About Connecting with the World

Connecting with the World is a training course for international professionals coordinated by the Institute of International Education. The course is made up of two levels, each containing 20 lessons. The course currently offers training to education professionals and Ministry officials from Myanmar, giving them the tools to develop and manage an international office.

The 20-week course provides comprehensive instruction on topics such as hosting a foreign delegation, facilitating student and faculty exchange, developing institutional agreements, and the basic role of the international office within a university. Additionally, IIE coordinates a group of experienced mentors from around the world that provide personalized feedback, advice, and guidance to their counterparts in Myanmar.

The course curriculum is developed by IIE in collaboration with leading international educators at: Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey, the Monterey Institute of International Studies, Northern Arizona University, Ohio Wesleyan University, Bangkok University and the University of Zurich.

Program Components

  • Mentoring, Participants are matched with experts in international education from around the world.
  • Virtual, The course is administered in a virtual format.
  • Workshops, Participants come together twice a year to network and learn about the course.
  • Professional Development, Select funding is available for participants to travel abroad to learn from their mentor.
  • Myanmar International Higher Education Association, The association was created by graduates of the course and hopes to increase connections between institutions in Myanmar and abroad.

The 20-week course is delivered in a hybrid distance learning model tailored to local technology capabilities, and provided comprehensive instruction on topics such as hosting a foreign delegation, facilitating student and faculty exchange, developing institutional agreements, and the basic role of the international office within a university. The U.S. Embassy, the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA), and English Language Services, Inc. (ELS) provided additional support throughout the pilot. Each participant is paired with one of thirty-five volunteer mentors, with whom they share weekly assignments and feedback by e-mail, and in some cases hold virtual meetings through Skype. The mentors are international education specialists from around the world.

Initial Course Outcomes

  • 100% of the 56 participants completed the course.
  • 98% of participants reported that they would use the ideas, strategies, skills and knowledge gained during the Connecting with the World course in their current work.
  • 84% reported that their participation in the course increased their level of confidence in facing new challenges at their university.
  • Participants reported significant increases in knowledge regarding: cross-cultural communication skills, comfort and familiarity with technology, and knowledge of the various components of international higher education.
  • Participants demonstrated a deep appreciation for the mentorship component of the course and a strong desire to continue to build upon their newly formed relationships.
  • Since starting the course, several participants have been appointed as the International Relations Officer by their rectors.
  • Several course participants initiated their university’s first social media accounts, first mission statements, and new organizational charts.

For more information about the program or to contact the Myanmar International Higher Education Association, please contact Shawn Patton (spatton@iie.org).