August 17, 2022:
U.S. Student Visas for Spain
On August 9th, The Forum on Education Abroad, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and the Association of North American Programs in Spain (APUNE) issued another joint letter to the Spanish Embassy to address the ongoing challenges in getting student visas processed by Spanish consulates. As demand from U.S. students to study in Spain in the spring and summer of 2023 is poised to exceed pre-pandemic levels and overwhelm understaffed consulates, The Forum reassures our Members that this issue remains front and center in our efforts to advocate on their behalf. We thank NAFSA and APUNE for their continued collaboration in the effort to resolve this situation as quickly as possible.
May 31, 2022:
United Kingdom Visa Processing Delays
On May 25, staff from NAFSA and The Forum on Education Abroad held a joint Zoom meeting with colleagues at UKVI based in New York. Their staff reiterated that UKVI has temporarily suspended all priority and super priority processing for student and work visa categories to prioritize visas for Ukrainians fleeing war. While the wait may be longer than desired for our students’ visas, UKVI continues to process submitted visa applications as quickly as possible given the prioritization of Ukrainian refugees.
November 29, 2021:
The Forum, NAFSA and APUNE Issue Joint Letter to Spanish Embassy to Address Student Visa Delays
The Forum on Education Abroad, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and the Association of North American Programs in Spain (APUNE) have issued a joint letter to the Spanish Embassy to address the extreme delays and recent challenges in getting student visas processed by Spanish consulates. The Forum thanks NAFSA and APUNE for their collaboration in this effort to address members’ concerns.
May 6, 2021:
The Forum Joins Other Organizations to Request Meeting with Secretary of State
The Forum, along with 10 other international education organizations, signed a letter to Secretary Antony Blinken to share our concerns regarding the April 19, 2021, travel advisory update. As you know, the update significantly increased the number of countries at “Level 4: Do Not Travel” to approximately 80 percent of countries worldwide. The goal of this letter is to preserve the opportunity for students to safely study abroad in the coming academic year while also increasing confidence in the tools and resources that the Department of State provides.
April 22, 2021:
Update on State Department Travel Advisories
The Forum is working with other relevant associations and industry partners to address the State Department’s new process for determining Travel Advisories. In light of the elevation of so many countries to a Level 4: Do Not Travel, we remind members and the field at large to utilize the Guidelines for Conducting Education Abroad During COVID-19 when making decisions and plans for education abroad programs.
May 29, 2020:
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.
March 19, 2020:
Contact government officials to request economic aid for international education
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.
March 12, 2020:
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 a 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 2, 2020:
The Forum and Pulse Issue Joint Statement on COVID-19
June 4, 2019:
Dream and Promise Act Passes in House of Representatives
The American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6) was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 237 to 187.
This legislation includes a permanent path to U.S. citizenship for young undocumented immigrants, including recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), as well as immigrants with temporary protected status (TPS) or deferred enforced departure (DED). The bill now goes to the Republican-controlled Senate, where it is unlikely to be passed.
You can help advocate for Dreamers! NAFSA provides quick and easy ways to thank your Representative for voting for the Dream and Promise Act (or express disappointment if he or she did not) and urge your Senators to protect Dreamers.
June 4, 2019:
Treasury and Commerce Implement Changes to Cuba Sanctions Rules
On Tuesday, June 4, the Trump administration announced that it is ending the authorization of group people-to-people educational travel to Cuba. According to Elizabeth Redden of Inside Higher Ed, “The changes do not affect study abroad or exchange programs run by colleges or universities, or travel to Cuba for professional meetings or research, all of which remain permissible under a general license from the Treasury Department.”
The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury has issued guidelines and answered Frequently Asked Questions on travel to Cuba.
April 12, 2019
Paul Simon Study Abroad Act Reintroduced to Senate
The Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Act has been reintroduced in the Senate by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
March 13, 2019
The Forum Participates in Advocacy Day
Forum President and CEO Melissa Torres attended a briefing session on March 13 organized by the Coalition for Higher Education. The following day, Melissa represented The Forum’s members during five congressional visits to request support for increasing Title VI & Fulbright -Hays funding from its current FY 2019 level of $72.6 million to $106.1 million in FY 2020. The requested amount is meant to restore funding to the level provided in FY 2010, during which funding was cut by 47%. It is the amount of fundable proposals received by the U.S. Department of Education during the most recent round of grant competitions. In all, participants in the Advocacy Day event came from 22 states and the District of Columbia, representing 38 institutions of higher education and 9 organizations.
