Advocacy Alerts


April 26, 2017

Forum members in the U.S. are urged to support Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and John Boozman (R-AR) in their promotion of a bipartisan resolution that recognizes and encourages international education and cultural exchange programs.

The resolution provides an opportunity to demonstrate the broad bipartisan support of both federally- and privately-funded exchange programs.  It is important to ensure that every Senator is aware of the resolution and to urge as many Senators as possible from both parties to support the resolution as co-sponsors.  Given the steep cuts to the International Affairs budget and international education programs proposed by the Trump administration, this resolution comes at a critical time.

The Alliance for International Exchange, of which The Forum is a member, has organized a letter-writing campaign that makes it very easy to write to your U.S. Senators to ask for their support of the resolution.

»Send a letter through the Alliance’s web form


April 6, 2017

Support for the U.S. Department of Education’s International Education and Foreign Language Studies Programs

As a member of the Coalition for International Education, The Forum signed a letter urging Congress to preserve and strengthen the U.S. Department of Education’s International Education and Foreign Language Studies Programs, and to reject the proposal to reduce or eliminate funding to HEA-Title VI and Fulbright-Hays.

»Read the letter


June 27, 2016

Forum Urges No Cut to Fulbright-Hays Funding

The Forum, along with a number of other higher education associations, has written to the leadership, members and staff of the House Appropriations Committee and Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Education and related agencies concerning the Senate Appropriations Committee’s FY 2017 cut to Fulbright-Hays funding. The letter was sent on June 27 under the auspices of the Coalition for International Education.

The letter urges the House Appropriations Committee to provide at least FY 2016 funding levels for Title VI and Fulbright-Hays in their Labor/HHS/Education FY 2017 bill.

»Read the letter


November 12, 2015

Support for Title VI and Fulbright Hays

The Forum joined other members of the Coalition for International Education in signing letters to the House and Senate appropriations committees, urging them to adopt the House provision that would continue the fiscal year 2015 Title VI-Fulbright Hays funding levels into fiscal year 2016.

»Read the letter to the House

»Read the letter to the Senate


November 2, 2015

Proposed Amendments to Higher Education Act – Title I

The Forum signed letters to the House and Senate in support of amendments proposed by the Association of American International Colleges and Universities (AAICU) to the Higher Education Act–Title I, Sections 101 and 102. AAICU has proposed that the definition of an “institution of higher education” be modified in order to include American colleges and universities abroad that are fully accredited and licensed in the United States, and meet all other requirements for eligibility under the HEA.

»Read the letter to the House

»Read the letter to the Senate


October 16, 2015

Coalition for International Education Higher Education Act – Title VI Reauthorization Proposals

The Forum signed letters to the House and Senate in support of the Coalition for International Education’s Title VI Reauthorization Proposals. The Coalition is recommending a focus on the international and foreign language educational challenges facing the nation, and continuation and improvement of Title VI programs with the bipartisan support they have enjoyed over the decades.

»Read the letter and proposal sent to the House

»Read the letter and proposal sent to the Senate


July 21, 2015

Support for International Education and Foreign Language Studies

The Forum joined other members of the Coalition for International Education in signing letters to the House and Senate to express deep concern for the proposed 35% reduction in Higher Education Act—Title VI and Fulbright-Hays 102(b)(6) funding. If adopted, this reduction would mean an aggregate loss of 63% over the past five years.

»Read the letter to the House

»Read the letter to the Senate


April 29. 2015

Support for Title VI and Fulbright Hays

This week The Forum joined other members of the Coalition for International Education in signing letters to the House and Senate Appropriations Committee Leadership, and Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittees, arguing for strengthening support to these vital programs. The Coalition’s letters recommended that additional funding be devoted to increasing opportunities for education abroad, as well as regional/global, foreign language, and international business studies and research.

»Read the letter to the House

»Read the letter to the Senate


November 24, 2014

New Resource on Clery and Title IX Procedure from the SUNY Office of the General Counsel

»Read about SUNY’s Clery and Title IX Procedure


October 30, 2014

Forum Joins Amicus Brief in Education Abroad Case

The Forum, along with 28 education associations and organizations, has submitted an amicus brief that asks a federal appeals court to reverse a U.S. court’s $41 million decision against the Hotchkiss School. The case could result in the imposition of a liability standard that places an unreasonable  burden on education abroad programs to foresee, warn about, and guard against remote or unknowable risks.

