea of offering a professional certification program as envisioned by the Forum founders. As The Forum grew, Brian hired outstanding staff to develop and deliver member programs and services and expanded capacity by winning two grants from the American Council of Learned Societies and the Mellon Foundation to fund recent Ph.D.s at the central office at a critical time of expansion.

During his tenure, Brian has represented The Forum at increasingly higher levels of national and international engagement, most notably in joining Secretary of State John Kerry’s delegation to the U.S. – India Higher Education Summit in New Delhi. Other activities include participation in the White House Travel Blogger and Global Citizenship Summit and interactions with regional and disciplinary accreditation entities to promote The Forum’s quality assurance role in higher education.

Brian summed up his service to The Forum this way: “My tenure as Forum President and CEO has been an amazing, wonderful experience. Working with so many talented and diverse colleagues over the years has been what I have enjoyed most. Our field has dedicated, smart, creative and interesting professionals with whom it is a genuine pleasure to work, and collaborating with them to serve our membership has been both a privilege and an honor.”

Vice Chair and incoming Chair of the Board Enda Carroll commented, “We are very fortunate that Brian has agreed to remain as a Senior Advisor to assist with the transition to a new President and CEO.”