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Blog Category:

The Americas

  • Reflections on a Cuban Study Tour

    By: Maria Beltran, Pattie Umali, Kate Hufnagel, and Zach Braun on Monday, August 8, 2016

    Zach Braun, Pattie Umali, Maria Beltran and Kate Hufnagel in Cuba

    This summer, four American University graduate students traveled to Cuba to conduct an evaluation of IIE’s Cuba International Academic Partnership Program as part of a faculty-led group project. While informative academically and programmatically, this collection of short observations highlights how each team member also grew personally from the experience.

  • Coffee and Complicated History: The Realities of U.S.-Cuba Academic Partnerships

    By: Shawn Patton on Tuesday, April 5, 2016

    Over coffee in Havana, a young Cuban professional asked me, “What are your intentions in Cuba? Why are U.S. universities interested in creating partnerships with Cuban universities?” While these questions initially caught me off guard, they helped me reflect on the current realities of U.S.-Cuba partnerships and what the near future might hold for these relationships.

  • BSMP: Five Lessons Learned in Scaling Up an International Scholarship Program Quickly

    By: Edward Monks on Tuesday, January 20, 2015

    In July 2011, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced the creation of a new scholarship program known as Ciência sem Fronteiras, a multiyear initiative to send 75,000 fully funded Brazilian students abroad for training in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, with an additional 25,000 scholarships to be funded by the private sector. IIE partners with the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology’s National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and the Ministry of Education’s Federal Agency for the Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES) to administer the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program (BSMP) in the United States, which includes U.S. undergraduate, graduate, and intensive English programs.

  • Helping NGOs to Collaborate, Share, and Innovate in Trinidad and Tobago

    By: Lanaia DuBose on Thursday, September 4, 2014

    Trinidad and Tobago is a Caribbean nation of contrasts. A thriving oil industry and recent investments in natural gas production ensure that the twin island nation doesn't depend on sun, sand, and sea tourism to maintain its status as a developed nation. Yet, despite great wealth, significant poverty exists, with recent reports revealing that more than 20 percent of the population is living below the poverty line.

  • Conferencing in Cuba: A First Step Towards Increasing U.S.-Cuba Higher Education Partnerships

    By: Clare Banks on Monday, March 10, 2014

    A bright pink Chevy the size of a whale, duos singing classic Buena Vista Social Club songs, Che t-shirts, and Fidel photos—all common associations that many of us in the U.S. have when we think of Cuba. Indeed, my colleague Daniel Obst and I witnessed them all in one form or another. It’s true there are old cars, and, yes, music is a huge part of the culture; but the beautiful reconstructed plazas, pervasive tranquility throughout the city, and friendly people were just a few of the wonderful surprises that greeted us last week when we had the unique opportunity to experience Cuba for the first time.

  • Is Study Abroad Essential?

    By: IIE on Friday, October 25, 2013

    As we continue to live in an increasingly globalized world, cross-cultural competence has become an essential skill for succeeding in the global marketplace. Studying abroad is a great way for students to expand their horizons and can open up a world of personal and professional opportunities that will enable those who have the opportunity to study abroad to become effective global citizens. However, some believe that the merits gained from studying abroad aren’t worth the time or cost.

  • Women Leading Solutions to Global Problems: A View from CGI 2013 Annual Meeting

    By: Trish Tierney on Tuesday, October 1, 2013

    At the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting this week, Khalida Brohi spoke on a plenary panel literally filled with rock stars including President Clinton, Christine Lagarde, Mo Ibrahim, Sheryl Sandberg and Bono, but Khalida shone brightest of all. Bono, at one point, interrupted her with a gasp and said “Khalida, you are awesome.” He is right. Khalida spoke about her work fighting to end honor killings in Pakistan, and of the many times she cried growing up as she witnessed tragedies unfolding around her. She spoke of her father, who dried her tears and said, “My dear, do not cry. Strategize.”

  • Engaging in Open Discussion: Reflections on the EducationUSA Forum

    By: Mark Lazar on Tuesday, July 9, 2013

    The fourth annual EducationUSA Forum is now behind us, and by all accounts, this year was the most successful ever. (Disclaimer: IIE helps State Department  to organize the event.) Approximately, 600 people from the US higher education community and educational advising came together for the three day event in Washington DC to learn about how best to promote international education and attract a diverse group of international students to their campuses. The Forum has quickly become a major event on the international education circuit, especially for those working in the international recruitment and admissions field. Much was discussed at the Forum, ranging from regional updates, to consular issues, scholarship programs, countries to watch and much more.

  • Guaranteeing Global Opportunities

    By: IIE on Monday, April 15, 2013

    Guest blogger Susquehanna University Provost Carl Moses writes about the school's award-winning Global Opportunities program:

    As I child, I was fortunate enough to have opportunities to travel with my family and explore different parts of the United States. I marveled at the expanse of the Grand Canyon, the bustle of New York City, the quaintness of a New England fishing village, the peacefulness of an ocean sunrise. Those experiences, contrasting in many ways with my southern rural surroundings, opened my eyes and gave me an appreciation of the diversity of the American culture and its people, as well as ways we connect with each other across that diversity.

  • Pitt Community College’s Award-Winning Experience in Internationalization

    By: IIE on Monday, March 25, 2013

    Pitt Community College in Greenville, North Carolina was one of the recipients of IIE’s Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education at IIE’s Best Practices Conference last week. Pitt was honored for its International Education Travel Scholarship, which provides full funding for participation in a Pitt Community College Abroad-sanctioned program and seeks to eliminate financial barriers for students and faculty recipients.

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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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