Time to Celebrate: International Education Week 2011

November 14, 2011

By Katie O'Connell

Today kicks off the 12th annual International Education Week (IEW), a special week for NAFSA and our international education community.

New Data on Foreign Students
One of the ways we’re celebrating is with today’s release of our annual Economic Impact Statements. The data reveal that international students and their dependents contributed an impressive $20.2 billion to the U.S. economy during the 2010-2011 academic year. This is nearly a $1.5 billion increase from the previous year.

But of course, we know that the contributions foreign students make go well beyond the numbers – as they get to know the real America, and we get to know them, their new and different global perspectives enrich our classrooms, their talent brings educational benefits to our own students, and our local communities get a unique glimpse of the wider world every day. Keep an eye on the blog this week to hear personal stories from NAFSA members across the country about how foreign students contribute to their individual states. Our first stop is the Midwest.

Study Abroad in the Spotlight on Capitol Hill
NAFSA has teamed up with Goucher College and honorary co-host Senator Barbara Mikulski for a forum on Capitol Hill this Wednesday, November 16, that will showcase the value of study abroad. The event will feature remarks by U.S. Senators Richard Durbin and Barbara Mikulski, Goucher College President Sanford J. Ungar, and NAFSA Executive Director & CEO Marlene M. Johnson, followed by a panel discussion among university presidents about what more needs to happen on a national level to ensure that significantly more students have access to quality global educational experiences. Find more information at www.nafsa.org/globaleducationforum and follow #IEWforum on Wednesday starting at 10:00 am for all the live tweeting action – we’ll take your questions on Twitter too.

Campus Celebrations
College campuses and universities around the world are celebrating this week with events and activities that showcase how international education connects people across borders, builds cross-cultural understanding, prepares students with vital global skills, and creates a more peaceful world. What do you have planned? Want to test your knowledge on the history of international education, share a story about your IEW event, or send the new economic data on foreign students to your member of Congress? You can find all of this and more on our IEW campaign page on Connecting Our World.