by Heidi M.
Soneson and the SECUSSA Team of NAFSA
Welcome to the world of education
This guide provides an overview of the basic resources
available to assist you with education abroad advising and programming. While
many additional resources exist on specific topics, this guide is designed to
be a helpful introduction to get you started and to help you identify the key
resources to have at your fingertips.
The information in this guide is
divided into eight major sections:
Education Abroad Opportunities
Names and Addresses
Each section provides an overview of the
key resources available. The information is by no means exhaustive, and you
will no doubt find additional helpful materials as you network with colleagues
and continue to work in the field.
There are a number of organizations which
provide services to education abroad professionals. The ones described below
are three of the major organizations which distribute a variety of
publications on topics in international education and provide a range of
support services to their members. Each entry briefly describes what services
the organization provides. In many cases, it is useful to belong to more than
one of the organizations below in order to benefit from their range of
NAFSA: Association of International Educators
(NAFSA): NAFSA is the primary organization for professionals in all areas of
international education including education abroad advising and
administration, international student advising, campus internationalization,
admissions, community outreach, overseas advising, and English as a Second
Language (ESL) administration. NAFSA's members play a key role in the
governance of the organization and in its outreach. NAFSA sponsors an annual
conference which brings together professionals in all areas of international
education to discuss current issues in the field. For new professionals,
NAFSA organizes a twelve-hour professional development workshop (Core
Education Program, or CEP, Foundations workshops) during the annual
pre-conference program and periodically at the regional level to give
newcomers an overview of the critical issues in the field and to enable them
to network with their colleagues. These Foundations workshops are led by
experienced professionals in international education and provide an excellent
opportunity to discuss critical and current international education issues.
NAFSA also offers annual regional conferences which allow international
educators to network with colleagues in their region. In addition to
conferences, NAFSA distributes a variety of publications for international
educators, including a bimonthly magazine International Educator and
a weekly electronic newsletter. Many NAFSA regions also issue their own
newsletters. The NAFSA Web site also hosts a Job Registry of positions
available in international education.
Each of NAFSA's eleven regions has a
member on its leadership team focused on education abroad. The representative
in your region can serve as a resource for you and can also identify
education abroad advisers near you who would be willing resources. NAFSA
elects and appoints professionals from among its membership to serve on NAFSA
committees, subcommittees, and task forces. You can find these members
through NAFSA's member directory.
on International Educational Exchange (CIEE): CIEE offers both education
abroad programs to students and services to education abroad professionals.
CIEE sponsors an annual conference on current education abroad issues, offers
a wide variety of programs overseas for students, and distributes
publications of relevance for education abroad advisers and administrators.
CIEE also issues the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) which provides
travel discounts and basic emergency insurance coverage for students while
Institute of International
Education (IIE): Among the variety of services IIE provides, it produces a
number of well-known publications of importance to education abroad
professionals and works with U.S. schools to compile annual statistics on
education abroad and international students. IIE has also assisted in the
selection and administration of the undergraduate NSEP (National Security
Education Program) fellowships for education abroad.
A number of organizations provide useful,
reasonably-priced publications for education abroad professionals. These
publications range from comprehensive listings of the many different kinds of
education abroad programs available to students to more theoretical
discussions of current issues in international education. The list below
highlights some of the main publications currently available for your
reference and for your students.
Passport: Academic Year Abroad
Passport: Short-term Study Abroad: Produced by IIE, these two books
are updated annually and provide students and advisers with a comprehensive
listing of the types of programs offered by U.S. and international schools and
organizations. Academic Year Abroad focuses on programs offered during
the academic year, while Short-term Study Abroad focuses on shorter
programs, including summer offerings. Each listing includes a description of
the type of program offered, eligibility requirements, cost, and contact
information. These books are considered a staple in most education abroad
Peterson's Study Abroad and Peterson's
Short Term Study Programs Abroad: As with Academic
Year Abroad and Short-term Study
Abroad, these resources provide listings by country of the many
international programs available to U.S. students and contain additional
details not provided in other publications.
Adviser Resources: Available free of charge, these guides provide concise
and practical overviews of issues relevant to education abroad advisers. Topics
include promoting ethnic diversity, health issues, promoting education abroad
on your campus, and political advocacy.