»Read the brief


October 30, 2014

Forum Task Force to Study Proposals to Regulate Education Abroad

The Forum has formed a task force to study two recent proposals calling for the U.S. government to regulate aspects of education abroad programs.  The task force includes Forum Board member Paul McVeigh, Council members Lorna Stern and Nick Gozik, and Forum staff. The task force will analyze the proposals to assess their strengths and weaknesses, and to develop recommendations.

The first proposal is a bill that was introduced in the last Congress by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY).   The proposed Ravi Thackurdeen Safe Students Study Abroad Act (H.R. 5485) seeks “To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to require additional reporting on crime and harm that occurs during student participation in programs of study abroad, and for other purposes.” This proposed federal legislation may be read and commented upon here: https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/113/hr5485/report#nation

The second proposal is a letter from Senators Gillibrand (D-NY), Franken (D-MN) and Casey (D-PA) to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.  The letter recommends that the Department of Education take action to “better inform students and their families about safety concerns when studying abroad.”

»Read the letter

The Forum is working with the Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange to continue to monitor these proposals.  The Forum will report the results of work of the task force and keep member institutions informed of any further developments.


October 15, 2014

Minnesota Legislation

On May 20, 2014, a law was passed by the State of Minnesota that seeks greater transparency about the health and safety records of credit-bearing education abroad programs in which degree-seeking students enrolled at Minnesota universities and colleges participate. The Forum has collaborated with colleagues from the Minnesota Study Abroad Professionals (MSAP) to produce a statement describing the implications of the legislation.

»Read The Forum’s statement on the implications of the legislation


August 7, 2014

Analysis of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act

Through its collaboration with the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), The Forum is pleased to make available a resource that offers analysis of the proposed Campus Accountability and Safety Act. Very recently, Senators McCaskill (D-MO), Gillibrand (D-NY), Heller (R-NV), Blumenthal (D-CT), Grassley (R-IA), Ayotte (R-NH), Warner (D-VA) and Rubio (R-FL) introduced bipartisan legislation to address the issue of sexual violence on campus. This bill is not yet law; if it passes, it likely will undergo some significant changes.  Still, its introduction is important, and this resource offers a prompt review and analysis of the bill.

»Read the Analysis of the 2014 Campus Accountability and Safety Act


July 24, 2014

Guidance on the Violence Against Women Act

The amendments to the Violence Against Women Act make changes to Clery Act compliance. Some of these changes are minor (adding gender identity and national origin to hate crime reporting or ensuring victims are never identified in Timely Warnings) while others are complex (the myriad training, programming and campaign requirements). Compliance with these laws requires an institution-wide effort and support from college leadership.

Through its collaboration with the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), The Forum is pleased to make available a resource that offers assistance for institutions seeking to prepare for the changes required by the 2013 amendments to the Violence Against Women Act and its regulations. While this guidance is meant to be used by State University of New York (SUNY) institutions, it may serve other institutions as well. Non-SUNY readers are encouraged to consult with their college legal counsels as the contents of this guidance do not constitute legal advice.

»Policy and Programming Changes Pursuant to the Campus SaVE Provisions of the Violence Against Women Act


March 13, 2014

The Forum Assists Minnesota Study Abroad Professionals

At the invitation of an ad hoc working group of the Minnesota Study Abroad Professionals (MSAP), Forum President and CEO Brian Whalen traveled to Saint Paul to join several Minnesota education abroad colleagues to meet with State legislators drafting a bill related to education abroad. The State Senators intend to introduce legislation that would require Minnesota colleges and universities to provide reports on incidents related to student health and safety abroad. According to Whalen, “It was important for The Forum to be present at the meeting to help to explain the Standards of Good Practice, provide input on the draft legislation, and support the goals of our Minnesota institutional members.” Whalen added that “The Forum will continue to work closely to support its Minnesota institutional members so that any legislation that is enacted is both reasonable and consistent with the goals of our members.”

