By Sora Friedman In my current roles as a teacher of international education and a member of the NAFSA Region XI chair stream, I am often asked about the value of an advanced degree for international education (IE) professionals. When does one need a master’s degree? Will it facilitate professional advancement? What value can a doctorate provide and how does the deep dive into a more focused area help in one’s work? This blog will explore these questions, taking into account that there is no one formula that works for everyone. Do I need a master’s degree to work in the field of international education? Many IE professionals agree that today a master’s degree is the minimal credential needed in the field. Whether in higher education administration, area studies, international management, international education, or another related field, a master’s level study provides you with needed skills that likely were not part of your undergraduate education. Learning about comparative educational systems; how to design and deliver a mobility program; training and advising skills; the structure and function of educational systems (e.g., administrative roles in higher education, accreditation requirements, the needs of faculty); the content and implications of accords, agreements, and legislation such as the Bologna Process, Generation Study Abroad, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; as well as how to conduct thorough and ethical research are all curricular learnings that advanced study can provide. If I decide to pursue a master’s degree, how do I know which program is best for me? The best way to begin is by reflecting on your personal and professional goals. Each school and program offers something different in terms of educational philosophy, approach to learning, time commitment, cost, financial aid, and program structure. I often equate this to dating in that each person can only find the best match for them after exploring their options. Some variables to consider include: Preferred learning style: Do you learn best in a traditional academic setting or when involved with experiential methods? Personal availability: Are you able to attend graduate school full-time for an academic year or are you tied to a job or personal situation such that you would be best served by attending an online or low-residency program? Interest areas: Are you more interested in working in the corporate sector? Educational sector? Nonprofit or mission-driven sector? Which program best addresses those interests? Institutional values: Which program most closely aligns with your personal values? Which institution offers electives that speak to you and will allow you to fill in gaps in your personal and professional understanding and skills? Geographic location: Do you need to remain in a specific geographic region? If so, is there a program that is closely located to where you need to be? Is this as important as it seems, given the ease of travel these days? (I include this because often folks realize that they are not as bound to one location as they originally believed!) Academic requirements: What is required by the program in terms of course work, research, and practical experience? Additional services: What kinds of services are offered regarding career counseling, assistance with finding internships, if required, and writing (especially for folks with writing challenges and learning differences)? What about a doctorate? Is one needed in the field? Many IE professionals argue that while a doctorate if often not required, having one can be helpful because it is frequently a step in the process of securing a position in senior leadership. Of course, the doctorate may be required if one wants to teach at the collegiate level. While I agree with the above assessments, especially for those who work at institutions that are larger, more traditional in their academic approaches, and research-focused, it is important to recognize that many IE professionals have risen to senior IE positions without a doctorate, especially at schools that are smaller, that promote internal career advancement, or that have alternative educational philosophies (however defined). Do keep in mind that a doctorate is more than just a credential, and that the process of earning such a degree provides you with certain skills and knowledge, including the ability to conduct advanced research, whether quantitative or qualitative (both strongly needed in our field), and insights into teaching advanced content. (Heck, in some schools, it also gets you a little raise!) What’s the bottom line? Remember, what is a clear path for your colleague may not be appropriate for you. We each carry our own interests, backgrounds, resources, needs, and visions of the future, all of which should play into your decision about pursuing further study. As you consider your options, I suggest speaking with as many people as possible to gather a diverse array of perspectives, and then following your gut about what is best for you. If you are thinking about pursuing an advanced degree only because you think you should, it may not the right path for you. However, if you are driven to pursue an advanced degree, whether a master’s or doctorate, and know in your gut that it’s what you want to do, then go for it! There are many ways to make it happen, and the rewards are tremendous in terms of both professional advancement and a personal sense of accomplishment, some of life’s greatest gifts. Join me on Thursday, May 28, from 11:00 a.m.–11:45 a.m. for my presentation “ Your Future in International Education: Graduate Study, Goals, and Skills ,” in the Career Center located in the Expo Hall. Sora Friedman , PhD, currently serves as associate professor of international education at SIT Graduate Institute, chair of SIT’s international education master’s degree programs (low-residency and on-campus), past chair of NAFSA’s Region XI, and on the board of advisers of CISabroad. She has worked in the field of international education for 30 years, focusing on the internationalization of higher education institutions, preparation of new professionals into the field, the administration of adult exchanges in public diplomacy, international training programs, high school exchanges, and international policy advocacy. She has lived in Bolivia, Colombia, and England, and is fluent in Spanish.

