NSights Blog

International Education in a time of pandemic uncertainty

International Education shows resiliency during this time of challenge

2020 has been a year unlike any other in recent memory. With the pandemic upending life as we knew it, the challenges of international education became apparent. Travel restrictions, cancellations of study abroad programs, and great uncertainty left us wondering what the future of international education would look like.

While we cannot predict the future, there are a few things we believe are positive indicators of the resiliency of international education. First, international education has survived pandemics in the past so will likely survive this one too. The Institute of International Education began its work in the middle of the last great global pandemic, the 1918-1920 Spanish Flu. In the decade after the pandemic, enrollment had increased to nearly 10,000 participants. Each subsequent pandemic – SARS, swine flu, and others – has brought with it greater interest in international education. There is no reason to believe that this one will be different.

Interest in international education remains strong as we seek educational opportunities not available at our home institution, desire to connect with others unlike us, and to continue engaging in a global environment. It is with this enthusiasm for the future that we begin International Education Week. 

This year’s International Education Week is November 16-20, and presents an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. All week long, the University Studies Abroad Consortium will be hosting a variety of events for students and alumni to participate in to learn more about international education, share stories and promote a global education.

Below are the virtual events planned to celebrate study abroad and cross-cultural learning. Please share widely and feel free to join any of these virtual events. 

Tuesday, Nov. 17

Noon Alumni Panel: Please join us for an informal panel discussion with a few alumni who studied abroad with USAC in different programs. Hear about their experiences abroad and how studying abroad impacted their academic and professional careers.  

Wednesday, Nov. 18

1 p.m. - Study Abroad Financial Planning & Scholarships: You  can afford to study abroad! Join us to talk about how to plan financially for your study abroad experience, how to look for and apply for scholarships, and how to think creatively about funding your time abroad. Study abroad staff also welcome. Must register in advance. 

1:30-2:30 p.m. – Panel on International Education

2:30-3:30 p.m. - OISS Virtual International Coffee Break via Zoom. Join OISS for a chance to connect with other students and scholars. We will discuss travel and international experiences. We invite attendees to share a poem or song in your language if you have any.

4-5 p.m. - Keynote Presentation by Dr. Borgias in Geography for Student World Water Forum via Zoom. Zoom meeting ID: 928 1561 0458 Passcode: GeoSpeak

Thursday, Nov. 19

2 p.m. - USAC 101 Info Session: Students can learn more about USAC, our program options and how to pick the best program for them. Study abroad staff also welcome. Must register in advance.

5-6 p.m. - Student World Water Forum live showing of Upriver via link on unrwater.com

6-7 p.m. - Student World Water Forum Panel Discussion of Upriver Film via Zoom

Zoom meeting ID: 898 4763 5539, Passcode: 315222

6-7 p.m. - Writing & Speaking Center conversation group (this is an ongoing event) via Zoom. Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 944 8370 7961 Passcode: 655004 

Friday, Nov. 20

8:30 a.m-5:40 p.m. - Student World Water Forum live poster presentation sessions via Zoom.

Schedule of events found at unrwater.com with poster abstracts. Join Friday Nov 20, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. - Student poster presentations - Zoom meeting ID: 834 7049 3731 Passcode: 720656

 12-1 p.m. - Writing & Speaking Center Jeopardy Game via Zoom

5-6 p.m. - International Club Trivia Night Around the World via Zoom  Are you up for the challenge? Join International Club for trivia night as we explore education, traditions, and cultural food around the world.

Related USAC blog on International Education Week.


Deborah Lowell Shindell photo
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