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Archive for the ‘Guest Post’ Category

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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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 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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By Patricia Jones

When I got my first business card, I was so excited. Here at last was proof that I was a recognized professional in a position of authority in international education. I could exchange it with my peers, provide it to my students, and present it to individuals from around the world. This was validation of who I was.

For years, I carried it proudly in my card case. It was a part of my personal identification. But then came the day that it no longer defined me. I was retiring.

Many of us look forward to the day when we don’t have to get up early in the morning, dress for work, and do our jobs all day. However, as we close in on that rite of passage known as “retirement,” we often have concerns about how we will adjust. What will we do with our time? How will we replace the interactions with our colleagues? Will we still grow intellectually? Our lives are so filled with individuals we serve, people we nurture, and cross-cultural experiences we share that we are not sure about the whole process of moving into this new world of unknowns.

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By Kashanna Fair


(Photo Credit: @scsuabroad on Instagram)

Map? Check. SmarTrip? Check. Hill appointments confirmed? Check. In March, at the 2016 NAFSA Advocacy Day, more than 100 NAFSA advocates, representing over 30 states and districts across the United States, came to Washington, D.C., to address topics integral to international education with their elected officials on Capitol Hill. Advocates shared the benefits of international students coming to the United States, the importance of American college students studying abroad, high-skilled immigration reform, and the need for betterment of U.S.-Cuba relations.

One particular group that came to Advocacy Day represented Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). I had the opportunity to follow this dynamic group throughout the day. They were a diverse and energetic group of 10 students and four faculty members who came to meet their congressional delegation. Excited and talkative, the college students strategized how they were going to engage with their leaders. The group met with staff from the offices of Senator Richard Blumenthal and Representatives Rosa DeLauro and John Larson to discuss high-skilled immigration reform and legislation that would end the U.S. trade embargo and travel ban on Cuba.

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By Michele Friedmann

You may need to extend your trip by a week or two to enjoy just a handful of the many fun things to do in the Mile High City! There’s a reason Colorado was voted the 4th happiest state in the United States—adventure and unbeatable weather await you every day. From hiking and biking trails, to exciting sporting events, and a growing culture, music, and art scene, there’s a lot to experience during your visit to Denver!

Rockies Game

Fortunately for baseball fans attending the NAFSA conference, the Rockies have quite a few home games during the week of conference. Even if you’re not a fan, it’s fun to see the ballpark and be a part of the energetic vibes. Coors Field is located in lower downtown, surrounded by fun bars and restaurants. You can purchase general admission tickets starting at $14, which include $6 in concession or merchandise credit and access to seating near The Rooftop, a fun bar and hangout spot.

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By Michele Friedmann

Denver has a well-deserved reputation of being the Napa Valley of craft beer. Every neighborhood has a thriving bar scene and you’re certain to find a local wine, spirit, or craft beer that will make you want to return for more! Each local has his or her own top happy hour selections and there are too many to list in a single blog post! You’ll find my favorites below, but I encourage you to explore during your time in Denver and fill me on any secret spots you stumble upon!

Downtown

The Wynkoop Brewing Company is known for its delicious local brews and famous founder, Governor John Hickenlooper. It was the first brewpub to open in historic downtown Denver after the end of Prohibition! At Wynkoop, you can enjoy live comedy in the basement or play pool upstairs – there are bars on both levels. On Monday-Friday from 3:00 p.m.-6:00p.m., you can enjoy great happy hour- specials: $3.50 on select beers and $4 for food specials. Complimentary brewery tours are available Tuesday through Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

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By Erika Rohrbach

One of the great privileges of working in international education is getting to interact with people from all over the globe. From my corner in international student and scholar services, this interaction takes place every day in person, which, in today’s ever more technologically driven, SEVIS-centered environment, feels as if it’s becoming more of a luxury than the norm for conducting business. My vantage point both in my day job and from having served on NAFSA’s Membership Committee, where I’ve worked with our member interest groups and focused on diversity-related concerns, has made me acutely aware of the value of having a multiplicity of perspectives represented.

This past December, NAFSA’s Board of Directors reaffirmed the association’s shared belief in the value of difference by broadening its diversity statement to explicitly encompass inclusion—a concept that for many of us may seem a no-brainer and diversity’s twin aim, but considering recent events in North Carolina and the current political dialogue, one realizes there has seldom been a time in recent memory when the need to champion inclusion has been more pressing.

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By Mandy Hansen

I asked my colleagues and session attendees the following question: “What is one challenge that you’ve had, as a woman, in navigating your professional life?”

A few of the replies include:

  • Confined to one role, locked in and not supported;
  • Balancing being assertive and being perceived as “bossy”;
  • Trouble being heard and taken seriously;
  • Being a woman of color and not having someone to look up to and be a mentor; and
  • Lack of understanding of the work done: it’s viewed as “fun” and anyone can do it.

Renditions of these replies are repeated even though the audience shifts from state to state. I’ve done three different sessions on the topic of women and leadership in three different states over the past eight months, and certain themes emerge that turn a solitary experience into one that is shared among others in the room. The goal of these sessions is to open up the dialogue and validate the experiences of women.

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