By Elaine Meyer-Lee I am delighted that NAFSA will feature Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman as the Closing Plenary speaker at the 2015 Annual Conference and Expo in Boston, Massachusetts, this May. Like many of us, I was inspired in 2011 when I first learned of Karman’s role in Yemen’s revolution and her longer history in nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peacebuilding work. In 2012, I became more personally connected to the struggle for human rights in the Middle East and North Africa. That year, Saint Mary’s College began hosting an annual U.S. State Department-funded Global Women’s Leadership Institute that included young women leaders from Arab countries in transition like Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq, and Jordan. These spirited and determined women taught my students, my colleagues, and me much about their frustrations, hopes, and plans, as we in-turn have also shared women’s progress and challenges in the U.S. with them. As part of the Institute, the participants create action plans to implement when they return home. For example, the Tunisian delegation in 2013 established a successful women’s mentoring program to counter the threat to women’s freedoms by extremist groups. Recently, the Jordanian delegation documented the serious problem of sexual harassment on public transportation, and created a viable business plan for a network of female cab drivers as one solution. In addition, our time spent studying social justice and strategies for activism continues to bear fruit long afterwards in many small ways, as evidenced in their very active Facebook groups, with postings like Sara’s from Libya: “Today I was elected out of 11 male nominees with the highest votes to become the first female board member at a youth organization where I’ve been working for the past 2 years!” This past summer, the increasing violence in their part of the world often intruded on participants attending our institute. One participant learned of her aunt’s house being destroyed; another participant received a photo of her cousin who was shot; and, our Libyan participants experienced serious difficulty getting home at the end due to growing unrest at home. This backdrop underlined the great urgency for these young women leaders to apply their tremendous potential to creative peacebuilding to benefit all people, as other women successfully have done before them in conflicts in Northern Ireland, Liberia, Israel/Palestine, Sri Lanka, and Yemen. Many share this global outlook. As Kathleen Kuehnast, director of the Center for Gender & Peacebuilding at the United States Institute of Peace, writes, “United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace,and Security (adopted in October 2000) acknowledges the disproportionate impact of violent conflict on women and recognizes the critical role women should and can play in the processes of peacebuilding and conflict prevention, including peace talks, conflict mediation, and all aspects of post-conflict reconstruction. Moving forward globally in an effective and efficient manner, women will need to play a pivotal role in the security and peacebuilding in this new century.” 1 Women make up more than half of the world’s population, and considerably more than half of U.S. college students. As international educators, all of us have much to learn from Tawakkol Karman’s efforts to raise awareness for women’s rights. Because of my own work with the inspiring young Arab women following in her footsteps, I am eager to hear in-depth about her mission and impressive achievements as a catalyst for change. As Karman herself said in her Nobel Lecture, “The solution to women’s issues can only be achieved in a free and democratic society in which human energy is liberated, the energy of both men and women together.” 2 Elaine Meyer-Lee, EdD, serves as a member at large on the NAFSA Board of Directors and as director of the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. She also serves on advisory boards for the American Council on Education’s Internationalization Collaborative and the U.S. State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship Program, and has authored several international education texts. 1 Kuehnast, Kathleen, “Why Women’s Involvement in Peacebuilding Matters,” US Institute of Peace website. 2 Karman, Tawakkol, Nobel Lecture, Oslo, 12/10/2011.

[via NAFSA: Association of International Educators Blog]

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New Delhi: UK universities are now recognising the 10+2 certificates awarded by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), making it equivalent to UK’s “A” level qualification.

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#GivingTuesday, taking place this year on December 2, will once again focus on celebrating and promoting generosity. Started in 2012 by the 92 nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, this global day of giving back was created to encourage charitable activities in support of nonprofit organizations. This year, NAFSA is asking everyone to participate in #GivingTuesday by contributing in support of the NAFSA Diversity Impact Program . This initiative empowers international educators working with underrepresented populations to expand internalization efforts on their campuses. Earlier this year, 27 fellow educators from tribal colleges; historically black colleges and universities; Hispanic-serving institutions; and community colleges and associates colleges attended the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo in San Diego as beneficiaries of the program. We want to expand this initiative for next year to help even more international educators grow and better serve their students. We need your help to do this. For program participants, this is a transformational experience both in terms of professional development and in finding a network of peers and partners. Your support ensures new voices in the field are heard while also establishing a pathway that guides participants into becoming future leaders. In addition to your gift, use the power of social media to encourage your peers and friends to get involved. Tell everyone you know about your participation on this global day of generosity by using the hashtag #GivingTuesday. Post a message on Facebook or send us a message @NAFSA on Twitter . This will build even more awareness about our fundraising effort on this special day. With your gift, you can ensure that the NAFSA Diversity Impact Program will expand next year and support even more of your fellow international educators who are doing vital work today. Celebrate NAFSA on #GivingTuesday with your gift to the NAFSA Diversity Impact Program. Donate to NAFSA on #GivingTuesday !

