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Meet the Summer 2015 DiversityAbroad.com Scholarship Winners/Video Bloggers

Posted By Erica Ledesma, Friday, May 8, 2015
Updated: Thursday, July 28, 2016

Diversity Abroad is happy to announce the winners of our DiversityAbroad.com and Diversity Abroad Network Scholarships. Each year, we aim to help meet the needs of students from diverse academic, economic, ethnic, and social backgrounds. Many thanks to our partners CEA Study Abroad and the Intern Group for their partnership and support in making international opportunities possible for these students.

Please join us in congratulating the following students and supporters:

Diversity Abroad Network $500 Summer Scholarship 
for students at Network Member Institutions
(Name, Major, University, Study Abroad Country)
Ashley Young, Broadcast Communications, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, India
Ardilla Deneys, Interior Design, Virginia Commonwealth University, Denmark
Sarah Swaney, Early Childhood Education, University of Georgia, Costa Rica
Estrella Quiroz, Public Relations, University of Florida, Italy
Jamie Pearson, Special Education, University of Illinois, Australia

CEA & Diversity Abroad $1,000 Scholarship
(Name, Major, University, Study Abroad Country)
Tatiana Gheybi, Human Biology, UC San Diego, France
Julianne Capati, Marketing, University of Arizona, Czech Republic

The Intern Group Diversity Abroad Full Summer Internship Scholarship 
This full scholarship covers the full cost of participating in an internship this summer in Medellin, Colombia (including transportation, housing, and tuition)
Luis Sosa, Double Major: Diplomacy & International Relations + Latin American Studies, City Hall University, Colombia

Our scholarship recipients will be blogging about their experience and sharing photos and videos on the DiversityAbroad.com blog. Check out their first posts to see what their biggest concerns are as they prepare for their upcoming semester abroad experiences by visiting the blog at blog.diversityabroad.com.

We hope to see more of your students applying for future scholarships with Diversity Abroad! To learn more about our scholarships, please visit http://diversityabroad.com/study-abroad-scholarships.

Tags:  Education Abroad Diversity  Funding  Scholarships  Study Abroad 

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5 Students Awarded Scholarships to Study Abroad This Summer

Posted By Administration, Saturday, May 17, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Each year, the Diversity Network awards students attending our member institutions scholarships to support their study abroad experience. We are excited to announce that we were able to award five $500 scholarships to students from five of our Network Institutions. Not only do our scholars represent a diversity of institutions, majors, and class standings, their destinations are equally varied.

 

2013 Diversity Network Summer Scholarship Recipients

Michael Nguyen, Film & Media Arts, Temple University, China

Vanessa Murray, Music, University of Georgia, Costa Rica

Isaac Anguiano, Finance, Michigan State University, Germany

Dyan Castro, Architecture, University of Michigan, Japan

Kimberly Knight, Psychology, UC San Diego, France


The quality of submissions we received this year was exceptionally high and made selecting this year’s awardees particularly challenging. Applicants were asked to submit videos responding to the question “How will international study and travel prepare you for the future?”

Each of these students will be blogging about their experience and sharing photos and videos on DiversityAbroad.com. We hope to see more of your students applying for future scholarships with Diversity Abroad! You can follow the students’ blogs at Blogs.DiversityAbroad.com/. 

Eligibility for the Diversity Network Scholarship is just one of the many benefits of becoming a Diversity Network member. To learn more and to join us as we advance diversity and equity in international education, please visit us on the web at https://diversitynetwork.site-ym.com/page/joinus.

Tags:  Funding  Scholarships  study abroad 

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International Education Issues to Watch During Obama’s 2nd Term

Posted By Administration, Monday, December 3, 2012
Updated: Thursday, July 21, 2016

After nearly a year of intense presidential political campaigning, U.S. voters have officially selected President Obama for a second term in the White House. With a host of big issues to tackle, the Obama administration will not only be faced with challenges like handling an economic recovery and improving bipartisan relationships in Congress, they will also need to  manage changes in education policies, immigration reform, foreign policy efforts and more.  With so many priorities to manage, what could Obama’s second term mean for international educational professionals, especially for those interested in expanding education abroad opportunities for traditionally underrepresented populations?

Based on the most recent discussions about the impact that the election results would have on higher education, there are four areas that may be of particular interest for international education professionals to watch over the next few months. These issues have the potential to change, challenge, and improve the way education abroad experts pursue the goals of making international opportunities available to a wider audience of students and improving international student services on campuses.