[via NAFSA: Association of International Educators Blog]

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By Samantha Martin We train students to learn from failure abroad, while we ourselves are feeling afraid to fail at work. We coach students on how to spot a “teachable moment,” like misspeaking in another language, committing a social blunder, or missing the bus. We tell them how to cope with failure using humor, curiosity, and humility. Yet where are we, as international educators, given permission to try and fail? We can’t learn from failure when it’s never okay to fail. An example that comes to mind is being asked to produce new results without permission to try a new approach or tool. Similarly, the underlying message of “this is the way it’s always been done” buries new ideas before they even have a chance to emerge. To be clear, failure as a result of ignorance, negligence, or irresponsibility is not the type of failure I’m exploring here (though all failure can be instructive). The type of failure I’m referring to starts with the courage to try something new in the face of uncertainty. I face this every day with my team as a former education abroad advisor and founder of a new international education technology company. Here’s the joyful truth about failure: the part that “didn’t work” is only a part of the story. On the other side is a better solution, one that was previously hidden behind speculation, convention, and fear. It’s time to reclaim failure as a part of your personal and professional development. Start with these three approaches. 1. If you want a new result, try something new. Failure is ahead, and so are new results! Certain sectors of professionals, like designers, view failure as an important part of every eventual solution. In an online design thinking course, University of Virginia professor Jeanne Liedtka introduced a simple concept: “Fail earlier to succeed sooner.” Designers expect to be wrong many times before they are right. Rather than using historical data and rigorous analysis to devise the big, new, and perfect solution, designers first engage with the individuals involved, present a clear and broad understanding of the problem or problems, and then go through a process of forming, testing, and reforming solutions. We don’t have to be designers to learn from them. We too can practice a form of trial and error learning in our advising, outreach, training, and processes. 2. Make failure a normal topic of conversation. It may seem counterintuitive or ill-advised to talk about failure at work or in everyday conversations, but isn’t it more unrealistic to act as if things can and should always go as planned? In her series “The Power of Vulnerability,” researcher Brené Brown recounts how she is frequently asked to speak at large companies as part of the professional development training. Corporate leaders often ask her to focus her talk on creativity and avoid all that “shame and vulnerability stuff,” claiming that people don’t want to dwell on such negativity. Brown points out that creativity cannot exist without vulnerability. It is an inherently vulnerable process. The organizations that thrive are those that make space for creativity, vulnerability, and failure. When it’s unsafe to try and fail, stagnation is sure to follow. 3. Use “effective” or “ineffective,” rather than “success” or “failure.” About 6 weeks ago I realized that framing actions and results as effective or ineffective removes the judgement and shame that can be felt with the word “failure” and it also honors the intention of the doer as positive. For example, ask “was my approach effective or ineffective?” as opposed to “did I succeed or fail?” This framework also leads to more nuanced reflection. It’s more common to ask “did this project succeed or fail?” but richer insights are in store for those who ask questions like, “were the outcomes from this project effective or ineffective? How so? Why?” Give yourself permission to fail, in the same way you want your students to practice learning from their failures abroad. It’s not easy to submit to the unknown but it may be more painful to remain in a predictable circumstance. Don’t let a single failure opportunity pass you by. How do you learn from failure? Join me on Thursday, May 28, from 9:00 a.m.–9:45 a.m. for my presentation, “ Failure is Not the Other ‘F’ word. Confront Your Fear of Failing and Remove Personal Barriers to Lifelong Learning ,” in the Career Center located in the Expo Hall. Let’s continue the conversation. Samantha Martin is the chief information officer and a founder at Project Travel, a technology company and community of students and international educators. She is the product lead for creating experiences for educational travelers and administrators through an online platform called Via. Her experiences as a Gilman and Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar inspired her to begin her career in international education in 2006. She has worked as a study abroad advisor at State University of New York at New Paltz and a program coordinator with International Education Programs at Jacksonville University.

