While campuses were celebrating the best of what international education has to offer during International Education Week, troubling events (and many troubling responses to those events) were dominating the media. Just over a week ago, we witnessed horrific attacks in Paris and Beirut, and last Friday, more tragic deadly attacks took place at a hotel in Mali. Every day, there seems to be breaking news of violence somewhere. As the co-chairs of the 9/11 commission, Lee Hamilton and Thomas Kean, wrote in a joint op-ed last week: “Absolute condemnation is the only possible reaction to these abominable attacks by those who embrace the universal values of life and liberty. But faced once again with innocent lives taken by a murderous, radical foe, we must re-examine and re-energize our response.”
Archive for the ‘Int'l Education Week’ Category
This year’s International Education Week, November 16-20, was an extraordinary way to focus on the range of efforts and programs that allow students to have more integrated and experiential international education through creative curricular design, expansion of language learning, and increased opportunities for study abroad.
On Thursday evening, I was thrilled to join the Fund for Education Abroad to celebrate their 5th anniversary and to accept the inaugural Fritz Kaufmann Champion Award. That incredible honor provided me an opportunity to note the progress we have made and to reflect on how much there remains to do.
Fritz Kaufmann, founder of Academic Travel Abroad, acted upon his personal experiences and had a vision for the role that international education could play to help rebuild a war-devastated Europe. His lifelong devotion to advancing cross-cultural understanding through international educational travel, multicultural awareness, and language training, continues to inspire us today.
Posted in Events, Int'l Education Week, Internationalization, tagged Senator Paul Simon Awards for Campus Internationalization on November 21, 2014| Leave a Comment »
Internationalization is increasingly becoming a central tenet of university missions and successful institutions innovate unique solutions worthy of recognition. The NAFSA Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization is awarded each year to schools that set themselves apart with their efforts to increase international programming and offer global educational experiences to their students, faculty, and community. In 2014, NAFSA celebrated the 12th anniversary of the Simon Award, and in a panel held on Tuesday, November 18, in Washington, D.C., several presidents and chancellors discussed the ways in which their institutions rose above the rest to receive the award.
Ángel Cabrera is a former Fulbright scholar from Spain and the current president of George Mason University, a public university located in Fairfax, Virginia with more than 33,000 students. When asked about the internationalization successes that his university has seen, Cabrera said that his administration has placed emphasis on scaling up international education opportunities for a large number of students. “We had to make smart ways for students to study abroad,” he said. This has included many programs developed through the Global Problem Solving Consortium, an international partnership of eight universities that George Mason spearheaded.
New reports released on Tuesday reveal increases across the board in international education participation, a sign that higher education is recognizing and promoting the value of educational exchange. As the data show, the United States still has plenty of room for growth, and the benefits are numerous.
NAFSA’s annual economic impact analysis illustrates the financial impact that international students and their dependents have on the U.S. economy. During the 2011-2012 academic year, according to NAFSA’s calculations, these students contributed more than $21.81 billion through tuition, fees, and living expenses. You can explore various breakdowns of the data and discover the economic impact of international students by state, congressional district, and institution.
International students make more than financial contributions, however. “They bring incalculable academic value to U.S. colleges and universities, and cultural value to local communities as international enrollment grows,” said NAFSA Executive Director and CEO Marlene M. Johnson.
International Education Week (IEW) got off to a great start this week, and one of NAFSA’s featured events was the Simon Award Presidential Panel and Awards Reception. Each year, NAFSA presents the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization to institutions making significant and innovative progress in comprehensive internationalization and expanding global education experiences students need in order to compete for jobs in today’s global economy.
This year marked the 10th anniversary of the award, and Martin Simon, son of the late Senator, attended the event and spoke of his father’s passion for international education. Simon closed his remarks by calling for continued support for international education and echoing his father’s words, “a nation cannot drift into greatness. We must dream and we must be willing to make small sacrifices to achieve those dreams.”
Posted in Foreign Students & Scholars, Guest Post, Int'l Education Week, Public Policy, tagged Bicycles Against Poverty, Bucknell University, Economic Impact Statements on November 13, 2012| 1 Comment »
International students and their families contributed more than $21.8 billion to the U.S. economy during the 2011–2012 academic year, according to a new NAFSA report released yesterday. California, New York, and Texas welcomed the largest numbers of international students, and those and other states across the country saw substantial benefits from spending by these students and their families on living expenses, tuition, and fees.
The compelling, real-life stories about the positive impact international students make on our campuses and communities often come from the experiences of international educators who work with them every day. Today we have a post about international students in Pennsylvania from Jennifer Figueroa, director of International Student Services for Bucknell University, in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. If you would like to share your own story, visit the Share Your Story page on Connecting Our World.
Bicycling to Sustainability
By: Jennifer Figueroa
Somehow, I am lucky enough to have a really unique job. I work in higher education, specifically with students that come to study in the United States from all over the world. I travel vicariously through them, and occasionally travel for real when the opportunity presents itself. I’ve mentored, supported, and advised students from far-flung places, nations, and cultures including the Ukraine, Brazil, Rwanda, Honduras, China, Nepal, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Macedonia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, The Netherlands, Madagascar, Yemen, and Tibet. What is the best part of it all? Getting to know them as individuals and seeing the influence they bring to our campus. Each student brings a vibrant and unique perspective to campus, lending new ideas and concepts to classroom discussions and enriching campus programs through cultural experiences.
