Earlier this week, I made the quick three-block trip from the NAFSA office to the White House for an energizing afternoon with government officials, media representatives, and travel bloggers. As an important driver of public opinion, the media have the ability to use their influential voices to educate readers about the importance of study abroad and encourage more U.S. students to engage in meaningful travel. This was the goal of the White House Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship, to raise awareness of the benefits of cross-cultural education and cultural exchange, while boosting international student mobility across borders. Study abroad is one of the best ways to provide students with the foreign language and cross-cultural skills necessary to compete and thrive in today’s global economy. Data from a recent MetLife survey show that 65 percent of Fortune 1000 executives identified global awareness as “very important” or “essential” in order to be ready for a career. International experiences not only prepare students to succeed in careers, but also collectively strengthen our cultural diplomacy, national security, and the economy. As I continue to reflect on the White House Summit, I’m reminded of President Obama’s continued leadership on creating a more globally engaged and welcoming United States. Here are just a few examples of the Administration’s accomplishments: The newly announced creation of a U.S. Study Abroad Office at the U.S. State Department, as announced at this week’s White House Summit. The President’s strong leadership on comprehensive immigration reform and latest executive action . Creation of the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council (HSAAC), which provides ongoing advice and recommendations to the Secretary on matters related to homeland security and higher education. Creation of the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative to build critical ties between students and scholars in the United States, Latin America, and Canada. Opening up academic travel to Cuba . Extending visa validity for students, scholars, and professionals seeking to travel to and from China . Continued public support from Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for the importance of learning to compete and collaborate in a global society. NAFSA has long advocated for these and other changes in policy around study abroad , and we applaud these accomplishments from the Administration. We also need the President’s continued leadership to increase diversity and access to study abroad and international education. Right now, only 1% of U.S. students study abroad each year. To enhance America’s economic vitality, future security, and global leadership, we must exponentially increase study abroad opportunities for all students. Find additional key NAFSA policy recommendations on the NAFSA website. These include the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Act , which would increase the number and diversity of students studying abroad, and broaden the destinations where they study. But of course government cannot do this alone. We must continue to collaborate with our colleagues in government, business, media, and higher education institutions around the world. Watch the White House Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship on YouTube and read some of the tweets . Marlene M. Johnson is CEO and Executive Director of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. Follow her on Twitter @MarleneAtNAFSA .

[via NAFSA: Association of International Educators Blog]

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By Fanta Aw As I complete my first term as President and Chair of the Board of Directors, I wish to express my deep gratitude to all for your commitment to the association and the important work of international education. It has been an honor serving the association and together, through NAFSA, we have achieved a great deal over the past 2 years. In 2014, NAFSA launched many new and important programs and increased efforts to complete long-range goals. Those include the “100,000 Strong in the Americas” initiative to expand educational exchange in the western hemisphere, continually advocating for commonsense immigration reform, and providing even more tools and programs aimed at growing campus internationalization. As an association, NAFSA has a social responsibility to ensure that our programs and services and our campuses reflect an equitable, just, and inclusive agenda, and that underrepresented institutions and groups are included in all facets of our work if we are to achieve meaningful internationalization. In addition, we need to engage with parts of the world that have been significantly absent – Africa and South America – to ensure that marginalized voices are represented and reflected in our work. We are making progress and need to stay the course. Implementation of initiatives such as the new NAFSA Diversity Impact Program is an important step. The program supports those working at institutions serving underrepresented populations by helping them expand capacity, grow study abroad, and increase student global competencies. It also allowed many to attend the Annual Conference & Expo and hold NAFSA membership for the first time. For the educators receiving these awards, this is a transformational experience both in terms of professional development and in finding a network of peers and partners. In 2015, we want to expand this program to help even more international educators grow and better serve their students. We need your help to do this. Over the past few years, our field has experienced unprecedented growth and a spike in interest. It is imperative that NAFSA builds programs and services with future generations of students, scholars, and professionals in mind. We must anticipate and understand the ways future generations conceptualize the value of this work. This requires intentional dialogues with a new generation of professionals and putting in place mechanisms for being responsive to the changing demographics within our profession. By supporting NAFSA’s fundraising efforts this year, you will ensure that NAFSA can rise to the occasion of encouraging this new generation to grow not only as international educators within their respective institutions, but also in becoming future leaders of our organization through their continued interactivity with our membership. Reaffirm your commitment to NAFSA by contributing a tax-deductible gift to support the NAFSA Diversity Impact Program to make all of these goals a reality for next year. Thank you for your commitment and engagement. I look forward to working with all of you to advance our work. Donate now at www.nafsa.org/donatenow to support NAFSA’s Diversity Impact Program and additional NAFSA programs dedicated to advancing the field and increasing diversity and inclusion among international education.

[via NAFSA: Association of International Educators Blog]