Jodi Malmgren, co-chair of the MSAP working group, commented: “We are so appreciative that Brian was able to join our meeting with the State legislators. As the Standards setting organization for the field of education abroad, The Forum lends weight to our communication about the health and safety standards in our field. The legislators were responsive to Brian’s explanation of Standard 8 and to his offer to share the Forum Critical Incident Database as part of the reporting on health and safety incidents proposed in the legislation.” Ann Hubbard of AIFS Study Abroad serves as the other co-chair of this working group; also present at the State Capitol were representatives from the Minnesota State College and University system, the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Private College Council.

If any Forum members would like to discuss the draft legislation or its potential impact, contact Brian Whalen at whalenb@dickinson.edu or 717-245-1445.


August 2, 2013

Higher Education Act Title VI-International Education Reauthorization Statement

The Forum joined other members of the Coalition for International Education in signing a Title VI Reauthorization Statement which was sent to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce on August 2, 2013, in response to the Committee’s invitation to submit suggestions. The statement outlines the historical importance of Title VI, why international and foreign language education are critical to national interest, makes recommendations for the reauthorization, and provides the rationale behind each recommendation.  Forum members may read the statement here.


July 1, 2013

Proposed Federal Funding Cuts: Title VI and Fulbright-Hays

The Forum joined other members of the Coalition for International Education in signing joint letters to the House and Senate concerning the proposed 44% cut to Title VI and Fulbright-Hayes Programs for FY 2014. The Coalition is urging Congress to begin restoring Title VI and Fulbright-Hays by providing robust funding in FY 2014.


June 25, 2013

Report on Attending the U.S.-India Higher Education Dialogue

Forum President and CEO Brian Whalen was invited to represent Forum membership at the U.S.-India Higher Education Dialogue in New Delhi, India on June 25, 2013. The purpose of the meeting focused on three main topics: 1) Enhancing Opportunities for Student/Scholar Mobility and Collaboration; 2) Community Colleges; 3) Technology and Enabled Learning.

»Read Brian Whalen’s full report


April 15, 2013

Congressional Support for International Education and Foreign Language Studies

The Forum encourages its members to contact their congressmen in support of restoring funding for the U.S. Department of Education’s International Education and Foreign Language Studies programs. Please urge House Members to submit their requests for funding in the Labor/HHS/Education appropriations bill for FY 2014 to Subcommittee Chairman Jack Kingston (R-GA) by April 22.

Please urge Senators to submit their requests for funding in the Labor/HHS/Education appropriations bill for FY 2014 to Subcommittee Chairman Tom Harkin (I-IA) by April 26.

Suggested Message to Congressmen:
“Please support the Department of Education’s FY 2014 budget proposal for HEA-Title VI and Fulbright-Hays: ‘International Education and Foreign Language Studies’ of $80.938 million in your request to the House (or Senate) Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations this year.  These programs have sustained a disproportionate 44% reduction since FY 2011.  A gradual restoration of funding in FY 2014 is critical because the nation’s premier Title VI language, area, and international business national resource centers and fellowships will compete for the next cycle of 4-year grants.  Additional funding will help safeguard the infrastructure that serves as the cornerstone of our nation’s international knowledge and expertise, important to our national security and economic competitiveness, as well as increasing the global competencies of all students.”


March 14, 2013

2013 Violence Against Women Act and Changes to the Clery Act and Title IX Compliance

NACUA has provided an analysis of the Violence Against Women Act and changes to the Clery Act and Title IX compliance, which discusses the law and its impact on colleges and universities, and catalogs and analyzes each relevant change in the legislation. Forum member institutions may access this resource by visiting the Standards Toolbox.


February 8, 2013

Defining the Credit Hour for Title IV Federal Financial Aid Purposes

The Forum has a new resource available to its members explaining how the 2012-12 Federal Student Aid Handbook defines the credit hour, and how this new definition might potentially affect the awarding of federal aid to students participating in education abroad programs. The document also offers guidance on how to address concerns, should questions about study abroad credit be directed to your office. Forum member institutions may access these resources by visiting the Standards Toolbox.