: This classic brochure provides basic information to U.S.
students on international educational experiences outside the United
to Education Abroad for Advisers and Administrators: The
Guide provides an overview of the major areas involved in education
abroad advising and administration. Written by current education abroad
professionals, chapter topics range from advising students to program
management to issues of financial aid and safety considerations for overseas
study to marketing to assessment. The
Guide also contains a references section which lists printed resources
and online information available in a wide variety of areas.
Transitions Abroad: Produced bimonthly, this
magazine features articles on various international experiences, including
study, work, and travel abroad. Having these magazines on hand for your
students can provide them with suggestions on unique opportunities not
mentioned in more traditional publications.
The organizations mentioned above also provide
information on the World Wide Web and via e-mail, and their addresses are
included with the reference information in section 8 of this guide. The list
below highlights some of the additional World Wide Web sites and e-mail
addresses relevant for education abroad professionals.
Opportunities Program. This site complements the Academic
Year Abroad and Peterson's Guide by providing directories of US and
non-US-based education abroad programs, as well as guides on working abroad.
Mobility International, USA.
Mobility International is considered the primary clearinghouse in the United
States for information and resources for students with disabilities. Their Web
site provides information on international programs relevant to students with
NAFSA: Association of International
Educators. NAFSA's Web site provides information on NAFSA membership
benefits, resources for international educators, and also identifies links to
other relevant Web sites.
This open, unmoderated e-mail discussion group focuses specifically on issues
relevant to education abroad advisers. Requests for information, announcements,
job postings, and topics for discussion are posted on this listserv and
archived in a searchable database. To subscribe to SECUSS-L, type "SECUSS-L"
in the box on the University of Buffalo's
listserv subscriber site.
State Department Travel Advisories. U.S. State Department Travel Advisories
provide current information on safety issues, visa requirements, and medical
considerations for any country in the world. Updated regularly, these
advisories can help students prepare for their experience overseas and provide
advisers with information on any changing security issues.
4. Education Abroad Opportunities
Education abroad programming takes
many different forms. In some cases, colleges and universities organize and
run programs for their own students, either led by a faculty member or managed
by an on-site director. In other cases, they identify a select number of
programs offered by other organizations which they endorse for their students,
or they join a consortium of schools which have similar interests and offer
joint education abroad ventures. Many institutions establish international
student exchange programs or identify sites where direct enrollment is
possible. Still others allow their students to search among the many programs
available in order to find the program that best meets their needs. The best
option or options for your students will depend on your staffing resources
and your institution's mission.
As you consider your options, several
resources can provide you with further information. NAFSA's Guide
to Education Abroad for Advisers and Administrators provides helpful
considerations to keep in mind when deciding on the type of program or programs
you want to offer your students. In addition, both Academic
Year Abroad and Peterson's
Guide list the different U.S. consortium organizations which offer
international programs, and you may identify a consortium in your region or
nationally which offers attractive programs for your students. There are also
private organizations and other U.S. colleges and universities listed in
references such as Academic Year
Abroad and Peterson's Guide
which offer a range of programs overseas to students nationwide. Some of these
programs focus on specific areas of the world, such as the United Kingdom or
Australia; others offer a variety of programs or specialize in a certain type
of program, such as internships. As you investigate your options, you may find
that joining some of the consortia or private education abroad organizations
gives your students a wide range of program options without exceeding your
Many of the organizations which market to
students nationwide have field representatives who travel in their region or
nationwide to promote their programs. These representatives can be valuable
resources for you. Not only can they provide information on the programs they
offer, many have had experience working with education abroad advisers over the
years and can provide advice on a broad range of issues you may be facing.
Representatives can also assist you in promoting their programs by visiting
classes, meeting with faculty, or handing out information to students at your
student union. You might also consider organizing an annual education abroad
fair at a central location on campus and inviting different organizations to
present their materials and provide information to interested students.
