Local, National, Global: Understanding Diversity and Community in Europe

Proposals are no longer being accepted for the 4th European Conference.

As individuals, each of us play a role in building our local, national, and global communities. U.S. students in Europe are challenged to integrate into their host communities and to understand the broader national and regional contexts that shape their experiences, while developing their own identities and defining their places in the world.

As international educators, we are challenged to support students as they navigate these layers of identity, at a time when tensions between regionalism, nationalism, and globalism run high in both the U.S. and in parts of Europe, and the definitions of local, national, and global are evolving.

How can education abroad professionals work with our students in Europe to build a sense of community at the local, national, and global levels? How can we encourage them to embrace the blending of these distinct identities in a way that celebrates diversity as well as the commonalities of the human experience that we all share?

Join us in exploring these issues in Prague, where we near the 50th anniversary of the Prague Spring, and the centenary of the establishment of an independent Czechoslovakia.

The conference will address the interests of education abroad administrators and faculty who work and teach in Europe, as well as colleagues from the U.S. who work with European programs and universities. The common goal of the conference will be sharing ideas for model practices for U.S. education abroad in Europe in light of the conference theme, including program design, curriculum, teaching, and a wide range of challenging issues and topics.

Conference sessions should maintain the distinctive format of Forum conferences by promoting collegial dialogue and the active exchange of ideas through attendee participation. Preference will be given to sessions that offer several perspectives, rather than a single personal or institutional view.

The Forum is particularly interested in session proposals from international education and faculty colleagues based in Europe with experience in and knowledge of U.S. education abroad.

Topics of interest include:

  • How can international educators best address students’ academic, social and cultural integration into the host community, university, and country?
  • What roles do our universities play in building local, national, and global communities?
  • How can we leverage the unique learning opportunities offered along the local-global spectrum within our programs and institutional partnerships?
  • What do diversity and inclusion mean in the European context? How may this differ by country?  How may this differ from U.S. interpretations?
  • How can U.S. and European colleagues work together to value, engage, and include the rich diversity of students, staff, faculty, and alumni within our collaborations?
  • How can we attune U.S. students to the European perspectives on the challenges facing present-day Europe?
  • How can we encourage the transferability of the European education abroad experience into academic growth, personal development, and employment opportunities for our students?
  • What are the specific challenges and best practices within the realm of student health, safety, security and risk-management in 21st Century Europe?



Session Proposal Tips and Suggestions

What makes a session proposal work?

  • Diverse points of view and multiple voices on the session topic: this can mean different institutions and organizations, and/or types of education abroad colleagues and partners, or contributors from outside the field of education abroad;
  • A plan for creating an interactive atmosphere that stimulates dialogue or small group discussions among attendees;
  • Ample time for comments and/or questions from the attendees;
  • A topic that clearly relates to the conference theme;
  • A balance of theory and practice;
  • Concrete conclusions: sessions offering specific tips and tools, applications of theory, or lessons learned provide valuable ‘take-aways’ for colleagues;
  • Consideration for the different constituencies in education abroad;
  • Demonstrated professionalism, preparation, and personality.

What doesn’t work?

  • Panels that focus on the accomplishments of only one institution, organization, or program;
  • Panels of more than 4 presenters;
  • Proposals lacking planned audience engagement and interaction;
  • Reading scholarly papers.