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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 12 th 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. For The Ohio State University, an idea as simple as switching from quarters to semesters changed the landscape of education abroad for a university already deeply involved in international education. President Michael V. Drake noted that the calendar shift in 2012 opened the doors for more STEM students, athletes, and others with limited time and resources to participate in study abroad. The month of May became the perfect time for short-term faculty-led programs, and participation grew from 1,716 to 2,255 students. The increase in study abroad means that students are more aware of the world and better able to help confront global challenges. “We wanted to do what’s best for the world, so we needed to know about the world,” says Drake. The town of Albion, Michigan, became the sister city to the French neighboring towns of Noisy-le-Roi and Bailly in 1997. Numerous homestays, and exchanges have been conducted since, and Mauri A. Ditzler, president of Albion College, said the relationships provided the perfect opportunity to launch international education university exchanges, including a partnership with the Université de Versailles at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. To illustrate the effect of these strong connections, Ditzler told the audience that the largest delegation to attend his recent inauguration was a group from France. Garnering support for international education may often be difficult in more rural settings, but as a result of Albion’s unique connections, approval was not hard to find. Randy Woodson, chancellor of North Carolina State University (NC State), said refining the school’s international education strategy was the key to improving internationalization. NC State is the largest university in the state, with STEM majors accounting for more than a quarter of all students. At one time, faculty members had signed hundreds of memoranda of understanding (MOU), but by thinking strategically, Woodson and his administration pared that number down and focused more on establishing strong institutional partnerships. In elevating the exchange model from personal to institutional, more resources could support of research and collaboration, and NC State’s international partnerships have produced results on a much larger scale. To read more about these and other Simon Award-winning institutions, purchase a copy of NAFSA’s Internationalizing the Campus 2014 report.

[via NAFSA: Association of International Educators Blog]