As you consider these different options, it is important to weigh your
institutional needs. You will want to consider such factors as program cost,
services provided, the types and locations of the programs offered, and the
needs of your students when deciding on the programs to support at your
5. Campus Resources
It is often easy to forget that some of your most valuable resources are
right on your own campus. Faculty, for example, often conduct research, give
presentations, or live overseas and may know some of the sites where your
students wish to study. These faculty are not only helpful contacts for
students, but they may also be willing to speak to students about living abroad
as part of your orientation session. International students on your campus can
also be a valuable resource. They are often eager to meet U.S. students and
are willing to take the time to talk about their country. International
students can be helpful during orientation sessions by talking about
cross-cultural adjustment and the contrasts they have noticed between their
home and the United States.
Other administrative offices on campus can
also provide support to you and to students wishing to study abroad. The
disability services office, the counseling center, the women's resource
center, gay/lesbian/bisexual support services, multicultural centers, and
international student organizations often have staff who are interested in
helping students prepare for an overseas experience by addressing adjustment
issues or identifying support systems overseas. Staff in the registrar's
office, admissions, and financial aid are important links as you help
facilitate financial aid and credit arrangements for students. In many cases,
they have already worked with international students who have studied on
campus and are aware of some of the credit issues which a student might face
while studying overseas.
Returning students can be one of your best
advising resources, particularly if you are not familiar with the many
program options available. Having evaluation forms of returned students
available in your office allows you and future students to learn more about
the experiences students have had on their programs. Of course, student
experiences vary, but students often read other student evaluations with
interest. If the returned students are willing to be contacted, future
students can talk directly with the returnees to find out more about their
6. Professional Development
Education abroad professionals have a number of opportunities for
professional growth, including the possibility of programs conducted
overseas. Listed below are some of the major programs that are available:
Fulbright Programs for International Educators
There are three
short-term programs (2-4 weeks) in Germany, Japan and Korea. These programs
take a small group of international educators to learn about the educational
systems of these countries. They are an excellent means of getting a broad
overview of international education as well as specific information that
could be used in education abroad advising and program development. For
information contact the Council for International Exchange of Scholars
Other Overseas Opportunities
NAFSA helps administer
education abroad opportunities for international educators to
Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, and to Saudi Arabia. These programs examine the
educational systems of these areas and are one to two weeks in duration.
Projects in International Education Research (PIER) are small research groups
of NAFSA members who produce publications on educational systems from around
the world. Participating in these projects is an excellent way to develop your
knowledge of a country's educational system. For further information contact
NAFSA. NAFSA also organizes country and culture-specific workshops at
different locations throughout the United States. Attending these workshops
can deepen your understanding of a particular country or world region.
7. Current Issues
As we face the
challenges of encouraging our students to study abroad, we also wrestle with
a number of critical issues which accompany these efforts. Several of the
current critical issues in education abroad are discussed briefly below, and
more detailed discussions can be found in the publications provided by the
organizations mentioned in this guide.
the most challenging aspects of your job can be to determine what level of
support your office has on campus and how to increase that support among
faculty and your administration. Involving faculty in education abroad is an
excellent way to ensure that studying overseas becomes an integral part of a
student's academic program. You might identify faculty willing to lead
short-term programs overseas and to recruit and select students to
participate in their programs. You might also create an advisory council of
faculty on your campus to assist you in developing a mission statement for
education abroad at your institution and with whom you can consult regarding
new programs, appropriate departmental credit equivalencies for courses taken
overseas, or ways to increase the visibility of education abroad for
students. In addition to involving faculty, it is important to identify which
university officials support your efforts and might be appropriate sources
for financial support or for fostering education abroad visibility on campus.
Determining multiple strategies for institutionalizing education abroad on
your campus will be critical to the long-term success of your efforts.
Diversifying the body of students on your campus who study
abroad is an important consideration and one which often requires special
efforts. Diversity can take many forms including gender, ethnicity, age,
disability, sexual orientation and academic majors. Fostering diversity,
then, requires a varied approach. Working with relevant administrative
offices and student organizations which represent the different types of
students on your campus is one method for increasing diversity. These offices
can assist in advising and promoting programs and in providing you with
outreach suggestions. Including statements in your promotional materials to
encourage underrepresented groups to consider studying abroad can also help
diversify your education abroad population. Finally, working with faculty in
non-traditional disciplines to identify programs and courses of study which
would appeal to their students can further expand the range of students who
The use of financial aid to help
finance a student's education abroad program continues to be a topic of
frequent discussion among education abroad professionals and financial aid
administrators. NAFSA's publication Financial Aid for Study Abroad is a
valuable resource for understanding the details of this issue and what steps
to take on your campus to make financial aid available for education abroad.