January 30, 2013

Federal Disability Laws and Study Abroad

The Forum has a new resource available to its members that offers guidance on applying U.S. federal disability laws to study abroad programs. Through its cooperation with the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), the Forum has placed the following NACUANOTE in the Standards Toolbox: “Federal Disability Laws: Do They Translate To Study Abroad Programs?” The Note addresses the current state of federal disability discrimination law with respect to college and university study abroad programs, suggests best practices, and provides additional resources. In addition, there are several other examples of best practices from Forum member institutions in the Toolbox. Forum member institutions may access these resources by visiting the Standards Toolbox.


October 4, 2012

Using Title IV Federal Financial Aid for Study Abroad

In response to member requests, the Forum has developed a new resource that provides clear information regarding the use of Title IV Federal Financial Aid for study abroad, including results of a small survey of colleges, universities and education abroad program providers. The resource includes a review of the Title IV regulations, common interpretations of the regulation and how institutions and organizations act on these interpretations, and guidance and advice. To access this important resource, visit the Standards Toolbox.


March 8, 2012

Clarifying Clery: Important Resource Now Available to Forum Members

Through an active and productive collaboration with NACUA (The National Association of College and University Attorneys) Forum members now have access to the most recent NACUA Note on Clery Act implications for our field. This NACUA Note, “The Clery Act and Overseas/Distance Study: New Developments and Compliance Guidance,” was written by Joseph Storch, co-facilitator of The Forum/NACUA workshop, Implications of the New Clery Handbook – What Does it Mean for Education Abroad? This important resource provides Forum members with significant assistance in launching a discussion within their organizations regarding the implications for education abroad of the new Clery Handbook. This latest NACUA Note can be found in the Standards Toolbox.


January 18, 2012

Using Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits for Study Abroad

In response to requests from members, The Forum has researched the use of the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for study abroad. Read The Forum’s “Guidelines for the Implementation of the Post-9/11 GI Bill in Study Abroad.”


January 18, 2012

Update: The Impact of the New U.S. Federal Financial Aid Regulations on Study Abroad

The Forum has researched the new U.S. Financial Aid Regulations and their potential impact, and has issued a memo to assist Forum members who are impacted by the new regulations or may simply want to learn more about the issue. Recently, The Forum conducted a survey of members that are education abroad program providers or Australian universities to learn more about the impact of and responses to the new regulations. The results of the survey may be found in the Standards Toolbox.


January 18, 2012

Update: Cuba

The Forum has been working with a number of its members that have applied for licenses to develop and implement academic programming in Cuba. Unfortunately, as many as 10 or more education abroad program provider organizations have applied for licenses to develop programs in Cuba, but have heard little or nothing about their applications. Some organizations applied almost as long as one year ago. The Forum has been in contact with officials at the Departments of State and treasury to advocate on behalf of its members that have applied for licenses. Read the latest communication from The Forum in the Standards Toolbox.


October 4, 2011

New U.S. Federal Financial Aid Regulations Impact Study Abroad

Changes to the U.S. Financial Aid Regulations have had an impact on some study abroad programs and students, particularly in Australia and New Zealand. The Forum has researched the new regulations and their potential impact, and has issued a memo to assist Forum members who are impacted by the new regulations or may simply want to learn more about the issue. Forum institutional members may access the memo in The Forum’s Standards Toolbox.


September 8, 2011

Forum Successfully Aids Advocates for Changes to Spanish Student Visa Requirements

Mr. Oscar Berdugo, President of EDUESPANA, has informed The Forum that Spanish Consulates in the U.S. will no longer require an FBI background check as part of the process for students to obtain visas for study in Spain. According to sources at the Embassy of Spain, state-issued certificates will also fulfill the student visa requirement.

The Forum has supported the efforts of EDUESPANA to advocate for a change to the requirement of an FBI background check.  Cristina Grasset, Director of Spain Education Programs (SEP), thanked “all who have contributed to this policy change, especially Dr. Stevan Trooboff, former President and CEO of CIEE, and Dr. Brian Whalen, President and CEO of [The Forum on Education Abroad], for their support of our Spain-based efforts, as well as APUNE, the staff at the US Embassy in Madrid, and Mr. Santiago Cabanas of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Our sincere appreciation to all stateside organizations, individuals, and staff at the Embassy of Spain, who have devoted their time and effort to advocate for this change.”

