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IIE Opening Minds Blog


For over 100 years, IIE 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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    NASPA recognizes IIE GIRE Program

    IIE programs are known for their creative, innovative designs. NASPA recognized one such program, IIE-GIRE, with an annual award.

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    This Too Shall Pass... And We Can Prepare

    Practically every institution in the world had to halt in-person study abroad programs last year. As we recover, study abroad initiatives should be prioritized because of the documented benefits they offer students.

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    Assessing Long-Term Impact: USAID Scholarship Programs

    A recent, independent IIE study assesses the long-term impact of United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded programs that provided scholarships for individuals to study for academic degree programs at U.S. universities.

    Dr. Allan Goodman, President and CEO, standing in front of an IIE logo wall.

    A World Transformed

    IIE continues to see concrete reasons to be optimistic about International Education. Allan Goodman shares his thoughts.

    Students wearing backpacks hike along a path with a mountain in the background.

    Oh, The Places You’ll Go! Risk, Uncertainty, and the Future of Global Education

    In 2020 we have seen a pandemic, the suspension of travel, and disruptions to education that were once unthinkable. But what has happened to opportunities for global learning? What is on the horizon for the field of study abroad? The Asia Institute Chairman and CEO Bradley A Feuling shares results of recent surveys on the future of international study abroad.

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    IIE Supports Global Outreach for World’s First Artificial Intelligence Focused University

    IIE acts as a partner for global recruitment and outreach for the first class of students at the innovative Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI). The university is the first graduate-level, research-based university dedicated solely to emerging technology in the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision, and natural language processing.

    Higher Education Initiative's Sara Ezzat Ali

    International Women's Month: USAID Programs at IIE

    The Institute of International Education (IIE) ends this month as we began, celebrating international women and the work we are privileged to do with them. We are honored to partner with the United States government to promote international women’s education and related opportunities. Through the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), IIE implements programs around the world that promote women’s access to education, research, and the workforce.

    The students on the study tour after the visit of the dairy unit.

    Innovation in Agroeconomy Grows More than Just Crops

    Edouard Tiendrebeogo, Agroeconomist, shares his year as an awardee of the IIE New Leaders Award for Mutual Understanding. He founded the Bagrépôle Food Cold Hub Project as a way for farmers to keep their vegetable products fresh until prices on the market are good enough for them to sell.

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    Study Abroad Stories Inspire a New Generation to Lead with Languages

    With language skills in urgent and rising demand among U.S. employers, the next generation of Americans is relying more than ever before on multilingualism, cultural competence, and other 21st century skills in order to succeed both personally and professionally in our increasingly interconnected and global society.

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    Embedded Programs as a Model for Increased Study Abroad Access

    Over the past several decades the landscape of education abroad has seen a shift. Although junior year abroad and lengthier semester exchange programs were once the norm, short-term, faculty-directed programs have quickly dominated the scene. IIE’s most recent Open Doors report indicates that of U.S. students who study abroad, 65% of them do so on a short-term program (summer or eight weeks or less).

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    SHERA Program Director Reflects on IIE Summit 2019 and Bi-national Research Partnership Development

    In February 2019, Prima Setiawan, Program Director for the Sustainable Higher Education Research Alliances (SHERA) attended the IIE Summit in New York and participated as an expert panelist. At the Summit, Prima provided expert insight in research collaboration and bi-national partnership development as a panelist in a session called Research Partnerships as Drivers of Innovation. Prima recently reflected on his experience at the Summit and shared key take-aways and lessons learned in this interview.

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    Dreams are Bigger than Challenges

    IIE announced it would provide grants to 59 Venezuelan students studying at U.S. colleges and universities to help them cover educational expenses. Due to Venezuela’s current political and economic instability, it has become increasingly difficult for Venezuelan students to pay for their education and remain enrolled in their degree programs.

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    SHERA Celebrates Women’s Contributions to Transportation Innovation

    In partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development, the IIE-implemented Sustainable Higher Education Research Alliances (SHERA) program is proud to commemorate Kartini Day by reflecting on last year’s celebration, showcasing the role of women in shaping the science and technology (S&T) field in Indonesia, and organizing an event this year to highlight the important advances in Indonesia’s transportation sector and the role of women in leading these innovations.