February 22, 2018
Path for Simon Study Abroad Bill in the Senate: Join in NAFSA’s Efforts
This week is a critical moment in NAFSA’s efforts to pass the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act (S. 601). The Senate is currently drafting their version of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA), and the best path forward for the Simon bill is to be included in it. You can help build support for the Simon program’s inclusion in the HEA by asking your Senator to cosponsor the Simon bill now!
WHAT YOU CAN DO
3. Have 5 more minutes? Call your Senators to urge them to cosponsor the bill.
February 7, 2018
Advocacy Alert: ACT TODAY! Day of Action for Dreamers
Please consider taking action in support of Dreamers in advance of the February 8, 2018 Congressional funding deadline. See NAFSA’s Connecting Our World for more information on how to act.
February 1, 2018
Advocacy Alert: U.S. Members: Support the Paul Simon Study Abroad Bill!
The reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) recently introduced in the House of Representatives did not include language to move forward the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act (S. 601; H.R. 5379). The Simon act seeks “to ensure that significantly more students graduate college with the international knowledge and experience essential for success in today’s global economy through the establishment of the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program in the Department of Education.”
There’s still an opportunity to urge your senator to co-sponsor the bill in the Senate, and be included in the HEA this spring. Follow this link to ask your senator to support the Simon Act.
December 14, 2017
Advocacy Alert: Action Alert on FY2018 Funding for Title VI and Fulbright-Hays
The Forum received the following message from the Coalition of International Education:
“As you know, the current FY 2018 Continuing Resolution that temporarily extends federal government programs at FY 2017 levels expires on December 22. Congressional staff have been working to finalize the FY 2018 appropriations, including for U.S. Department of Education programs. The House and Senate Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations Bills would both fund Title VI at the FY 2017 level, but differ significantly on Fulbright-Hays. While the Senate bill would fund Fulbright-Hays at the FY 2017 level, the House version would eliminate funding altogether, based on a justification that it is duplicative of the State Department’s Fulbright programs. We believe this justification to be inaccurate.”
The Forum urges its members to take action to save the Department of Education’s Fulbright-Hays funding. Simply fill out this form to urge your Members of Congress to fund BOTH Title VI and Fulbright-Hays at their FY 2017 levels»
July 18, 2017
Advocacy Alert: Amendment to Restore Fulbright-Hays to FY 2017 Level
The Coalition for International Education is requesting urgent action today, 7/18/17:
“The House Appropriations Committee will mark up its FY 2018 Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill tomorrow [7/19/17]. At that time, Rep. David Price (D-NC) will offer an amendment to restore the Fulbright-Hays programs to its FY 2017 level of $7.06 million, and amend the draft bill to reinstate reference to Fulbright-Hays. Please take a moment today to contact Members of the House Appropriations Committee whose offices you may have contacts with, urging their support for Rep. Price’s amendment.”
May 25, 2017
Advocacy Alert: Title VI and Fulbright-Hays Under Threat
This week the Trump Administration has issued a Presidential Budget Request that calls for the reduction or elimination of international education programs in the Department of Education (Title VI & Fulbright-Hays).
As a member of the Coalition for International Education, The Forum urges its members to take action. Please consider urging your Members of Congress to oppose these proposals! Visit The Coalition’s convenient web form to contact your Representatives now.
May 11, 2017
Advocacy Alert: Forum Urges Support of the Simon Act
Now is an excellent time to urge your Senators to support the bipartisan bill, the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act, which seeks to create a competitive grant program for institutions of higher education to expand study abroad opportunities for U.S. college students. The Forum is listed as an official supporter of this important bill.
Voicing your support of the bill is easy. You can urge your Senators to cosponsor the Act, or thank those who have already cosponsored, by visiting NAFSA’s Connecting Our World website.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
November 24, 2014
New Resource on Clery and Title IX Procedure from the SUNY Office of the General Counsel
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com or 717-245-1445.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
“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: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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: email@example.com
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