Archive for the ‘NAFSA’ Category

By Fanta Aw

#GivingTuesday is today. I urge you to join me in supporting NAFSA’s Diversity Impact Program with your donation. You have often heard me talk about the importance of inclusion and diversity in our field. I remain deeply committed to insuring we continue to engage a deep and strong membership as leaders in the field of international education.

The NAFSA Diversity Impact Program continues our tradition of being an inclusive association. It increases access to our field and profession by underrepresented institutions, and is invaluable in developing outstanding international education programs and leaders.

On this international day of giving, we can all advance our field by contributing in support of diversity and inclusion. Join me by donating now.


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#GivingTuesday is early this leap year, so save the date for November 29. NAFSA will once again participate in the #GivingTuesday campaign in support of the NAFSA Diversity Impact Program.

Founded in 2012 as an international day of giving, this special day celebrates generosity as the holiday season begins. NAFSA will join with more than 30,000 organizations worldwide to support the #GivingTuesday movement.

All funds raised by NAFSA will support the NAFSA Diversity Impact Program, which fosters diversity, both professionally and institutionally, within the field of international education. The Diversity Impact Program provides international education professionals from tribal colleges and universities; historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs); Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs); and community colleges and associates colleges, with complimentary registration to the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo, yearlong mentoring, and access to professional development opportunities.


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By Mandy Reinig

The job search process can be long and tedious. What many job seekers don’t realize is that it can also be an embarrassing and a humbling process, especially if they do not clean up their social media channels prior to their job search.

Currently, 43 percent of employers are using social media sites to make hiring decisions, and 51 percent of those who use social media sites found something that caused them to not hire someone. This included provocative photos; posts bad-mouthing their previous or current employer; and information or pictures about the candidates’ alcohol consumption and drug use. While it would seem like common sense not to post these items, you would be surprised how many people, and not just young people, post these items frequently without understanding the long-reaching consequences.


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Why Study Abroad Matters…

By Mark Farmer

As former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, “In the 21st Century, a quality education is an international education.” The global skills, knowledge, and experiences that are gained while studying abroad have a profound impact on a student’s ability to compete and collaborate with graduates from around the world and produce a more culturally informed citizenry. As educators and policymakers, we need to refocus our efforts to ensure a greater number and more diverse group of students has the opportunity to experience meaningful study abroad.

For Our Students
Studying abroad is a unique educational experience that provides global learning opportunities that are critical to a student’s success in the 21st Century. Students who have studied abroad have greater intercultural understanding, better grasp the complexity of global issues, and are better equipped to work with people from other countries. Studies have even shown a positive correlation between students who study abroad and higher grade point averages and degree completion rates. And this is especially true for underrepresented and at-risk students.

In a globalized economy, these skills are increasingly important and valued by employers. A 2014 survey of 800 U.S. business executives, found that 75% of the companies indicated that a global perspective was important for their staff and 80% believed their overall business would increase if more of their staff had more international experience. A quality study abroad program helps students gain the knowledge necessary to compete in the global economy and provides future entrepreneurs and business leaders a worldwide network that will be indispensable once they graduate. (more…)

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Edited by Ellen H Badger

This month’s Advice From The Field column is authored by Patti Jones, NAFSA volunteer leader and a retired international educator from Western Illinois University. Patti shares her strategies for obtaining resources to support staff professional development.

Q. How can I best advocate for my team to receive the professional training they need? NAFSA’s conferences offer so much, but I can’t afford to send everyone. What are some supplemental resources or tips to get the most NAFSA bang for our buck?

A: Patti Jones
Advocating for your team is always a necessary activity. Our field demands that professional training include a thorough understanding of policy, regulation, and their applications. This knowledge base requires continual updating. Very few people outside of the international office fully understand the nature of our work or its complexity. That is, until an external immigration review by a federal agency or a risk management audit of an education abroad program provides a massive reality check for administration.

Advocacy is all about the influence you have at your institution, and your ability to convince decision makers to consider your course of action. There are two parts to getting the support you need for your team: providing the justification for it, and finding the most economical way to deliver it. Here are some suggestions for strengthening your proposal and getting more “bang for your buck.”