The updated regulations have not yet been posted on the Spanish Consulates’ web sites, and it will likely take some time for changes to be implemented. The Forum will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates when information becomes available.


July 2011

Expanding U.S. Study Abroad to India: A Guide for Institutions

With the help of Forum President and CEO Brian Whalen and staff at the U.S.-India Educational Foundation and EducationUSA, the Institute for International Education (IIE) prepared this guide for institutions on ways of developing partnerships in India and increasing education abroad participation to the region among American students.


July 2011

Expanding U.S. Study Abroad to Brazil: A Guide for Institutions

With the help of Forum President and CEO Brian Whalen and others, the Institute for International Education (IIE) prepared this guide for institutions on ways of developing partnerships in Brazil and increasing education abroad participation to the region among American students.


May 13, 2011

Advocacy Update: Proposed Federal Funding Cuts

The Forum has signed additional letters with the Coalition of International Education organizations in support of continued FY 2012 funding for the U.S. Department of Education’s international education and foreign language studies programs.  Letters have been sent to the House and Senate Appropriations Committee leadership and the Labor/HHS/ED Subcommittees.

How can you help to restore funding to these important programs?

Please urge House Members to make a submission to House Labor/HHS/ED Subcommittee Chairman Denny Rehberg (R-MT) requesting the following programmatic request and bill language needed on Title VI/Fulbright-Hays to restore programs to their FY 2010 levels:

Programmatic request:

“For the International and Foreign Language Studies account, restore funding for existing programs to the FY 2010 total of $125.881 million, which includes $108.360 million for Title VI-A&B; $15.576 million for Fulbright-Hays 102(b)(6); and $1.945 million for the Institute for International Public Policy, Title VI-C.”

Bill language request:

“Provided further, That notwithstanding any other provision of law, funds made available in this Act to carry out title VI of the HEA and section 102(b)(6) of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 shall be directed to existing programs, and may be used to support visits and study in foreign countries by individuals who are participating in advanced foreign language training and international studies in areas that are vital to United States national security and who plan to apply their language skills and knowledge of these countries in the fields of government, the professions, or international development: Provided further, That of the funds referred to in the preceding proviso, up to 1 percent may be used for program evaluation, national outreach, and information dissemination activities:”


May 9, 2011

Update on education abroad to Cuba:  The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has issued the guidelines for license applications for special programming in Cuba. The guidelines are posted on the OFAC website:  http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/cuba_tr_app.pdf


April 19, 2011

The Forum joined with the other organizational members of the Coalition for International Education in a joint letter concerning the proposed 40% cut to FY 2011 funding for International Education and Foreign Language Studies–HEA-Title VI and Fulbright-Hays programs.  The Forum encourages its members to contact Members of the House and Senate to urge them to call or write to Secretary Duncan expressing concerns as outlined in the letter. The Forum also encourages the leaders of its member institutions and organizations to write directly to Secretary Duncan at:  <arne.duncan@ed.gov>


January, 2011

The Forum received a letter from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging The Forum and its members to “realize President Obama’s goal of dramatically increasing the number of American students studying in China.” Clinton describes the 100,000 Strong initiative, which has the goal of sending over 100,000 students to China over the next few years. The letter reads in part, “Today I offer this challenge to leaders of American institutes of higher education and study-abroad providers: Double the number of your students who study in China by 2014.” According to the description, the initiative “will rely fully on private-sector financial support and will be implemented by non-governmental organizations.” Forum President and CEO Brian Whalen stated, “I encourage Forum member institutions to examine the 100,000 Strong initiative and consider the critical importance of China as a study abroad destination.”

  • Read the full text of Secretary Clinton’s letter here: Letter from Secretary Clinton
  • Learn about the 100,000 Strong initiative here: 100,000 Strong initiative
  • To contact Carola McGiffert, Director of the 100,000 Strong initiative and Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific, with a letter of support for the initiative, email: mcgiffertc@state.gov

September 2, 2010

Forum President and CEO Brian Whalen wrote to President Obama on behalf of The Forum membership to urge him to lift the restrictions on academic travel to Cuba.

Read the full text of the letter here: Letter to President Obama – Academic Travel to Cuba