International Exchanges Satisfy the Craving for Deep Connections

The pandemic gave us the opportunity to reflect on what matters most regarding the essence of international education.
Photo: Unsplash
Hilary Landorf, PhD
Jennifer Donaghue, PhD

Had we been asleep at the wheel? Were we content being “reg rats” navigating the complex regulatory policies for international students and scholars during the Trump presidency, holding risk management meetings with faculty and students, shepherding global learning courses through curriculum committees? Study abroad was holding steady; international students came and went; agreements between institutions flourished.

As devastating as the COVID-19 global health pandemic has been—and we are not out of the woods yet—it has given international educators the opportunity to reflect on what matters most to us regarding the essence of international education.

We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to do so while also participating in the Fulbright International Education Administrator’s (IEA) program this fall. The opportunity is selective and competitive, and it was made even more complex due to the global health pandemic. Holding fast to the belief that international education has the power to transform lives, we signed the forms confirming our participation and booked our flights.

Connections and Collaborations

Hilary Landorf

As in-person international exchange slowly resumes, participants in the Fulbright Program continue their quest for knowledge, dialogue, and community. The Fulbright-Hays Act, also known as the Mutual Education and Cultural Exchange Act, was established in 1961 and continues to foster international exchange through its Fulbright programs, even during a pandemic. This was made apparent in fall 2021 during the Fulbright IEA program in France. Other Fulbright programs cancelled, but the Franco-American Fulbright Commission welcomed a group of 11 administrators representing public and private institutions of

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