For many students, using financial aid to help pay for the costs of their
overseas program may be essential, and the considerations may involve both
state and federal aid. The necessary infrastructure for this possibility will
consist of close cooperative efforts between the education abroad office, the
financial aid office, and your registrar.
Health and Safety
Health and safety issues involve both the information you gather and provide
prior to a student's departure and consideration of the circumstances of the
student's location overseas. Most institutions and organizations now gather
health information from their participants. While this information is not used
to determine a student's eligibility for the program, it can provide the
education abroad office or organization with vital information prior to the
student's departure and allow the education abroad professional to consult
with the student about necessary precautions. The education abroad office
also has the responsibility to provide students with basic information about
insurance issues, liability, and health and safety considerations at the
overseas program location. A number of recent publications have tackled the
complexities of these issues and can provide valuable suggestions.
Integrity of Advising
When encouraging students to study abroad, the
advising session can be the critical link in their decision-making process.
While an education abroad adviser cannot not make the decision for students,
there are some basic questions which can help students select a suitable
- What are the student's academic goals for this program?
Does the student have some flexibility or does the student need to fulfill
- Is the student interested in an integrated
experience or would the student prefer to be in a group dynamic with other
- Does the student have sufficient language
training to enroll in courses in the target language overseas?
- What kind of support system will the student need while overseas? Is
the student fairly independent or will the student need significant guidance
- What year is the student in school? What is the
student's academic standing? Does the program which the student is considering
have a minimum requirement in this area?
- What kind of financial
considerations are at issue?
Identifying the answers to some of
these basic questions can help a student narrow the range of possible
education abroad options.
Pre-Departure Preparation and Reentry
Students will require different levels of assistance both prior to
departure and upon their return, depending on their previous experience
overseas and the nature of the program in which they will be participating. A
number of publications provided by the organizations mentioned in this guide
provide practical suggestions for interactive and informative pre-departure
and reentry sessions. Reentry, in particular, can be the most challenging
aspect to address, because students often return to the United States at
different times and may or may not be aware of their own reentry adjustment.
Finding ways to address reentry with returning students, however, is not only
important for the student but also a valuable way for the education abroad
office to maintain and foster an international community on campus.
As you gather materials and develop your expertise, please be reassured that
there are education abroad colleagues nationally and internationally who can
provide you with advice and assistance and who look forward to working with
you in this valuable endeavor.
Important Names and Addresses
The contact information for the key
organizations mentioned in this guide are listed below. These represent only a
small sample of the resources available to you.
Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS). 102 Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, CT
06830; tel: 800.727.AIFS; fax: 203.863.6009.
Council on International Educational Exchange
(CIEE). 205 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017-5706. toll free:
888-COUNCIL; fax: 212.822.2699; e-mail: info[a]ciee.org.
for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES). 3007 Tilden Street, NW,
Suite 5M, Washington, D.C. 20008-3009. tel: 202.686.4000; fax: 202.362.3358;
Press. PO Box 700, Yarmouth, ME 04096; tel: 207.846.5168; fax:
207.846.5181; e-mail: interculturalpress[a]mcimail.com.
of International Education (IIE). For publications: IIE Books, PO Box 371,
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-0371; tel: 800.445.0443; fax: 301.953.2838;
International, USA (MIUSA). Box 10767, Eugene, OR 97440; tel: 541.343.1284;
fax: 541.343.6812; e-mail: info[a]miusa.org.
Association of International Educators. 1307 New York Ave, NW, Washington,
DC, 20005. For membership information: tel: 202.737.3699 x0; fax: 202.737.3657;
e-mail: inbox[a]nafsa.org. For publications: NAFSA Publications; tel:
Peterson's, a Nelnet
company. 2000 Lenox Drive, Lawrenceville, NJ 08640; tel: 609-896-1800; fax:
Abroad. For subscriptions: Dept. TRA, Box 3000, Denville, NJ 07834; tel:
800.293.0373. Editorial offices: 18 Hulst Road, PO Box 1300, Amherst, MA 01004;
tel: 413.256.3414; fax: 413.256.0373; e-mail: trabroad[a]aol.com.