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Archive for the ‘NAFSA’ Category

By Bradley Moon

Greetings, international educators, from sunny San Diego! The NAFSA 2014 Annual Conference is less than two months away! If you have not already registered, don’t forget that early-bird registration for the conference ends April 18.

This year’s conference includes a very special session designed to provide conference goers with  unique insights into the cross-border and cross-cultural issues and initiatives facing San Diego and Southern California. Inspired by the spirit of the innovative educational format of TED Talks, this session, I-Engage Talks, will be offered on Wednesday, May 28, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Organized by Local Arrangements Team (LAT) Co-Chairs Jane Kalionzes, San Diego State University, and Susan Atkins, CAPA International, and LAT member Malou Amparo, University of California-San Diego, this locally focused session will provide a series of short, crisp, provocative, entertaining presentations highlighting stories from a variety of local organizations, nonprofits, and community leaders.

The not-to-be-missed I-Engage Talks session will offer a fascinating and entertaining local San Diego perspective from a diversity of topics and community agents of change.

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By Bradley Moon

Attention NAFSA foodies! San Diego has no shortage of Food Network Star, Top Chef and local Mom and Pop eateries prepared to satisfy the pallets of food aficionados from around the world. There is an exciting food culture in San Diego that goes well beyond the obligatory coastal question, “Where is the best seafood restaurant?”

World travelling international educators know the best culinary finds are discovered when you “ask a local.” This blog post is devoted to sharing the favorite culinary haunts of some members of the Local Arrangements Team. The following are a few of our “must eat” restaurant recommendations. And, for those of you interested in finding the perfect happy hour, stay tuned for an upcoming blog post exploring the best in San Diego libations.

The Prado at Balboa Park recommended by Sue Atkins (Local Arrangement Team co-chair)

At The Prado, smack dab in the heart of world famous Balboa Park, the argument is which is better… the view or the food? A truly unique spot for lunch, happy hour or dinner, The Prado knocks it “out of the park” with delicious food and the best atmosphere you could ask for. This is also provides a great excuse for exploring the beautiful museums and gardens of Balboa Park. Try the Kobe Beef Sushi Roll and the calamari!

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By Bradley Moon

Discovering the city of San Diego requires getting to know its vast array of distinct and colorful neighborhoods. From the charm of Coronado Island to the hipster enclave of North Park, exploring San Diego can be a fun adventure. San Diegans love – and are proud of – their neighborhoods, each with its own personality and joie de vivre.

In introducing NAFSANs to San Diego, I would be remiss not to begin by highlighting the first thing visitors think of when landing in sunny California… so grab your flip flops, sun tan lotion, board shorts and bikinis… let’s hit the beach!

1. Coronado Island

Spanish for the “the crowned one,” it is easy to see how Coronado lives up to this description. Voted in 2012 as the #1 beach in the United States, Coronado Island offers gorgeous white sands and gentle surf, in a charming community just minutes away from downtown San Diego. Of course, not to be missed is the historic Hotel del Coronado, which opened in 1888. A Queen Anne masterpiece, the “Hotel del” has a fascinating and colorful history of visitors, including royalty, politicians, celebrities, and a few ghosts. If you have never seen this architectural masterpiece, it is definitely worth a trip to Coronado!

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Robert A. Pastor

My friend and international education’s friend, Bob Pastor, died last night at the age of 67, finally succumbing to a cancer that he had battled with characteristic courage, humor, and unrelenting determination for nearly four years—all the while ignoring, as only Bob could, the assurances of his doctors that he didn’t have that much time.

He will be remembered for many things, but among our last memories of him will be his absolute refusal to let his deteriorating physical condition interfere with his indefatigable professional lifestyle and his prolific scholarship. At the end, he was professor of international relations at American University and, until almost literally his last days, founder and director of that university’s Center for North American Studies.

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“Internationalization really is as much about our own backyard as it is across the oceans,” says Richard Carpenter, chancellor of Lone Star College System in Houston, Texas.