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By William R. Holmes It is with great pleasure that I write about Malcolm Gladwell who will be our Opening Plenary speaker at the 2015 NAFSA Annual Conference and Expo in Boston. A renowned journalist, author, speaker, and a recipient of the Order of Canada, Mr. Gladwell’s five books have each made the New York Times best sellers list. What intrigues me most about Mr. Gladwell’s books is that they seem to speak so clearly to my own experiences, while causing me to reconsider the circumstances surrounding those experiences. While I have never met Mr. Gladwell, I feel a certain affinity with his perspectives. Perhaps it is because we are of a similar age and both grew up in the same region of Southern Ontario in Canada. We also share the fact that both of our fathers were professors at the University of Waterloo. After my father gave me a copy of Mr. Gladwell’s second book, Blink , which I literally read in one sitting, I immediately rushed out to get a copy of The Tipping Point . Since then I have read each of Mr. Gladwell’s books as soon as they hit the bookshelves. What makes his writing so compelling is that he develops hypotheses to explain what appears at first to be everyday social and economic occurrences, but in reality are fascinating behavioral phenomena. Have you ever wondered why we have sudden revelations, or considered what defines the point at which significant societal shifts occur. Or what set of circumstances contribute to the extraordinary levels of accomplishment that some individuals attain in their chosen skill, sport, or other pursuit? Malcolm Gladwell combines qualitative and quantitative research with engaging storytelling in order to convince us of the validity of these hypotheses. In short, he causes us to take an in depth look at what we take for granted and delve deeper into why individuals and societies behave as they do. Mr. Gladwell’s work reflects the experiences of a very wide audience. Whether or not everyone agrees with the conclusions he makes, Mr. Gladwell’s greatest achievement is that he causes his readers to stop and think more deeply about their experiences as individuals and as a part of our larger society. I have seen Mr. Gladwell speak on a number of occasions, and each time he challenges his audiences to examine their own assumptions and to question the world that they often take for granted. I would like to thank NAFSA for giving its community of international educators the opportunity to engage with this truly talented social commentator. William R. Holmes, DBA, is vice provost at the Sheridan Institute of Technology, and a member of the NAFSA Board of Directors. He holds a doctor of business administration from the University of Southern Queensland, a master of business administration from the University of British Columbia, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Waterloo.

[via NAFSA: Association of International Educators Blog]

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The All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) happens to be India’s most important medical entrance examination for undergraduate medical programs because it allows aspiring candidates the chance to secure a seat in some the country’s best medical colleges.

[via Colleges in India Admission Alerts]

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By Meredith McQuaid The University of Minnesota (UM) will soon regretfully close out what has been a celebratory centennial year. In 1914, UM welcomed the first Chinese students from Shanghai, China, to our Twin Cities campus, and our relationship with the country and its people has flourished ever since. For the past 12 months, we have been celebrating that long history, and the mutual understanding we have gained through our many partnerships and programs. In the intervening century, much has changed in both countries, but our ties — based on student and scholar exchanges and faculty relationships — have held strong. So, you might appreciate that the recent announcement from the White House regarding the increase in the length of student and exchange visas (for both U.S. and Chinese citizens) felt to us like a centennial gift! The reciprocal extension of visa validity for short-term business and tourist travel, as well as for students and scholars, will promote more interaction and increase opportunities for people-to-people interaction. This means we will be able to build even more mutual understanding and enhance the future security of both our nations. And, those of us in international education can appreciate how it will make travel between our countries much easier and less stressful for our students and scholars. Our thousands of Chinese alumni can celebrate with us, knowing that their children and grandchildren (and, in some cases, great-grandchildren) can engage in the life of both U.S. and Chinese cultures with less anxiety than perhaps they experienced. Thank you to the governments of both the United States and China. Here at the University of Minnesota, we are looking forward to another 100 years of deepening our educational, cultural, and historical ties with China, along with preparing our graduates to become the future leaders of both our countries. Read more about this change in visa policy on NAFSA’s website. Meredith McQuaid is the associate vice president and dean of international programs at the University of Minnesota, and a member of the NAFSA Board of Directors.

[via NAFSA: Association of International Educators Blog]

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Moscow: 11 Indian universities have made it to the top 100 in the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine’s ‘BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings 2015′ – a ranking for universities in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), and 17 other emerging economies

[via International – IndiaEduNews.net]

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Five Indian students have been selected as recipients of the prestigious Rhodes Scholarships 2015 that will allow them two or three years of study at the University of Oxford.

[via International – IndiaEduNews.net]

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How much you end up spending on room and board will vary greatly depending on the school you attend and how flexible you are in terms of your choice of housing. And with the average cost for room and board for the 2014-2015 school year hovering around $10,000, considering schools with more affordable options may be essential to managing your college budget . Check out the list below from U.S. News and World Report for the top 10 schools with the least expensive room and board below: /HTMLCHUNK_5/ Rust College – $4,000 Oklahoma Panhandle State University – $4,200 Cameron University – $4,664 Blue Mountain College – $4,800 Thomas University – $5,050 Auburn University at Montgomery – $5,390 Alabama State University – $5,422 Mayville State University – $5,430 Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University – $5,440 University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma – $5,470 Did your prospective college make the list? Would you consider a school based on room and board affordability? Share your thoughts in the comments sections. And don’t forget to 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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Looking for a way to pay for your college education that includes free money? Well, you’re in luck! Here at Scholarships.com, we provide users with the most relevant scholarships and educational information out there. /HTMLCHUNK_5/ By registering at Scholarships.com , you’ll have access to more than 2.7 million local, state and national college scholarships and grants worth $1.9 billion…and did we mention that you’ll be eligible to win $500 automatically just for registering? That’s right: Filling out a complete profile will enter you into our monthly drawing for $500. No lengthy essay or massive application packet required – it doesn’t get any easier than that. Complete your profile, get entered to win $500 and start exploring additional scholarship options today! For more information and official rules, please click here . For more information on finding money for college and how to properly fund your college education, check out Scholarships.com Financial Aid section and conduct a free scholarship search today! Copyright © 1998 – 2013 Scholarships.com, LLC, Scholarships.com™ All Rights Reserved, Scholarships.com, LLC, Publisher

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UGC notified Universities to make way for new UG courses in order to accommodate students who had opted for CBSE’s various new academic subjects. In the notice, Dr. Shakeel Ahmad, Deputy Secretary, UGC, notified all the Vice-Chancellors of universities to “take appropriate action for recognition of these new subjects for the purpose of admission of students in degree programmes.” Read more…

[via Colleges in India Admission Alerts]

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