IIE Blog Opening Minds
Daniel Obst

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Daniel Obst

  • 100 Years of IIE: From Student Mobility to Strategic Engagement

    By: on Thursday, July 23, 2015

    When IIE was founded nearly 100 years ago, one of the first actions founding Director Stephen Duggan took in establishing the new organization was to survey 250 colleges and universities in the United States to determine their capacity and interest in exchanging students and professors with foreign countries. With results of this survey in hand, Duggan visited Great Britain, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, and Yugoslavia in the summer of 1919. He personally delivered hand written letters of introduction to authorities and university officials, prominent journalists, and distinguished scholars across Europe, paving the way for educational partnerships and exchanges between universities in the United States and Europe.

  • Are We Making Progress Toward Doubling Study Abroad?

    By: on Monday, July 6, 2015

    Roughly 15 months after IIE launched the Generation Study Abroad® initiative, it’s time to take stock. Are we making progress? Can we achieve our goal of doubling study abroad by the end of the decade? We have built an impressive coalition of educators, parents, students, alumni, and funders who are pledging specific, actionable goals and tangible financial commitments that will contribute significantly to reach our ambitious goal.

  • Myanmar: What a Difference 2 Years Can Make

    By: on Tuesday, June 2, 2015

    When we first traveled to Myanmar two years ago, there was little to no Wi-Fi, few mobile phones (SIM cards could only be obtained by lottery and cost around $1,500 each, making it unaffordable for most), no ATM machines or credit card usage, and frequent electricity outages. Fast forward just two years: consistent access to Wi-Fi, excellent 3G, and little need to bring stacks of cash anymore (credit cards are now accepted at most hotels). The arrival of telecom providers TeleNor and Oredoo has reduced the price of SIM cards to $1.50 resulting in a reported 30%+ market penetration of cell phones. Electricity outages are still common, and traffic in Yangon is worse than ever, but major change is palpable everywhere, and ATMs and 3G are just the more visible manifestations of this extraordinary transition.

  • My Town, Our World: A New Virtual Exchange Initiative for Secondary Schools

    By: on Tuesday, March 24, 2015

    How do you engage secondary school students in a dialogue around the world?

    We asked ourselves this question a year ago, and our search for the answer has led to an exciting new virtual exchange initiative called My Town. The initiative engages thousands students from around the world in interactive, competitive projects, that encourage students to explore aspects of their own towns and cities while learning about towns and cities of their peers.

  • Top 10 Tips for Immersing Yourself in the Culture While Studying Abroad

    By: on Thursday, August 7, 2014

    In an op-ed in the New York Times about the ‘world’s coolest places,’ columnist Nick Kristof writes that "travel can also be an education, a step toward empathy and international understanding." At IIE, we couldn't agree more. In fact, this was one of the most important factors that led to the establishment of IIE in 1919.

  • Top 10 Reasons to Study Abroad

    By: on Wednesday, January 15, 2014

    "Every student who wants to succeed in the global economy should study abroad." That is the first sentence of IIE's new book, A Student Guide to Study Abroad, which was published by IIE in collaboration with the AIFS Foundation, and is packed with essential tips and information for students looking to study abroad.

  • Internationalizing Higher Education in Norway: A Conversation with the New Norwegian Minister of Education and Research

    By: on Monday, January 6, 2014

    Last month I met with Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, the new Minister of Education and Research in Norway, who was in Washington, DC, for the annual Transatlantic Science Week organized by the Royal Norwegian Embassy. We spoke about higher education internationalization in Norway and the priorities for academic collaboration with the United States. Mr. Røe Isaksen, who holds a MA in Political Science from the University of Oslo, also spent one year in the United States as a student at Carl Junction High School in Missouri.

  • Developing International Relations Offices in Myanmar

    By: on Tuesday, October 29, 2013

    In September, IIE announced that it is launching a new course designed to train Ministry officials and university representatives in Myanmar on how to create and manage an effective international education office. The new course, “Connecting to the World: International Relations for Higher Education Institutions,” will be an "essential step to enable universities in Myanmar to connect with institutions in the United States and other countries so that they can build institutional capacity and prepare their students to meet current workforce needs and support rapid economic development." This project is part of a broader IIE Myanmar higher education initiative which seeks to help the country rebuild its higher education capacity.

  • The Next Big Thing in International Education Is...

    By: on Tuesday, September 17, 2013

    According to the London-based investment bank IBIS Capital, the global education market is now worth $4.4 trillion. And the latest numbers from OECD suggest that approximately 4.3 million students are now studying outside their home country. What does this mean for international education and how will it affect our work?

  • What is the Next Big Thing in International Education?

    By: on Wednesday, April 24, 2013

    Higher education institutions, educational organizations, and governments around the world are continuously looking for new ways to engage internationally and to keep their academic institutions relevant and competitive. Funding organizations and governments are investing substantial resources in international education, and are seeking to identify new areas to support.

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About Opening Minds

For more than nine decades, the Institute of International Education has been at the forefront of international education. The Opening Minds blog is IIE’s take on how this field continues to change. Here the Institute’s leaders will explore international educational exchange, global student mobility, institutional partnerships, international development, and other topics and trends that are shaping higher education around the world.


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E-mail: blog@iie.org