Lone Star was one of five institutions to win NAFSA’s 2013 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization. The 2013 Spotlight Award was given to three other schools. All were recognized on November 12 in Washington, D.C., at NAFSA’s Presidential Panel Discussion and Awards Reception, the kickoff to NAFSA’s celebration of International Education Week.


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“Where’s the beach?” “What health insurance?” “Do I need to bring any spending money?”

Do these questions sound familiar? If so, you may be one of the many study abroad advisers who work with “Generation Z” students, a group of young people born anywhere from the early 1990s to the present day.

Because they suffer from information overload, tend to be overcommitted to activities, and rely extensively on their parents, Generation Z students typically do not take the time to read materials, such as predeparture packets, checklists, or even e-mails, in advance.  This can be a challenge for advisers working with high school or college students who are getting ready to go abroad, noted a panel of international educators recently at a session during NAFSA’s 2013 Annual Conference in St. Louis titled “How Study Abroad Advisers Reach Generation Z.”

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The type of study abroad program that institutions and providers plan often reveals hidden perceptions of the destinations and cultures they intend to visit, says Julie Ficarra, an education abroad advisor at the University of South Florida. Ficarra was joined by Elaine Acacio, resident director of a Council for International Educational Exchange (CIEE) program in Santiago, Dominican Republic, and Jeane d’Arc Gomis, director of International Student Exchange Programs (ISEP) Africa and Middle East Programs, to present a session at NAFSA’s annual conference titled “First Do No Harm: Exploring the Impact of Short-Term Study Abroad Programs on Host Communities.”

Ficarra explained that programs to Europe often focus on art, history, and politics while the majority of programs to the developing world often center on service learning. This differentiation may lead students to develop negative or false notions about the host culture and society while at the same time doing more harm than good for the community. Ficarra mentioned slum tourists and afternoon visits to orphanages as examples of exchange that have few long-term benefits for either party.

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As NAFSA’s 2013 Annual Conference started to wind to its conclusion, Oscar Arias, former two-time president of Costa Rica and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, addressed attendees as the guest speaker during the International Plenary and Luncheon. Arias is a world-renowned advocate for peace, and in front of a crowd of international educators, he spoke fondly of his time as an foreign student in England and the powerful impact that educators can have on future generations. “In many ways, the process of forming moral leaders can only be done in the classroom,” said Arias, adding that moments of epiphany are rare once opinions and priorities are decided.

Arias then presented three moral principles that he views as fundamental for developing and sustaining a peaceful world. For citizens and countries to attain a future free of conflict, leaders must know no boundaries, governments must place people before profits, and we must recognize that leaders can come from anywhere.

Concerning his first point about boundaries, Arias stated that leaders cannot serve their people well if they only focus on their own community. “Any one that refuses to take a global perspective is not serving in the best interest of his own people,” he added. Even as the world becomes more connected through technology, ignorance about the struggles in other parts of the world and how our actions affect those issues still persists. Citizens must become more aware of their place in the world and make decisions that benefit the whole rather than the few.

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Talent is universal, but opportunity is not. How can one play a role in connecting talent with opportunity?

In the Thursday plenary speech of NAFSA’s 2013 Annual Conference, Rye Barcott shared his insights on this question. Insights he gained through his experiences both as a U.S. marine and as a founder of Carolina for Kibera.

As an undergraduate, Barcott travelled to Kibera, a slum of Nairobi, Kenya, to conduct anthropological research. His original plan was to create a report based on interviews with local youths on what difficulties they encountered in Kibera. During the course of his interviews, Barcott met two of his future partners – Tabitha Atieno Festo and Salim Mohamed. Barcott soon learned through their work together that to create real change the community must actively participate in its own development.

Carolina for Kibera made it possible for Tabitha to establish a medical clinic, allowed Salim to expand his youth sports program, and was responsible for creating a waste management program to improve the living conditions in Kibera.

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