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By Julie Anne Friend First, a disclaimer – I’m a lawyer, not a doctor, so the purpose of this blog post is not to provide medical advice, but to reference verifiable medical information and how it can be used to support your risk management strategies, as well as communication efforts, in managing a real or perceived health crisis. Ebola hemorrhagic fever and I go way back. We first met in 1995 while I was a graduate student in Lusaka, Zambia. There was an outbreak of Ebola along our northern border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire). Three hundred and fifteen people died in a village called Kikwit. It was big news, but I can’t really recall how. There were no cell phones, no Internet, and certainly no Twitter. E-mail existed, but access was sporadic and cumbersome. I think I learned everything I needed to know from CNN. I don’t remember being alarmed or afraid. I was right there – well, nearby – and I was not at all afraid. That remained true for me even during the latest outbreak, which reached our shores but only in the most negligible way. And by negligible, I don’t mean to make light of the death of Thomas Eric Duncan or the transmission of the virus to four others , all of whom remain alive (the five others treated in the United States contracted the disease abroad, for a total of 10 cases ). But compared to the tragedy playing out in West Africa – 5,165 dead with a fatality rate of 53-85 percent (depending on the source) – a more compassionate and less fearful reaction would’ve made more sense, particularly on campus. After all, the impact of the Ebola outbreak on U.S. college campuses was not deeply considered at the start of the outbreak. It was summertime and most schools’ campuses were filled with area teens attending sports and science camps. A good chunk of our undergraduates were studying abroad, yes, but mostly in Europe. In fact, according to the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Open Doors data, only one African country –South Africa– regularly falls into the “ top 25 ” of destinations. Of the 283,332 students that studied abroad in 2011-12, just 209 studied in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone combined. So, let’s be clear about one thing – while there may be a great deal to see and learn about in all three of these countries, they are not yet a hotbed of study abroad activity. International students weren’t thought to pose much risk to our campuses either, especially since those from developing countries an ocean away seem to go home less and less frequently. The cost of airfare, the hassles of returning through customs and immigration weighed against the benefit of continuing research or coursework, makes traveling home undesirable. Furthermore, according to Open Doors data, in 2012-13, approximately 14,000 international students came to the United States from Africa; 374 from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone combined. So, in fairness, their populations are small and the options for those seeking education abroad are vast. The United States is one of many choices. Despite the media sensation, there were rational voices speaking out during the outbreak. On October 29, Charles Blow of the New York Times wrote in his editorial about Ebola : “We aren’t battling a virus in this country as much as a mania, one whipped up by reactionary politicians and irresponsible media. We should be following the science in responding to the threat, but instead we are being led by silliness. And that comes at heavy cost.” A few days later, Samantha Powers , the United States ambassador to the United Nations, tweeted,” Ebola has no greater friend than fear—it thrives on it.” And yet, Maine Governor Paul LePage refused to accept the science behind the transmission of the Ebola virus, disagreeing with a District Court Chief Judge’s decision to lift the quarantine on Kaci Hickox, a nurse who had recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone. Hickox won in law, but lost to the court of her community, who didn’t want her touching their hothouse tomatoes, and she graciously obliged by not traveling into town until her 21-day incubation period ended November 10. Thankfully, she can now shop and work and bike with impunity as the day passed without any sign of illness. What does an irrational public have to do with the real or perceived health crisis lurking in the corners of our campus? Perceived or not, it means we have to be prepared to deal with the threat, because someday it could be real, more likely in the form of measles, mumps, or whooping cough ( thanks to you, non-vaccinators ) as well as SARS , H1N1 , or H7N9 . (Or, more likely the seasonal flu, which in combination with pneumonia killed 53,826 in the United States in 2010 ). Using a situation like Ebola to practice your ability to respond to a more likely threat will aid in your ability to act effectively and efficiently. So here’s my 10-step plan for responding to real or perceived health crises involving international programs or travelers. Know where all your people are now, where the came from recently, and where they are going in the future. Use this information to calculate your potential exposure. If you don’t have policies or procedures in place that provide you with such data, use your political capital now to start getting some in place. Classify your stakeholders and determine the type and frequency of messaging they require. Accept that you will have to issue a variety of messages in multiple formats (e-mail, websites, social media, etc.) to get your information out, and that chancellors, parents, and students all demand different levels of detail. Connect and re-connect with campus health professions. Unearth that dusty “pandemic plan.” Disclose everything you know (and don’t know) about your travelers. Discuss reliable web-based resources (to be referenced in your messages) and brainstorm for worst-case scenarios. Convene your crisis management team, at least by phone, and lay out the status of travelers; probability of exposure; response readiness for real medical need; reputational and financial risks of staying back or pressing on; etc. Make assessments based on science and probability, not hyperbole. Decisions, on the other hand, particularly to alter, suspend, or cancel travel may be made for reasons of public policy or financial protection. In doing so, say so. Write collaborative health messages. Work with key stakeholders, including risk health professionals, to determine content and coordinate delivery. Establish a single site for basic health information. Schedule regular check-ins so you all stay abreast of the changing health and travel landscape. Get and stay informed, really informed. Stay on top of the news so you are always prepared to update your messaging or dispel myths. Gather your facts from trusted medical and public health resources, such as this World Health Organization Ebola fact sheet . Do not practice medicine without a license. Set boundaries of your advice and expertise with your campus health colleagues. Establish a medical professional on campus to whom detailed, medical inquiries can be referred. Prepare simple talking points and train all faculty or staff that may be contacted by students or parents on how to respond to inquiries and the risks of transmission of Ebola. Practice non-judgment. Recognize our profession involves informational resources and experiences that don’t much apply to other professions. This makes it easy for us to wonder, incredulously but also unfairly, about our less-than-worldly fellow citizens. When confronted with irrational Ebola fear or a true misplacement of facts, use it as an opportunity to educate. Graciously. And with compassion. Responding to real or perceived crisis is part of the job of any study abroad professional. While the widespread outbreak of infectious disease is unlikely to occur as frequently as appendicitis (once a year on my watch!), it will occur again. And now we have no excuse not to be ready. NAFSA has joined with the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, the Institute of International Education, and the National Association for College Admissions Counseling to share the following guidance for member institutions implementing policies and practices related to Ebola and other global public health concerns. In addition, NAFSA has compiled a number of valuable Ebola-related resources for education abroad and international student and scholar services professionals. Julie Anne Friend is the director of global safety and security at Northwestern University . She is a licensed attorney in the state of Michigan and writes regularly for NAFSA’s International Educator on topics of insurance and risk management.

[via NAFSA: Association of International Educators Blog]

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New Delhi: The U.S. Department of State launched a new website, Passport to India, ( www.passporttoindia.com ) at the 3rd India-U.S. Higher Education Dialogue held in New Delhi yesterday.