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    Bridging the Divide: Create Harmony on Campus

    Today, it is more important than ever for higher education institutions to foster a safe and reassuring environment for international students – both for the benefit of developing a global and inclusive learning environment and to effectively model diversity and collaboration for tomorrow’s global citizens and workforce. Terra Dotta CEO Brandon Lee provides recommended best practices to create a more supportive and inclusive campus environment for international students.

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    Safer and More Inclusive Universities

    The president of Ethiopia, government officials, university representatives, and female students convened a forum in Addis Ababa to discuss the need to make Ethiopia's universities more welcoming and inclusive for women.

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    Education for a Better Future

    During a January visit to Ethiopia, Edith Cecil, IIE Senior Vice President, Government Programs; Susan Silveus, IIE Regional Director for the Middle East & Africa; and Ethiopia Abebe, Director, IIE Ethiopia had the honor of meeting with the President of Ethiopia, Her Excellency Sahle-Work Zewde, at the official palace in Addis Ababa to discuss IIE's work advancing educational opportunities for girls in Ethiopia and Liberia.

    Participate in the Story Corner at the IIE Summit

    Participate in the IIE Summit Story Corner

    How should the field of international education evolve in the next 50 years? Attendees of the IIE Summit are invited to participate in the Story Corner, available at the IIE booth in the main exhibition hall on February 18th and 19th.

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    Cultivating Global Stewards: Transforming Theory into Practice

    Study abroad is an excellent way to cultivate students as global citizens and help them engage with nuanced realities and questions. In this post, Dr. Carlise Wynne explores lessons learned from the University of North Georgia’s biannual, three-week student trip to Botswana and South Africa.

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    Letter from Bangkok

    As artificial intelligence transforms consumer markers, Allan Goodman imagines what education abroad could look like a decade from now.

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    New Kid on Campus: Make Way for the International Partnership Manager

    Clare Overmann, Director of Higher Education Initiatives at IIE, explores the emerging role of the international partnership manager at colleges and universities. As higher education institutions continue to realize how important this role is, the international education community needs to share experiences and good practices, provide trainings and workshops, and work together to clearly define this nascent role.

    IIE PEER, Students at University

    Join the Movement: Help Your University Build Inclusive Admission Practices

    Higher education institutions can play a key role in providing these desperately needed opportunities to help the most vulnerable youth continue their education. But what does it really mean when we say colleges and universities can play a key role in this endeavor? IIE PEER and AACRAO explored this and other questions during their Best Practices in Admitting Displaced ad Vulnerable Student Populations on U.S. Campuses workshop last month.

    Participants of the MacArthur Midwifery Program Leadership Event, October 2018

    Improving Maternal Health in Mexico

    Women in Latin America face disproportionately high odds of experiencing maternal health challenges. With support from the MacArthur Foundation, IIE's Latin America and the Caribbean office is leading the Midwifery Training Scholarship and Capacity Building Program to strengthen the midwifery model and to improve maternal health in the country.

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    International Education Week 2018

    International Education Week is November 12 – 16, 2018. Follow @IIEglobal and #IIECelebratesIEW2018 to learn more about our work to promote and to advance Access & Equity, Student Mobility, Higher Education in Emergencies, International Partnerships, and Scholars as Drivers of Innovation.

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    Connecting Countries by Leading Research: Lessons Learned from the Global Innovation Initiative

    The Global Innovation Initiative (GII), a four-year grant program enabling U.S. and UK researchers to work closely with their peers in Brazil, China, India, and Indonesia beginning in 2014, supported 37 multilateral research collaborations, 21 of which were UK-led. The resulting partnerships focused on pressing global challenges such as the environment, food security, health, and urban development. Read on to learn about best practices in research collaboration across borders.

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    Embracing the Future, Despite the Uncertainties

    Vivek Mansukhani, Head of IIE India, ponders the future of the world of work and the role that higher education will play in preparing young people for a rapidly changing economy.