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By Samantha Potempa and Jodi Simek

Networking is one of the most impactful ways you can build your professional expertise and effectiveness. But networking can sometimes take a backseat to some of the more immediate or urgent demands that we encounter in our jobs.

That’s why we would like to highlight some of the networking opportunities from NAFSA that can coincide with—and enhance—the responsibilities of busy international education professionals. We will explore four networking opportunities (of the many NAFSA has to offer) and share thoughts from some of our peers who have already taken advantage of these great resources to help build their professional network.

Knowledge Community and Interest Group Discussions
A great way to connect with fellow NAFSAns while at your desk is through NAFSA’s Knowledge Communities (KCs) and interest groups. Not only are the KCs a great way to share information, but they are also a way to keep up to date on issues and trends in the field while obtaining a variety of perspectives.


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By Adam DiFrisco

Who inspires you? Is it a parent, a partner, a friend? Maybe even a celebrity?

As people, it’s natural for us to look for role models and people who inspire us. As educators and as teachers, we are often that role model and inspire others. But sometimes the opposite is true as well. We are inspired by our students. We are reinvigorated by their enthusiasm, their hard work, and their dedication. It has happened to me, and it has made all the difference in my learning and teaching abilities.

Teaching English Overseas

I have been teaching English overseas with EF English First for more than two years. My education experience was mixed before I started here. I completed high school and university; sought a qualification in wine; pursued teaching qualifications; and set out to learn Chinese. During this time, I also held full- and part-time jobs, and even squeezed in time to “have a life.”

Today, though, I am drawing closer to my thirties, and I am thinking about family. How can I manage to learn a new language, gain further qualifications, and start a family? Can it be done? Well, I am sure we all know the answer is “yes,” but it is not easy and requires discipline. And that’s where my students come in.


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Civil discourse and constructive dialogue seem to have vanished from our collective experience. As the political debates get uglier and become increasingly excruciating to even pay attention to, I thought it would be helpful to share some of the tips I have learned from my involvement in the field of international education.

The “other” in this post refers to someone who is markedly different from oneself – whether politically, economically, geographically, religiously, etc. The process of interacting with someone who is “other” can lead either to degraded, destructive interactions, or to insightful and constructive dialogues that are mutually enriching.


  • noun  di·a·logue \ˈdī-ə-ˌlȯg, -ˌläg\
  • a : a conversation between two or more persons
  • b : an exchange of ideas and opinions
  • c : a discussion between representatives of parties to a conflict that is aimed at resolution

Here are Some Tips to Help

1. Keep it civil.

Consider the definition of “civil”. Merriam-Webster includes “polite but not friendly” in its definition. This is important. You do not need to become best friends with the person you are in dialogue with. Respect your own beliefs and boundaries, but also respect their beliefs and boundaries.


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By Ellen H. Badger and Shawna Szabo

Throughout your career, you will be faced with unavoidable realities that may disrupt your journey. Rather than having these realities affect you in a negative way, why not turn lemons into lemonade? Transforming a possibly negative situation into a positive one is not easy, but it is a skill that certainly can be learned.

During our Career Center Speaker Series presentation at NAFSA 2016 in Denver, we discussed a number of these “career realities” and offered different strategies for dealing with them. We’ve chosen to focus on two for this blog: the increased mobility of employees and the challenge of unfilled staff vacancies.  (more…)

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By Samantha Martin

Are you in conflict at your office? We’ve all been there.

Something got unexpectedly pushed onto our plate, something was said, someone clammed up, someone lashed out, something got dropped, someone was overlooked, something went unnoticed, etc. And, we take offense.

It’s not a mystery why conflict upsets us. No matter the title or years of experience, work is important to us. We invested a lot of time and money to be eligible for the position we are in. We made sacrifices along the way. We want to be seen and valued. We want to grow and know that our work matters.

How do we move beyond trouble at the office? The same way we train our students to move through conflict when they go abroad.


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