[via NAFSA: Association of International Educators Blog]

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This week and last week have been dedicated to data collection for all of our different directed research projects. This meant walking a LOT of transects through the forest and getting cut up by wait-a-whiles and getting ticks and sunburn, you know, the typical field work. In the afternoons we’d either go to the center and work on our papers or go out into the field again and collect sap. The nights were spent sitting next to E. resinifera trees to see if we could observe any gliders for some of the DRs. It’s been a pretty rough week but I’ve loved all the field work even if it has meant being exhausted and being up from 6 AM to 11 PM. I’m really excited to start analyzing all of my data next week. Hopefully my hypothesis is correct. This weekend we’re headed into Cairns and a group of us are going snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of pictures to share with everyone when I get back from it!

[via Who’s Abroad!]

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By Clare O’Brien One of the best perks of visiting the Boston area is its vicinity to other fun, historic locations and terrains, including scenic beaches and mountains. This week’s blog post is geared toward those who are interested in further exploring New England and planning to extend their conference week with additional day trips outside of Boston. There are so many options when it comes to going to the beach. Although it may not be swimsuit weather yet due to the cold temperature of the ocean, a walk along the Atlantic can help clear your mind. Plum Island is an 11-mile long barrier island off the shore of Newburyport, and 1.5 hours north of Boston. It offers views of a charming lighthouse and a lush nature preserve, which is a haven for bird watchers from all over the country. If you head up this way, stop and explore the cute shops and cafes in the town center, or stroll along the residential streets of Newburyport , past the brightly colored homes dating back to the shipbuilding days of the 1700s. You may not realize it, but along the coastline, Maine is just a short distance away from Boston. One of my favorite walking paths can be found about 30 minutes north of Newburyport in Ogunquit, Maine . Marginal Way is a 1.25-mile trail which spans from Pelican’s Bay to Ogunquit Beach. This paved path is family-friendly and features beautiful views of the mighty ocean as it hits the rocky shores of Maine. There are stops along the way where you can climb down and dip your feet in the water or climb out further on the rocks for some amazing photo ops. If you are looking to get a taste of fresh lobster, there are several good seafood restaurants in Perkins Cove. Also, another lighthouse lies just a few miles down the road in Cape Neddick . For the avid shopper, Kittery is well known for its outlets. On your journey to or from Boston along the northern coast, you can also pass through the oldest town in New England, Portsmouth, New Hampshire , which is filled with boutiques and gourmet restaurants. The nearby mountains host several hiking options for travelers. The most well-known spot is the Franconia Notch State Park , located about 2.5 hours from Boston, in the heart of the White Mountains. Filled with trails of all levels, this was the former location of the rock formation, “The Old Man of the Mountain.” This park has spectacular views of the surrounding areas and is a great spot to camp, canoe, or just explore. Follow the trail map   and see the sites, including the Flume Gorge located at the base of Echo Lake. Don’t forget that Rhode Island is just a hop, skip, and jump away, and home to two cities not to be missed—Newport and Providence. The maritime city of Newport , located about one hour from Boston, is home to several historic mansions from the mid-19th century and to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Take a trolley tour to get a nice view of this city-by-the-sea or stroll down the 3.5-mile Cliff Walk to see the historic “summer homes” on one side and the stunning views of the ocean on the other. If you have time, you can even stop in and tour one or more of these beautiful mansions. If you prefer a nature trail, visit the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge for more than 2.5 miles of sprawling nature trails along the coast. Providence is a culturally rich city with the Rhode Island School of Design Art Museum located on Benefit Street. The revitalized Downcity area is filled with shops and great restaurants including birch , which offers an intimate setting with a modern American menu. Also, be sure to check out the WaterFire event schedule when it comes out this spring to see if you can catch their spectacular downtown light show. If you are looking to stay closer to Boston, but still have time to explore, consider taking the ferry out to see the Boston Harbor Islands National Park area. Explore Civil War-era forts, take in a full view of the Boston skyline, have a picnic, take a nature walk, or go mountain biking on one of the designated trails. If you would like to visit some of the more well-known tourist locations, Boston Harbor Cruises leaves from downtown Boston and head to Salem , home to the infamous witch trials of 1692, Cape Cod , Nantucket , and Martha’s Vineyard . There are daily ferries to each of these locations and options to take your car or bike. Clare O’Brien is the Local Arrangements Team (LAT) communications chair for the NAFSA 2015 Annual Conference & Expo. Originally from Buffalo, New York, Clare has lived in the Boston area for more than 20 years. She spent close to 10 years overseeing international student advising and study abroad at Fitchburg State University in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, and worked as an international educator in Wisconsin, New York, and Massachusetts while she earned both her master’s and doctorate degrees. Clare currently works part-time as an international education consultant where she has assisted several local universities and third-party providers. She is also coediting an anthology of short stories titled From Bangkok to Boston: Inspiring Stories of Travel and Adventure from International Educators .  

