In a victory for representative democracy in the United States, a federal appeals court in Texas found that the state’s strict voter ID law had a discriminatory impact on African American, Hispanic and poor voters. The ruling ordered a lower court to implement a remedy that would allow 600,000 Texans to vote in November, even though they do not have the identification required by the state law.

According to the majority, “It would be untenable to permit a law with a discriminatory effect to remain in operation.” It went on to note that while the state has a legitimate interest in preventing voter fraud—the justification given for the strict voter ID laws Texas attempted to put into place—“the articulation of a legitimate interest is not a magic incantation a state can utter to avoid a finding” a discriminatory impact.

This follows a decision earlier in the week in which a federal judge declared voters in Wisconsin who did not have the identification required by Wisconsin law would be able to vote as long as they were willing to sign an affidavit swearing to their identity.  The judged called the remedy a “safety net” to ensure citizens were able to participate in the upcoming elections.

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Summer is one of the best times to visit our nation’s capital. Travelers from all over the world come to enjoy the city’s monumental history, world-class museums, and diverse dining options, many of which can be enjoyed al fresco on a warm summer night.

Whether you’re coming to town for NAFSA’s Management Development Program or the Strategic Retreat for Education Abroad Leaders this summer, it’s important to enjoy all of the culture D.C. has to offer. Here are some “insider tips” on how to experience the city, whether you are using our convenient bike share program, the extensive metro and bus system, or just going on foot!

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By Josh Davis and Yoko Honda

For the first time, NAFSA will host the Management Development Program in Portland, Oregon, July 25-27, 2016. This interactive, two-and-a-half-day program provides participants with key international education management skills and excellent networking opportunities for professionals in the field. Participants will also meet like-minded colleagues from around the world and have the opportunity to explore all that Portland has to offer.

Must See

International Rose Test Garden
Explore more than 550 different rose varieties, enjoy stunning views of the downtown skyline and Cascade Mountains, and find out why Portland is known as the “City of Roses.”

Music on Main
Enjoy a free concert every Wednesday during the summer in downtown Portland beginning at 5:00 p.m. The ArtBar & Bistro serves seasonal food and drinks beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Powell’s City of Books
The largest independent new and used bookstore in the United States spans a full city block in downtown Portland. Browse more than 1.5 million books in 3,500 different sections.

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By Mandy Reinig

During the course of my time interviewing senior international officers (SIOs), senior education abroad professions, and various recipients of the Education Abroad Knowledge Community Lily von Klemperer (LvK) award, one of the common themes that has emerged is the change in technology they have seen, even in the last 5 or 10 years. These changes have had several interesting ramifications on the field as a whole, as well as these individuals.

One of the most significant has simply been the explosion of the various forms of technology. For many SIOs and LvK awardees, they can still remember a time when Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms did not exist. They have had to learn to adapt to a crazy new world that relies on these technologies to communicate. Many have been excited about these advances, while others have been reluctant to keep up with the ever-changing demands of these new technologies. This required that they hire younger, more technology-adept professionals in their offices to take on these responsibilities.

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Last Thursday, the Supreme Court, deadlocked at 4-4, rendered a terse, nine-word, one-sentence non-decision on the executive actions known as DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans) and DACA plus (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). The absence of one Justice on the bench deprived more than five million people of the just recognition they deserve.

It took courage for people to step forward to ask for temporary relief from the threat of deportation for themselves and their family members. Their goals were to be recognized, to be heard, to go to school and to earn a living, and to demonstrate their desire to keep their families together. That courage was met by a Congress and Supreme Court that are incapable of action, and politicians using people as political footballs, kicking the vulnerable back to the shadows.

Our country has suffered through fractious debates over the past decade on several issues, perhaps none as contentious as immigration. This has caused paralysis. When Congress had the opportunity to address comprehensive immigration reform, the House failed to act and permitted the issue, and those affected, to languish. The administration then announced efforts to prioritize enforcement efforts, with mixed results.

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As international educators, we understand that global learning leads to a more engaged and welcoming United States, and a more secure and peaceful world. To be fully realized, these goals require a functioning immigration system. Our immigration law is the face the United States presents to the world. When it is broken, when the welcome mat is only out for some or pulled away entirely, the world takes note.