Immigration Policies

DREAM Act Legislation

Maryland has become the 12th state to allow in-state tuition rates for undocumented students who qualify. This comes in the wake of the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals act that allows many undocumented young people who arrived in the U.S. when they were minors the chance to remain in the U.S. Not only do these two examples suggest that people in the U.S. are interested in a more comprehensive reform on immigration policies, they also suggest that there will be a growing number of diverse students, particularly Hispanics/Latinos, who may begin to seek out other opportunities on campus to get engaged including education abroad programming. Advisers from all departments will need to know how to access resources and information to support these students on campus, especially if the federal DREAM Act legislation is re-introduced to Congress.

Enhancements to Work and Student Visa Requirements

There has been much discussion about offering a path to residency in the U.S. for international students who graduate with advanced degrees. Though both parties favor policies that would allow these graduates to stay in the U.S. to increase the national competitiveness in research and development, passing legislation on these policies is often held up by a greater need to pursue comprehensive immigration reform. Should action be taken in this area, institutions of higher education may look to expand international student recruiting efforts and increase focus on research opportunities.

Supreme Court Decision on Affirmative Action

Affirmative action lawsuits have been around nearly as long as affirmative action policies were first set in motion in the 1960s. The latest case to be brought to the attention of the Supreme Court is that of Abigail Fisher vs the University of Texas, Austin. This case has the potential to completely eliminate race/ethnicity from consideration during the college admissions process subsequently challenging institutions to find alternative ways to recruit ethnic/racial minorities to their campuses. This is no easy feat, and should the case rule in favor of eliminating racial preferences in admissions decisions there is a strong possibility that colleges and universities will face several challenges in ensuring students of color are represented on their campuses. This may present new challenges for how international educators reach out to and retain students of color for education abroad opportunities.

Pell Grant Program

Threats to cut the existing Pell Grant Program and modifications in federal student aid in general have greatly affected the higher education community. Federal aid is imperative to making college accessible to low-income and first-generation students because it has provided the financial support needed to cover the basic costs of attending college. This has allowing a more diverse population of students to get engaged in activities outside of the classroom and limiting access to these resources could also limit the diversity of students on campus. If funding remains steady or even increases, this may mean new opportunities for education abroad professionals to get more underrepresented students involved in international programming. There are an increasing number of study abroad providers that now offer matching funding for Pell Grant eligible students and this may create more demand for additional programming.

Expansion of Community Colleges

In 2011, the Obama administration launched the Building American Skills Through Community Colleges an initiative that is intended to expand education and training opportunities for more US students. Now only has the administration committed to more support for community colleges to train students, it has places a particular emphasis on preparing the population in high demand technical jobs that are increasingly global in nature. This opens a unique opportunity not only to engage community college students in education abroad activities, it could open opportunities for STEM students to explore international programming also. Moreover, this and other federal initiatives are working on expanding opportunities to attract larger international student populations to these campuses. This not only could offer more funding opportunities for the institutions, it could also offer opportunities for on-campus dialogue and engagement between US and international students, in turn promoting more cultural exchange on campus.

These are but a few of the policies that could influence the direction of international programming and internationalization efforts on US campuses over the course of the next few years.

If you would like to share your thoughts, email us at members@diversitynetwork.org.

Tags:  community colleges  education abroad  Funding  global education  inclusion  international education  International Exchange  Obama  resources  Underrepresented Students 

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What's the Point of Study Abroad?

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Updated: Thursday, July 21, 2016
I beg young people to travel. If you don't have a passport, get one...there are lessons that you can't get out of a book waiting for you at the end of that flight. - Henry Rollins

Study abroad is one of the most beneficial experiences a college student can have. It offers the opportunity to experience another culture and alter their perspective about the world in a way that is simply impossible in a traditional lecture hall. However, in the wake of an economic downturn and a growing student loan bubble that is beginning to mirror the 2008 housing market, many are seeing study abroad as an unnecessary expense. Study abroad, to them, is wonderful in theory but ultimately impractical.

In an era of increased global competitiveness, this notion could not be more untrue.

Many young people are raised to think of a college education as a preparation for their future career, if, of course, college is financially attainable for them. With increased competition, higher tuition and the ever-present threat of budget cuts, students are under increased pressure to optimize their education, choosing a path that helps them obtain a degree and enter the world of work in the most expeditious manner possible.

For many, study abroad is nothing more than a flight of fancy. The added expense of passport fees, visa costs and plane tickets is unfathomable. In addition, the idea of taking time away from their rigorous curriculum to spend four months in another country? Outrageous. This is especially true if your time spent abroad does not directly connect to your area of study. Why spend that money on a glorified elective course?