[via NAFSA: Association of International Educators Blog]

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Share UK – University of Bristol For 2015 entry, The University of Bristol is delighted to announce 10 International Office Scholarships for new international students. 5 scholarships for undergraduate students and 5 more for masters students. Level: Undergraduate and Master degree Study at: University of Bristol, UK International Applicants : Yes Amount : £8,500 Deadline : 12th June, 2015 Description The University of Bristol is delighted to announce ten International Office Scholarships for new international students for 2015 entry: Five scholarships of £8,500 each will be available for prospective undergraduate students. This is divided as follows: £3,000 in Year One, £3,000 in Year Two and £2,500 in Year Three. No awards will be made for subsequent years. Five scholarships of £8,500 each will be available for prospective one year taught Masters students. How to Apply To apply for the International Office Scholarships, please click here . All applicants are required to answer the following question: “ Why do you think it is important for a university to have students from around the world?” (max. 350 words). Eligibility Eligible students: All applicants must be classed as international students for fee purposes. All applicants must already hold an offer of a place on a full-time undergraduate or taught masters programme at the University of Bristol. Applicants may be from any discipline. Sponsored students and students in receipt of another scholarship/award over £3,000 are not eligible to apply. Current University of Bristol students are not eligible to apply. Application Deadline The scholarship application deadline is Friday 12th June, 2015 (17h00 UK time) and successful applicants will be informed of the outcome in July 2015. More Information Should you require further information about this scholarship, please contact the International Office at:  iro@bristol.ac.uk http://www.bristol.ac.uk/fees-funding/awards/international/ Share The post 10 Scholarships for New Students at University of Bristol appeared first on Info Beasiswa .