Immigration law impacts international education by dictating who may come to the United States, for how long, and what they can do while they are here. International education suffers when the law makes it difficult for international students, scholars, researchers, and others to come to the United States to learn and work. Additionally, by prohibiting the family members of international students from working or studying while they are in the United States, we send a message that they are not welcome, and add additional burdens for international students and scholars to endure.

Perhaps even more troubling is the way our current immigration law impacts the story we tell the world about ourselves. Our story is one of a nation of immigrants that welcomes new people who aspire to work hard and become Americans. Too frequently, in too many places in the world, our aspirational story has been eroded by a perception of anti-immigrant rhetoric and laws targeting immigrants for capricious or harsh treatments. As a result, our ability to achieve the goals of international education are crippled. Reforming immigration law supports the mission of international education, advancing global engagement by welcoming people from around the world to live, work, and study in our communities.

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By Stephanie Martell

attendees_education_200x150The NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo brings together thousands of international education professionals from all over the world. This presents an interesting opportunity to network and create connections in the field. But if you arrive at the conference expecting to make connections only through haphazard encounters at sessions, you may achieve only limited success. You need forethought and preparation. To effectively make use of time at NAFSA 2016, you must communicate with intention.

For me, pre-conference preparation begins with self reflection. I look at where I am and where I would like to be in the near and distant future. With this vision in mind, I research. For example, if my goal in the future is a particular job, I look at the following:

  • what experience others in the position have;
  • what skills are asked for in position descriptions;
  • what networks these professionals are tapped into;
  • how they comport themselves, etc.

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By Brad Sekulich

A career in study abroad was not on my radar when I was an undergraduate student, or even for some time after that. The path that has brought me to the field of education abroad–my chosen field for almost 20 years now–has been very interesting and one I never would have anticipated.

The financial need for a job while working on a PhD led me to take my first job in international education at Texas Tech University. I was their first full-time study abroad advisor and left after a year to become the first full-time study abroad coordinator at University of Texas-Arlington. It’s important to note that I was the first full-timer at these institutions, serving in positions that are now very common. It says a lot about the field’s development in the past two decades. It really is impressive to see the growth of opportunities in education abroad, mostly because it means there is more need for our services. The American mindset is globalizing, albeit more slowly than for most of our liking.

As the field has evolved in the past two decades, so too have the ways we enter it, work in it, and promote it. Now many, if not most, folks working in or wanting to work in education abroad do so intentionally and with quite a bit of forethought.

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By Tiffany Harrison and Kayla Patterson

With the NAFSA annual conference just around the corner, we’d like to talk about the importance of getting social. More specifically, we’re referring to the use of social media to enhance your career and professional development. As we’ve stated previously, merging your offline and online networking together is integral to how you market yourself. To give you a better sense as to why your online profile has become increasingly valuable, we’re covering some of the key questions we’ve received as social media advocates, and discussing what it means for you as an international educator.

Why is social media so important for career development?

Social media is important for career development because it’s such a powerful form of networking. As is inherent in the term “social networks,” channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Instagram have become the places to build a network of friends, fans, followers, connections, or whatever else you’d like to call them! Networking is key to career and professional development. The connections you make on social media could help you get a new job, find a mentor, learn more about your industry, support a career change, and more.

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By Michele Friedmann

As you plan for your trip to Denver and start packing, please consider the following tips and suggestions. The sky in Denver is bluer, the air is thinner and dryer, and alcohol is gong to hit you much harder! But don’t let the high altitude scare you. As long as you come prepared, you’ll be able to fully enjoy your week in Denver!

Denver is nicknamed the Mile High City because its official elevation is exactly one mile (5,280 feet) above sea level, making it one of the highest major cities in the United States! In fact, the 11th step on the state capitol building is labeled “One Mile Above Sea Level.” It was discovered in 2002 that Denver is actually 3 feet higher than previously thought so there’s some debate over whether the correct step. is marked But whether it’s the 11th step or another, either way there’s one step that sits at exactly 5,280 feet!

Altitude Effects

Interested in improving your golf score? You’re in luck! In Denver, golf balls go 10 percent farther due to the low air density. The effects are similar in baseball—fly balls typically transfer 5 percent farther at Coors Field than at Fenway. In this rarified air, cocktails go much further too. Alcoholic beverages hit you much harder at high altitudes than at sea level. It’s highly recommended that you take it easy on alcohol. If you don’t, you’ll certainly feel it the next day. Trust me on this one.

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