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By Yenbo Wu

The field of international education sits at the intersection of profound and wide-ranging questions. How do nations balance the forces of economic independence and interdependence? What role does immigration play in cultural and economic vitality? What risks does it pose? What is the relationship between collaboration, competition, peace, and conflict? Diversity, unity, creativity, and problem solving?

The past year has brought challenges and opportunities to our field: upheaval in Turkey; a peace accord in Colombia; Brexit; growth of the global middle class and increased demand for higher education; continued humanitarian crises in Syria; reimagined relations between the United States and Cuba; and a new U.S. presidential administration posing challenges on immigration both rhetorically and in policy. Such trends and events make me stop; seek information and evidence; and consider varied perspectives that help me understand the movements today that have a real impact on higher education.

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By Dawn Cepica

This week’s NAFSA 2017 Workshop Spotlight series features a conversation with Anne Hayner, associate director for alumni relations at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies in the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame.

Hayner, along with co-trainers Erin Hillis, associate director of international programs at Rhodes College, and Liz Cosgrove, center director at ELS Language Centers – Dallas, shares insight into why their NAFSA 2017 Current Topics Workshop (CTW), Academic Ethics Across Cultures: Preparing Your Students and Your Campus, is so valuable and timely for international educators today.

“In 2017, the topic of academic ethics across cultures has only become more relevant,” says Hayner. “When charges of ‘alternative facts’ and ‘fake news’ are in the daily headlines, how does this affect the way we teach about plagiarism and cheating? In a ‘post-truth’ era, can academic integrity be satisfied by proper citation?”

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By Kelly Zuniga

We, international education professionals, know that food is a key to discovering culture. If there is one facet of Los Angeles that speaks for our values, it is our culinary scene. L.A. is beaming with international dishes, often presented with Angeleno flare. In this post, I will introduce some of my preferred restaurants, with a special focus on those closest to downtown Los Angeles.

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By Dan Berger and Stephen Yale-Loehr

On March 6, the White House released a revised travel ban Executive Order that further highlights the uncertainty that international education professionals face in 2017. But before we dive into the revised order, let’s take a moment to discuss (as best we can) 12 frequently asked questions that have emerged since the original Executive Order was issued in January.

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By Dawn Cepica

The NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo provides a unique opportunity for professionals from around the world to gather as the largest community of international educators to listen, learn, network and connect with one another. The Current Topics Workshops (CTWs) are a great way to gain relevant knowledge and walk away with practical applications to further enhance professional growth and development.

As this year’s Annual Conference Committee Workshop Coordinator, I am excited to highlight three CTWs that will surely expand your community and strengthen connections at your various institutions and campuses.

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By Kelly Zuniga

To list all of the attractions in Los Angeles would be an impossible task. Instead, I will share a sample of what this city has to offer. Let’s begin with an overview of transportation and end with a preview of attractions.

Transportation

Airport to Downtown

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the major international airport in Los Angeles. One option for getting to downtown from LAX is to book a shared shuttle ride through SuperShuttle. The ride, per person, can cost as low as $15-17 when using the discount code E4RXN on the SuperShuttle website. Other forms of direct transportation include ride sharing apps (Lyft or Uber), hailing a taxi at the airport, or ExecuCar.

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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.

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Registration and housing for the international education event of the year is now open. Starting planning your NAFSA 2017 experience today!

Learn more about the NAFSA 2017 Annual Conference & Expo, May 28-June 2 in Los Angeles, CA by visiting www.nafsa.org/losangeles.

By Kelly Zuniga

A city frequently seen on the big screen, Los Angeles is always represented but often misunderstood. This city by the sea is an eclectic mix of geography, food, people, and scenes. If you can get past the initial shock of traffic and the smog-filled horizon – which makes for beautiful sunsets by the way – then you may never want to leave. As a native Angeleno, I am excited to introduce you to my beautiful and dynamic city.

Over the next few months, I look forward to helping you prepare for the NAFSA 2017 Annual Conference & Expo in Los Angeles, California. My hope is for your stay to be enjoyable, but ultimately, my goal is to convert you into an L.A. enthusiast. I will start by introducing you to the conference venue, and as the weeks go by, I will offer tips for how to take full advantage of this marvelous city.

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By Lars Heikensten

Dr. Shirin Ebadi was the first female Nobel Peace Prize Laureate from the Islamic world.

The lawyer Shirin Ebadi was Iran’s first female judge. After Ayatollah Khomeini’s revolution in 1979 she was dismissed. Ebadi opened a legal practice and began defending people who were being persecuted by the authorities. In the year 2000, she was imprisoned herself for having criticized her country’s hierocracy (rule of government by priests or ecclesiastics).

Shirin Ebadi took up the struggle for fundamental human rights and especially the rights of women and children. She took part in the establishment of organizations that placed these issues on the agenda, and wrote books proposing amendments to Iran’s succession and divorce laws. She also wanted to withdraw political power from the clergy and advocated for the separation of religion and state.

In its choice of Ebadi, the Committee for the Nobel Peace Prize expressed a wish to reduce the tensions between the Islamic and the Western world following the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001. At the same time, the Committee wished to extend a helping hand to the Iranian reform movement. Shirin Ebadi underlines herself that she sees no contradiction between Islam and fundamental human rights.

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