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Photo by Funky Tee , under Creative Commons public license By Clare O’Brien When you arrive in Boston, you will be amazed at the variety of neighborhoods that exist within a relatively small area. While these neighborhoods flow from one to the next, sometimes separated only by a stop on the “T” (Boston’s subway system), each section of the city has its own character and ambiance. This diversity of locales creates a wonderful opportunity to go back in time as you see historical sites, take in the local cultures, and taste foods from around the world. I challenge you to visit as many of these neighborhoods as possible during your free time in Boston. South Boston/Seaport District This is not just the home of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. One of the oldest neighborhoods in the area, this part of Boston is well-known for the working class Irish who still live there today. There are now also Lithuanian and Polish communities found here. Several historical sites can be visited in this neighborhood including Fort Point, Dorchester Heights, and Fort Independence on Castle Island. Downtown Historical landmarks are tucked in-between modern architecture in this central part of the city. Many Bostonians can be found here as civic employees at Government Center or young professionals working in the Financial District, both subdivisions of this neighborhood. They mingle with the tourists who stop at Faneuil Hall to watch the street performers or get a quick bite at Quincy Market. The Theater District is also located here if you are arriving early and are hoping to see a show, the ballet, or even an opera. Photo by Wolfrage , under Creative Commons public license North End Located next to Government Center, this section of the city is heavily influenced by Italian immigrants and is filled with many fine restaurants, cafés, and pastry shops. The home of midnight rider Paul Revere can also be found here, along with the Old North Church, both important landmarks dating back to our country’s Revolutionary War. It’s the perfect place to sit at a sidewalk café and enjoy an espresso or cannoli or both! Beacon Hill This prestigious neighborhood hosts many of Boston’s public figures, which coincides with the fact that the Massachusetts Statehouse can be found here as well. The tree-lined, cobblestone streets with red brick brownstones create a picturesque, pristine atmosphere that draws many a tourist for a wonderful photo op. Be sure to take a stroll down Charles Street, right at the corner where the Boston Common and the Public Garden connect, and enjoy the boutiques and antique shops along the way. Back Bay Another centrally located neighborhood, this busy area of town is home to Copley Place, the Boston Public Library, and the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, one of Boston’s major parkways, which is divided by a grassy, tree-lined median and holds several statues of historical figures from Boston’s past. This area of town has wonderful shopping opportunities on Newbury Street for the high-end shopper or throughout the Prudential Center mall for the tourist. Boylston Street cuts through this neighborhood and is home to many great restaurants and bars if you are looking for a place to unwind after a busy day. Photo by David Ohmer , under Creative Commons public license Fenway/Kenmore With several universities nearby and with the location of Fenway Park, this area of town is usually hopping until late into the night. There are several nightclubs, bars, and restaurants here, and it is the perfect place for a younger crowd. If you are looking to take a stroll, the Fens is a green walkway throughout this part of town that connects to the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The Longwood Medical area is also a part of this neighborhood where people travel from all over the world to see doctors at one of the many prestigious hospitals located here. The list of neighborhoods in Boston continues – Chinatown/the Leather District is one of the most densely populated districts and home to numerous Chinese and Vietnamese markets and restaurants. The South End is a diverse neighborhood with several art galleries and cute shops. If you are looking for a place to eat in this area, don’t miss Restaurant Row on Tremont Street between Berkley and Mass Avenue. Charlestown hosts the famous Bunker Hill memorial. Although not technically in Boston, I can’t complete this list without mentioning a few nearby towns. In Cambridge one can visit Harvard Square to see the street musicians; tour the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or Harvard University; and enjoy a good meal at one of the diverse restaurants in town. Somerville has Davis Square, another popular nightlife spot with live music and late-night restaurants. Brookline , down the street from Kenmore Square, has Coolidge Corner, with quaint boutiques and numerous bookstores. All three areas are accessible by the “T.” Clare O’Brien is the Local Arrangements Team (LAT) communications chair for the NAFSA 2015 Annual Conference & Expo. Originally from Buffalo, New York, Clare has lived in the Boston area for more than 20 years. She spent close to 10 years overseeing international student advising and study abroad at Fitchburg State University in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, and worked as an international educator in Wisconsin, New York, and Massachusetts while she earned both her master’s and doctorate degrees. Clare currently works part-time as an international education consultant where she has assisted several local universities and third-party providers. She is also coediting an anthology of short stories titled From Bangkok to Boston: Inspiring Stories of Travel and Adventure from International Educators.