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With the holiday season almost upon us and winter break just weeks away, you might want to start considering how you’ll spend your free time. And while working and internships are ideal, winter break also provides you with the opportunity to read for pleasure. There are a range of benefits gained from non-required reading that are not confined to just reading ability: Leisure reading has shown to help students be more articulate, develop a higher order reasoning and think more critically. Not sure what to read? Check out the titles from some of your favorite celebrities below for some book-spiration : /HTMLCHUNK_5/ Lena Dunham – Bad Behavior Emma Thompson – Bring Up the Bodies Arnold Schwarzenegger – Incognito Elizabeth Gilbert – Rome Ira Glass – North Country: The Making of Minnesota John Grisham – All the King’s Men Anne Lamott – I Knew You’d Be Lovely Colin Powell – The Summer of 1787 Are there any books that you’re currently reading that you’d like to add? Please share them in our comments section. And as always, don’t forget to create a free profile Scholarships.com to get matched with awards that reflect your unique interests and attributes. Copyright © 1998 – 2013 Scholarships.com, LLC, Scholarships.com™ All Rights Reserved, Scholarships.com, LLC, Publisher

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November 14, New Delhi: In a special keynote address at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) Higher Education (HE) summit in New Delhi yesterday, Greg Clark, Minister of State for Universities, Science and Cities, UK, released  a Knowledge Paper, in collaboration with British Council, on the future of Indo-UK collaboration in higher education.

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Child Soldier

by Paul Joseph on November 13, 2014 · 0 comments

By Jesse Lutabingwa I am extremely pleased that Ishmael Beah, a Sierra Leonean author and human rights activist, will be one of the plenary speakers at the NAFSA 2015 Annual Conference & Expo in Boston. As a young boy, Beah survived a rebel attack during a civil war that killed his parents and two brothers. At the age of 13, he became a child soldier for the government army and fought for more than two years before being rescued by UNICEF . The plight of children affected by these senseless wars was brought home to me in Tanzania. In 1996, I met a young Rwandan Tutsi refugee who escaped a massacre there in 1994. This boy, who at the time seemed to be between 13 and 14 years old, told a story of how he managed to survive by pretending to be dead by laying amidst bloodied dead family members and neighbors. This boy was psychologically and emotionally traumatized by what he had lived through and was experiencing nightmares at the time. As I listened to his story, I remember thinking to myself, how can this child be rehabilitated so that he can live a normal productive life without fear or the urge to take revenge. It was only later in my adult life that I came to realize that my childhood experience was different than that of many other children, like Beah, in other parts of the world. Growing up in Tanzania, I was very fortunate to have a normal childhood. I walked three to four miles each way to school that was normal by Tanzanian standards. I played soccer in the dirt with my friends, went to fetch firewood in the forest with others from my village, and got into trouble just like many other boys. I really enjoyed being a child – sometimes I wish I could return back to those childhood years in Bukoba, my hometown. It is amazing to think that my hometown located in the northwestern part of Tanzania is only a few miles away from villages in Northern Uganda where the long-term rebellion of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) against the government had such an adverse significant impact on children. Thousands of them, some as young as eight, were abducted, forced to become child soldiers, and turned into sex slaves. They were beaten and forced to torture and kill friends, family, and innocent people – even forced to commit atrocities on fellow abductees. Those who attempted to escape were killed. Beah’s work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for children affected by war, as a member of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division Committee, as co-founder of the Network of Young People Affected by War (NYPAW), and as the president of the Ishmael Beah Foundation , brings the world’s attention to the plight of child soldiers and many children affected by wars they did not start. His work gives a voice to many silent suffering current and former child soldiers all over the world who cannot speak for themselves. I cannot wait to meet Beah and listen to what he has to share about his experiences, how he overcame the trauma of being a child soldier, and what happens to child soldiers when their wars have ended. Truly, for them, then a different war begins. Jesse Lutabingwa Associate Vice Chancellor for International Education and Development Appalachian State University

[via NAFSA: Association of International Educators Blog]

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For the budget-conscious high school senior, it seems like a no-brainer to apply to the local state school for the best shot at affordable tuition. But that’s not always the case: Depending on where you live, an out-of-state college may be even cheaper than your home state university . Don’t believe us? Check out the list below from U.S. News and World Report for the top 10 public colleges with the lowest tuition for out-of-state students : /HTMLCHUNK_5/ Delta State University – $6,187 Minot State University – $6,224 Bemidji State University – $8,134 Oklahoma Panhandle State University – $8,293 West Texas A&M University – $8,312 Mayville State University – $8,894 Northern State University – $9,563 Midwestern State University – $9,703 South Dakota State University – $9,795 Wayne State College – $9,804 Did your prospective college make the list and does this information alter your interest in the school? Share your thoughts in the comments section. And don’t forget that even affordable college tuition can still be expensive! Try and fund your education with as much free money as possible – a great place to start is by creating a free profile on Scholarships.com , where you’ll get matched with financial aid that is unique to you! Copyright © 1998 – 2013 Scholarships.com, LLC, Scholarships.com™ All Rights Reserved, Scholarships.com, LLC, Publisher

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