The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

By Richard Papale

On February 22, NAFSA Executive Director and CEO Esther D. Brimmer, DPhil, gave the keynote address at the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) annual conference. With the befitting title, “The Best of Times, the Worst of Times,” Brimmer emphasized that the work, unity, and resilience of international educators is more important than ever as we look to the challenges and opportunities ahead.... See More

Positive Momentum Builds to Restore Relations with Cuba

March 07, 2016 | Topics: Foreign Policy, Education Abroad

By Alan Fleming

U.S. academic travel to Cuba was decimated by severe executive branch directives in 2004. Consequently, most study abroad programs conducted by American institutions in Cuba shuttered, effectively abandoning one of the only avenues of understanding and collaboration that existed between our two countries.

The resulting 92% plummet in U.S. students studying in Cuba proved nearly fatal for Cuban exchange programs. The few programs that managed to remain open following the restrictions limped forward until January 2011, when NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the academic exchange community, and the larger coalition won a historic advocacy victory with the Obama Administration’s executive action to restore academic travel.

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White House Focuses on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship at Travel Bloggers Summit

December 11, 2014 | Topics: Advocacy and Public Policy, Education Abroad

By Marlene M. Johnson

Earlier this week, I made the quick three-block trip from the NAFSA office to the White House for an energizing afternoon with government officials, media representatives, and travel bloggers. As an important driver of public opinion, the media have the ability to use their influential voices to educate readers about the importance of study abroad and encourage more U.S. students to engage in meaningful travel. This was the goal of the White House Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship, to raise awareness of the benefits of cross-cultural education and cultural exchange, while boosting international student mobility across borders.... See More

Student Diplomat Encourages Study Abroad Alumni to Enter Video Contest

September 27, 2012 | Topics: Advocacy and Public Policy, Education Abroad

By Benjamin Hershey, 2011 Student Diplomat

Studying and traveling abroad can be a life-changing experience, just ask anyone who has been on a program overseas! My study abroad in the summer of 2011 took me to Germany to study adaptations to climate change through progressive city planning. My studies were anchored in Dresden, a modern model of exemplary city planning since its recovery from complete destruction during World War II.... See More

If Not You, Who? If Not Now, When?

July 19, 2012 | Topics: Advocacy and Public Policy, Education Abroad

By Jennifer Fritz

I was nervous when I walked towards room 351 BC of the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston to present at the session, “Advocacy Snapshots: From Idea to Action.” Although I had presented at two regional conferences recently, I was still a bit apprehensive. Then I stepped in front of the room, looked at the audience and saw fellow advocates. I also saw friends…friends I had never met, that were all there for the same fundamental reason I was…to advocate.... See More

Study Abroad and Global Education in the Spotlight on Capitol Hill

November 18, 2011 | Topics: Advocacy and Public Policy, Education Abroad

By Ursula Oaks

NAFSA – Goucher College Event “A Global Education: No Longer Optional” Draws U.S. Senators, Higher Education Leaders to Discuss Legislation, Challenges, and Innovative Solutions

Senator Barbara Mikulski minced no words in her assessment of new members of Congress who boast that they don’t have a passport. “How,” she asked, “can you do your job in government without an international education?”

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A Night with Greg Mortenson: How U.S. Higher Education Can Help Women in Afghanistan and Pakistan

November 09, 2010 | Topics: Foreign Policy, Education Abroad

By Katie O'Connell

Last night at the National Geographic Society Headquarters in Washington, DC, I had the privilege of listening to Greg Mortenson speak passionately about his life’s work of building schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. You may know him as the author of the bestsellers Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at A Time and Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is also co-founder of the nonprofit Central Asia Institute and founder of Pennies for Peace.... See More

From the Back of an Envelope: How NSEP Was Born

October 13, 2010 | Topics: Advocacy and Public Policy, Education Abroad

By Janice Mulholland

Yesterday evening, I had the opportunity to hear former Senator David L. Boren (D-Okla.), now president of the University of Oklahoma, recount the creation of the National Security Education Program. I found the story to be so interesting and refreshing considering today’s difficult and tenuous political environment that I wanted to share it with you.

It was 1991, and Senator Boren had just come out of a meeting about the need for national mineral reserves and was headed to the Senate floor for a vote on the Intelligence Authorization Act. The meeting about creating mineral reserves prompted him to start thinking about which other reserves the country could benefit from having. What he realized on his way to the Senate floor was that the country desperately needed a talent reserve – a reserve of graduates who could speak other languages, understand other cultures, and help provide the nation with a level of security it couldn’t have absent those skills. He said he got to the floor, discussed his idea with Senator Cohen (R-Maine), and then scribbled an amendment on the back of a torn brown paper envelope to establish a program that would begin to create this talent reserve. He then sent the envelope up to the parliamentarian as an amendment to the intelligence act.

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House Ag Committee to Vote on Cuba Travel Bill Today

June 30, 2010 | Topics: Foreign Policy, Education Abroad

By Janice Mulholland

UPDATE: We congratulate Chairman Collin Peterson and the House Agricultural Committee for passing legislation to open travel to Cuba.

At 4:42pm on June 30, 2010, the House Agriculture Committee passed H.R. 4645, the Travel Restriction Reform and Export Enhancement Act, to restore the right of all Americans to travel to Cuba and expand agricultural exports to Cuba. The legislation will now go the House floor for a vote. That vote could happen later this summer.

Stay tuned for further opportunities to support this bill as it makes its way through Congress.

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