[via NAFSA: Association of International Educators Blog]

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By Clare O’Brien As I mentioned in my last blog post, there are an abundance of wonderful restaurants in Boston. Several of these restaurants have well-known chefs and are frequently featured on TV and in “foodie” magazines. I know some of you may not have much free time to do the tourist thing and travel around the city, but if you make a point to get out for a meal, many of these locations will allow you to see some of the best parts of Boston. I asked my colleagues from the Local Arrangements Team (LAT) to join in and share some of their favorite eateries. Here are a few of their suggestions: Photo by 6SN7 , under Creative Commons public license LAT Conference Information and Hospitality Co-Chair Adrienne Nussbaum says her favorite Thai restaurant is the Brown Sugar Café , located a short T ride from the Back Bay. Adrienne recommends the Rama Garden, a specialty dish where you can select your favorite meat or veggies, which are steamed and covered in a lovely peanut sauce. Adrienne also highlights Aquitaine , a favorite French restaurant in the South End, or Tapeo on Newbury Street, right in the Back Bay for fantastic tapas. LAT Special Events Co-Chair Laurien Romito loves Lineage in Coolidge Corner, a quaint neighborhood in Brookline, down the street from the birthplace of John F. Kennedy. She enjoys the $1 oysters they serve every day from 5:00-7:00 p.m. This farm-to-table restaurant offers modern American cuisine and is easily accessible by public transportation. If you are willing to venture out to Cambridge, Kristin Vaccaro, LAT conference information and hospitality co-chair, recommends Trina’s Starlight Lounge , which has been featured on Esquire Network’s “Best Bars in America” and the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” Kristin always goes for their “Dog of the Day,” but their menu is outstanding and changes with the seasons. Trina’s is also known for their chicken and waffles, as well as their blue plate special. In addition, the restaurant has spaghetti and meatball night on Tuesdays and Sloppy Joe night on Wednesdays. If you are looking for a family-friendly place to eat, LAT Special Events Co-Chair Theresa Higgs recommends Flatbread Company . Diners can bowl as they eat, and with a variety of pizzas and salads, everyone is certain to find something they like! Theresa also loves The Painted Burro for Mexican food and Redbones for real BBQ. Her selections are found in Somerville in Davis Square, easily accessible by public transportation. For a scenic dinner, LAT Program Support Co-Chair Kathleen Sparaco suggests Alma Nove in Hingham, Massachusetts. The setting for this restaurant is beautiful, and the blending of Italian and Mediterranean cuisine cannot be beat. Kathy explains that you can take a ferry from Rowes Wharf in Boston directly to Hingham, which gives you the chance to see the Boston Harbor Islands along the way. Stacia Biel, LAT co-chair, has several favorites to suggest. She favors two possible options in the North End, Boston’s Italian neighborhood, which boast more than 100 restaurants. Mother Anna’s on Hanover Street, which has been around since 1932, and Bricco , fine Italian dining with a late night menu, serving until 2:00 a.m. Stacia also loves the Union Oyster House , a classic New England favorite at Quincy Market, or Figs , a casual bistro that has two locations (Back Bay or Charlestown) with locally famous chef Todd English serving unique pizzas. She also enjoys Meyers and Chang , which serves contemporary Asian fusion dishes in a modern diner setting. If you have spent time in Boston, what restaurants would you recommend to the out-of-towners? Clare O’Brien is the Local Arrangements Team (LAT) communications chair for the NAFSA 2015 Annual Conference & Expo. Originally from Buffalo, New York, Clare has lived in the Boston area for more than 20 years. She spent close to 10 years overseeing international student advising and study abroad at Fitchburg State University in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, and worked as an international educator in Wisconsin, New York, and Massachusetts while she earned both her master’s and doctorate degrees. Clare currently works part-time as an international education consultant where she has assisted several local universities and third-party providers. She is also coediting an anthology of short stories titled From Bangkok to Boston: Inspiring Stories of Travel and Adventure from International Educators.