In the final installment of this week’s series featuring real-life stories about the positive impact of foreign students on state economies and communities around the country (see our posts on the Midwest, Northeast, and South), we go out West. Foreign students spent $4.7 billion during the 2010-2011 academic year across the western states, according to NAFSA’s Economic Impact Statements released Monday. Overall, foreign students and their dependents contributed $20.2 billion to the U.S. economy in the same time period.
See how each western state benefited in this chart and keep reading for insight into how NAFSA member Bob Ericksen leads efforts to engage international students at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA). Learn more about how you can be an advocate during International Education Week at Connecting Our World.
Making Global Connections a Reality
By Bob Ericksen
“Global” and “international” are not slogans at UCLA; they are concepts which are fully integrated into our daily lives.
The Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars is where it all comes together. As director of the Center, I have the privilege of overseeing how our team works passionately and enthusiastically to enhance the UCLA experience for international students and scholars with programs and services; assist academic departments with employment-based visa services; and serve as a resource and learning center for the entire UCLA community to promote global connections, international understanding, and cultural sensitivity.
In the third installment of this week’s series featuring real-life stories about the positive impact of foreign students on state economies and communities around the country (see our posts on the Midwest and the Northeast), we turn to the South. Foreign students spent $5.2 billion during the 2010-2011 academic year across the southern states, according to NAFSA’s Economic Impact Statements released Monday. Overall, foreign students and their dependents contributed $20.2 billion to the U.S. economy in the same time period.
See how each southern state benefited in this chart and keep reading for a first-hand account of how NAFSA member and associate director of international student services at Clayton State University, Brett Reichert, welcomes international students to Morrow, Georgia, and advocates for all students to get the education they need to be prepared for a career in our globalized economy. Learn more about how you can be an advocate during International Education Week at Connecting Our World.
When Globalization Travels Through Your Backyard
By Brett Reichert
Clayton State University in Morrow, Georgia, is located in Atlanta’s “Southern Crescent,” which alludes to the agrarian, “main street” towns of yesteryear. They were connected more with the State Farmers Market nearby than with the world outside. In 1968, Clayton Junior College, as it was called then, opened to serve the needs of this area.
Today, Clayton County touches one of the largest industrial distribution networks in America, and “mall sprawl” is the landscape beyond our serene, piney woods campus. Clayton State is now a comprehensive university of 7,000 students with a graduate school, residence and campus life divisions, nationally ranked athletics programs, and degree programs ranging from nursing and teacher education to MBA’s, supply chain management and archival studies. Jumbo jets, sometimes 4 or 5 in number, are visible floating overhead near the world’s busiest airport just 10 miles away.
We now turn to the Northeast states, as we continue our series this week examining the impact of foreign students on local economies and highlighting real-life stories about their presence on campuses and communities around the country. In the Northeast, foreign students spent more than $5.8 billion during the 2010-2011 academic year, according to NAFSA’s Economic Impact Statements released Monday. Overall, foreign students and their dependents contributed $20.2 billion to the U.S. economy in the same time period.
See how each state benefited in this chart and keep reading for an insider’s view into how international students contribute to our economy and fashion from Erika Rohrbach, an international student advisor and NAFSA member at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City.
Creative International Students Succeeding in Fashion and Business
By Erika Rohrbach
I’m not a numbers person. I suspect I would fail statistics miserably if such a course were forced upon me. But I must confess, when I hear how many international students are in the United States and how much they contribute to our economy, I get a little giddy. 723,277 students; over $20 billion: those are big numbers. These kinds of figures make it easier to open conversations about the value of international education with relative strangers who can translate their meaning into the universal languages of commerce and politics much more easily than I can.
But I’m not in this profession for the numbers. I’m in it for the people. For the students who walk into my tiny, windowless office in this city that hosts the most international students in the country. For my colleagues in academia as well as in government, who share and appreciate the privilege of interacting with those from other cultures as individuals. We are a lucky bunch. We needn’t turn on the television or set foot outside our doorways to encounter the world.
Despite these tough economic times, foreign students are continuing to make significant economic contributions to local and state economies. In the Midwestern states, that impact has been clear – foreign students and their dependents spent $4.5 billion during the 2010 – 2011 academic year across the region, according to NAFSA’s Economic Impact Statements released today. See how each state of the region benefited in this chart, and keep reading for a first-hand account of the many other important contributions foreign students are making in one of the Midwestern states.
The compelling, real-life stories about the positive impact foreign students make on our campuses and communities often come from the experiences of international educators who work with them every day. This week, NAFSA will be featuring their stories from around the country. Today we have a post about international students in Kansas from Emily Lee, assistant director in the International Student and Scholar Services office at the University of Kansas. If you would like to share your own story, visit the Share Your Story page on Connecting Our World, and be on the lookout for more state-level data and personal stories on the NAFSA blog throughout the week.
Student Friendships in Kansas
By Emily Lee
My personal story of discovering international education often begins with me remembering being able to count to fifteen in Spanish while in elementary school. I thought that was quite an accomplishment, but it was not until I went abroad in high school that the impact of how little I really knew about the world and my inability to truly speak another language hit me. It was humbling to meet so many others who spoke multiple languages and seemed to know more about my country than I did. Like many others, that “aha” moment led me to study abroad and travel, and it influenced my career choice. I am now able to see our international students and witness their “aha” moments and the melting of barriers between them and the local community. One of the most inspiring events I see each semester is when we hold a panel discussion featuring current international students during which they speak to our incoming students during orientation about the challenges they have overcome and friendships they have made. It is hard to deny the benefits of international education during those sessions.