The fact that study abroad is cost-prohibitive to many students is an unfortunate reality. However, it is the duty of universities, colleges, advisors and organizations such as Diversity Abroad to help these students understand the tremendous value of leaving your home country and experiencing the culture of another.

Peer-reviewed studies have shown that studying abroad has a significant impact on the continued use of their language of study, their levels of academic attainment, intercultural and personal development and personal career choices. While researchers see the most profound effects in students that study abroad for a year or more, significant benefits are apparent even in students who opted for summers abroad.

In a time when the world continues to shrink, students cannot ignore the benefits of studying abroad. In the words of President Obama, speaking to the United Nations, 

"We have sought -- in word and deed -- a new era of engagement with the world.”

It is abundantly clear that studying abroad is an important experience, for any student. The most important issue, however, is convincing administrators, students and parents of the value of an international education. After that, we need to make sure these students can get there.

The Diversity Network sends its sincere thanks and appreciation to Tara Matthews for sharing her thoughts on the most pressing issue facing international education today.  If you would like to share your thoughts, email us at members(at)diversitynetwork.org. 

Tags:  funding  global education  Obama  research  Study Abroad 

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Funding for International Education: Why It's Important

Posted By Lily Lopez-McGee, Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Updated: Thursday, July 21, 2016

With tuition rates on the rise and budget cuts to nearly all areas of spending in higher education, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that international education programming support has come under increased criticism and funding is at a serious risk of being reduced. Some political candidates have even stated publicly their intent to cut spending in the some “75 internationally focused programs that fall under the U.S, Department of State and U.S. Department of Education”. If nothing else has, this recent attack should mobilize professionals in the field to effectively communicate the importance of international education programming to the general public while ensuring that current support is being used effectively.

If we are to effectively defend against current threats to international education spending cuts, though, we must first take a serious look at the source driving criticism. We must face the reality that we are experiencing one of the worst economic crises since the Great Depression.This crise has been felt in all sectors of society and many of our offices have already experienced cuts to staff, budget, travel, etc.However despite this reality we must also remind ourselves and others that we have an economy that is inextricably connected to global markets. That means we have to develop and train language -proficient, culturally competent professionals. Furthermore, we should better champion the message that proclaims the current funding for international education programs is crucial to maintaining the U.S. economic strength and security.

There are certainly people who will be skeptical in hearing this message, however it is clear that if we don't fund opportunities that prepare U.S. students to be competitive in the global market, other nations will look to fill that void. There are 670,000 international students from across the globe studying at our institutions of higher learning in the U.S. alone. This number far exceeds the 260,000 U.S. students we send abroad annually (IIE 2009 Open Doors Report), a figure that clearly indicates the need to expand opportunities for students to go abroad.

As a nation, we need to encourage students to pursue language and study abroad that will prepare them for a globally-competitive job market. The current Open Doors figures highlight that we must also place particular focus on expanding these opportunities to underrepresented student groups. As a field, international education should not only expand how many students we send abroad, but also widen the types of students who have access to international opportunities. There is a vital need to send students abroad who represent the diversity reflected in our nation, and now is certainly not the time to reduce funding that currently supports those initiatives (ex. Gilman ScholarshipRangel Fellowship, and Institute for International Public Policy Fellowship).

After we have spread the message of why funding for international education programming is important, next we have to re-examine how we are utilizing the current support we receive.

Similarly, to justify that the current spending is meaningful in these tough economic times, we need to make sure current funding is working efficiently and demonstrates that students are benefiting academically, socially and professionally from these programs. We need to provide concrete evidence, in the form of program analysis that highlight the real impact of these programs. Programs should be evaluated in a meaningful way that holds faculty and providers accountable for the successes and shortcomings of their programs, and not simply to produce data. If we are to protect the future of international education funding, we must take the necessary, sometimes difficult, steps to ensure that every dollar spent on such programs is effectively being used.

International education is critical to developing the next generation of leaders, and we as international educators need to support initiatives that protect current spending while promoting innovative approaches to attracting more public and private support in these areas.

Lily Lopez-McGee currently serves as Program Manager with the UNCF Special Programs Corporation in the Institute for International Public Policy division. Among her many duties, Ms. Lopez-McGee manages student internships, language institutes and social media outreach.  She is fluent in Spanish and has traveled through parts of Latin America and Western Europe. She is a graduate of the University of Washington Evans School for Public Affairs, where she earned her Master's of Public Administration.

Tags:  career  Funding  global education  International Exchange  Outreach  professional skills  Resources  Scholarships 

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