[via NAFSA: Association of International Educators Blog]

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Now, Ireland has joined the list of nations which are actively seeking to attract Indian students to their universities.

[via International – IndiaEduNews.net]

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By María José Angel Mex As an early Christmas present last year, I was appointed by NAFSA as a consular affairs liaison to the Italian consulate in Houston, Texas. At the time, I had an idea of what my responsibilities would be, but I knew I still had a lot to learn. This proved to be true earlier this yearwhen I attended NAFSA’s consular affairs liaison (CAL) training in Washington D.C, along with the 40 other members of the  CAL Subcommittee. You might be wondering what exactly CALs do. To put it briefly, we try to help. CALs belong to country groups (France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the “World-at-Large”;) and represent the education abroad (EA) community to one of the consulates of those countries in the United States. We gather as much information as possible from our consulate and share it with the EA community, primarily through the Visas for Education Abroad section of http://www.nafsa.org . But that’s not all—there is a tool called EA Visa Help , also on the NAFSA website, through which advisors can submit inquiries or cases related to visa applications for U.S. students going abroad. CALs are assigned to these cases and provide feedback to help solve the problem or answer the question. Sometimes we will refer to previous cases to answer the query, while at other times we will liaise with the consulate and then get back to the institution or advisor. I cannot express how much I learned at the CAL training, from both my colleagues and the consulate visits. I had the opportunity to visit the French consulate in D.C., and attend a session presented by the United Kingdom Visas and Immigration Agency. I also learned from my colleagues’ visits to the German, Costa Rican, and Spanish consulates. We had the chance to interact and work together as country teams to coordinate and prepare updates, and plan for Collegial Conversations that will be taking place in the months to come. From the visits to the consulates, from my conversations with other CALs, and from exploring the EA Visa Help tool, I am amazed at how much has been accomplished to build a bridge between our institutions and the consulates, and at how much can still be done. My fellow CALs and I are looking forward to the NAFSA 2015 Annual Conference & Expo in Boston, Massachuestts, not only to share our insights , but to hear from the EA community and what they have to say on visa-related topics. I am extremely happy to be part of the CAL Subcommittee. There is so much that we as NAFSAns can give back to the EA community. We all learn, we all know something, and by volunteering with NAFSA , we can share it and make an impact, not only on the EA community, but also on a student’s life. María José Angel Mex is Director of University Relations at Instituto Lorenzo de’ Medici, and Consular Affairs Liaison to the Consulate General of Italy in Houston.

[via NAFSA: Association of International Educators Blog]

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It is going awesome here! I’m currently on mid-semester break and a few of us flew down to Brisbane and are driving back up to Cairns over the next 5 days. I definitely would love to send pictures, but my computer recently has stopped working. I’m trying to get it fixed but no luck so far. I should have a post on the SFS blog soon and I’ll let you know when I do!   So far on our break we have seen the beach near Brisbane and drove up to this overlook that looked out over Brisbane last night. It was absolutely beautiful. Today we drove up to Mt. Tamborine and saw some glow worms. Then we made our way to Springbrook National Park where we saw another cave with glow worms. Apparently the only places you can see them is in Australia and New Zealand which is really cool. We got to Springbrook pretty late so it was dark and going into the cave was amazing. It was pitch black and the roof was speckled with little white dots. It looked like the stars on the most clear night ever. It was so amazing and there was a waterfall right in the middle of the cave with the moonlight shining right down the middle. Unfortunately, it was too dark for me to get any really good pictures.   Some other cool things that have happened…. We went to an animal caretaker and saw a baby Agile Wallaby (which I got to hold), a Pademelon, a baby Ring-tailed Possum, and, my personal favorite, a Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo which was just absolutely beautiful. We also went to visit the Daintree, but we had to leave early because a cyclone was on its way. We’re probably going back after mid-semester break though. I’ll keep you posted on what else is going on. It’s been an amazing trip so far. 

[via Who’s Abroad!]

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