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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Stories from the Peace Corps: Family, Acceptance, and a Cow’s Head

May 05, 2011 | Topics: Education Abroad, Leadership

By Jody K. Olsen

When do Peace Corps Volunteers know that they really belong? When does that moment come that we look back and say: “Wow, I was just one of the kids.” Over the years, I have asked Volunteers this question, and I’ve heard in their answers that surprise and wonderment of suddenly seeing themselves absorbed into others’ lives.

Anna had been in the Dominican Republic for about a year when she went back to the States for a couple of weeks. When she said good-bye before leaving, she knew that she loved her host mom and her mom’s friends and they her, but often the women’s conversations grew quiet or ceased when Anna walked toward the gossip bench where they sat. Even her host mom became more reserved.

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8 Enduring Lessons of Our Peace Corps Years

March 01, 2011 | Topics: Education Abroad, Global Learning

By Betty Soppelsa

Nearly 43 years ago, my husband and I went to live in a small town in Côte d’Ivoire as Peace Corps English teachers.  We had never been in Africa before; we had never taught before; we had barely studied about Africa in college. Miraculously, we moved into a new life and a new profession in that small town, and were transformed by the warmth, generosity, and openness of the people around us.  Some of the lessons we learned have deeply shaped us and are never far from our minds.... See More

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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Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Stresses the Importance of a Global Education

By Marlene M. Johnson

In an event yesterday sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) State and Local Officials Initiative, U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan emphasized the importance of a global approach to education. Noting that the United States is experiencing both increased competition from and collaboration with other countries, Duncan described education as the great equalizer and connector, not just for students in American schools, but also around the world.... See More

Strengthening UK-U.S. Higher Education Collaborations

May 20, 2010 | Topics: Education Abroad, Global Learning

By Marlene M. Johnson

Last week I was an invited participant in a British Council sponsored conference in London “UK-U.S. Higher Education Partnerships: Realizing the Potential." The goal of the symposium was to explore the issues affecting collaborations and identify strategies that can strengthen UK-U.S. collaborations overall.

A recent study commissioned by the British Council noted the historical importance of the UK-U.S. relationship in research, mobility of students, scholars and faculty, and collaborative degrees, as well as the changing global context for these exchanges, which indicate a trend toward a smaller market share for the United Kingdom, even as the international market for mobility and research collaboration grows. By the end of 2010, more than a quarter million U.S. students will have studied in the United Kingdom in the previous ten years. Clearly there is considerable goodwill and close friendships between the United Kingdom and United States, but the study concludes that this friendship should not be taken for granted. At the same time, the report noted a changing landscape for U.S. academic relationships, with a growing emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region as source countries for international students, destinations for U.S. study abroad, and partners for research collaboration. And, as Asia students/scholars establish long term relationships with U.S. institutions, the focus on Asia will continue to grow.

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