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    Education Matters

    The world faces the greatest refugee crisis it has ever seen. According to the latest United Nations Refugee Agency Report, more than 68 million people have been forcibly displaced globally. Hear directly from professors and students about why it is essential that students impacted by the crisis have a chance to continue their studies.

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    A Man Called John

    Dr. Allan E. Goodman, President and CEO of IIE, shares his thoughts on the life and times of the late Senator John McCain.

    University of Colorado Springs

    How to Make the Most of Community Partnerships in Your Own Backyard

    Just as colleges and universities are increasingly globally connected these days, so are many local organizations. For an institution looking to expand its global reach, looking to nearby organizations can yield some great results. Dr. Mandy Hansen, Director of Global Engagement and Senior International Officer at the University of Colorado, Colorado Spring (UCCS), shares some of the outcomes from productive partnerships her school developed within the local Colorado Springs community, and best practices that can be applied by schools more broadly.

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    How Are Housing Issues Impacting Internationalization in Europe?

    One of the most basic aspects of studying abroad, securing a place to live, can also be the most challenging. Familiarizing yourself with some of the potential risks and the options out there is a wise move before selecting housing for your stay. Read on to learn more about what to be aware of in the housing market landscape for international students studying in Europe.


    Disruption and How We Must Adapt

    Many sectors are changing rapidly in the face of technological innovations and social transformation, including higher education. Change does not always need to be feared and if leveraged the right way, could ultimately be a force of good, Dr. Allan Goodman writes in a new post on IIE's Opening Minds blog.

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    DCPS' Bold Innovation in Study Abroad

    The Washington, D.C., public school system made history when it was the first to adopt a system-wide effort to send 8th and 11th-grade students abroad through fully funded scholarships. More than 1,000 students have since gone abroad since the program launched in 2016 to great success.

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    Creating Connections Through Fulbright in Nepal

    When Lily Clarke received a Fulbright grant to study in ethnomycology and community-managed forests in Nepal, she found that her education continued well beyond her field of study.

    Meet the Winners of the 2018 IIE Photo & Impact Story Contest!

    IIE is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 IIE Photo & Impact Story Contest! In March, we asked current and past participants of IIE-managed programs to submit their photos and impact stories that demonstrated power of international educational exchange.

    2017 Open Doors

    On the Matter of Charts - Charts Matter

    In recognition of the first ever International Chart Day, celebrated in the nation's capital on April 26, 2018, IIE team members walk the reader through IIE's history of data visualization and chart making. Learn about best practices in creating accurate, compelling and interpretable data visualizations.

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    Opening University Doors to Refugees

    Due to internationalization efforts in recent decades, colleges and universities are prepared to welcome globally mobile students to an unprecedented degree. They must capitalize on this capacity to assist the millions of displaced students whose educations have been disrupted in the refugee crisis, Dr. Allan E. Goodman, President and CEO of IIE, writes in a new blog post. Providing access to postsecondary education for refugees and displaced people worldwide is key to helping them rebuild their lives and societies strained by war and conflict.

    AIEA Reception 2018

    Lessons from Fulbright: Internationalizing the Campus

    Fulbright programs can help internationalize campuses of all category and type, from community colleges to research universities. IIE's Senior Advisor to the Fulbright Scholar Program, Dr. Maria de los Angeles Crummett, shares lessons learned from a panel discussion at the 2018 AIEA conference.

    Students at Johns Hopkins University connect with students at the American University of Beirut through virtual exchange

    Transcending Borders with Virtual Exchange

    Virtual exchange makes connections between students in far-flung corners of the globe a reality, writes Mohamed Abdel-Kader, Executive Director of the Stevens Initiative at the Aspen Institute. The Stevens Initiative connects students from the United States and Middle East.

    Samantha Martin CEO and founder of Via TRM

    Making the Right Choice with New Technology

    With the dizzying array of new technologies available, it can be a challenge to decide which fits best for your needs. Samantha Martin, CEO and founder of Via TRM, offers some suggestions on how to make technology work for you.

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