CIEE and Diversity Abroad Partner to Increase Access and Diversity in Study Abroad

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Two leaders in study abroad join efforts to create a series of annual workshops aimed at training professionals in how to overcome the leading barriers to international education.

The partnership between CIEE and Diversity Abroad is a natural extension of the organizations’ long-standing commitments to making study abroad available to all students, no matter their backgrounds or academic majors.

Two of the world’s leading organizations in the field of international education are joining in an effort to increase access to and diversity in undergraduate study abroad. CIEE, the world leader in international education and exchange, and Diversity Abroad, the leading organization focused on connecting diverse students and young professionals with meaningful international opportunities, are partnering to develop a series of active, collaborative workshops focused on examining best practices and creating solutions to the widespread obstacles that exist to international educational experiences.

CIEE and Diversity Abroad have committed to delivering three workshops each year to study abroad professionals who are change agents at their organizations and who seek to develop or enhance their knowledge, skills, and competencies in increasing access, fostering diversity, and creating an inclusive environment for education abroad on campus. Each workshop will be fully funded by CIEE and Diversity Abroad to ensure all schools, regardless of available resources for training and development, have the opportunity to participate.

The process of selecting 20 highly engaged participants for the first Diversity Abroad Future Leaders Summit will begin in late August 2013. Each one-day session will provide an interactive forum for education, innovation, and sharing of best practices by leaders in the field with the goal to train higher education professionals in effective ways to increase diversity in international education by overcoming the three leading barriers to study abroad: cost, curriculum, and culture.

According to data drawn from the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics and Open Doors, between 2000 and 2009/10 the number of postsecondary students from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds in the U.S. increased by about 6.3 percent of total, yet study abroad participation by this group only increased by about 5.7 percent of total during the same period. “On a relative basis to the growth in diversity of postsecondary students nationwide, the percentage of students studying abroad from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds slightly decreased over the last decade in spite of many initiatives, conferences and lectures,” said Andrew Gordon, founder and president of Diversity Abroad. “Our goal for the Future Leaders Summit is to increase access and diversity in study abroad by examining best practices and brainstorming new solutions. By working together, we believe CIEE and Diversity Abroad can help facilitate the sharing of best practices, research, and solutions to future leaders in the field. Our collective effort will be focused on identifying best practices that have the highest potential to begin to reverse this trend.”

Each Future Leaders Summit will include lectures, case studies, and break-out sessions—facilitated by leaders in the field including higher education professionals and university faculty and administrators—that are designed to promote networking and collaboration between participants to teach current solutions to study abroad challenges and to stimulate new ideas. Summit participants will walk away with important tools and advice on how higher education professionals can influence programs and services on their campuses to increase participation in education abroad by a wide and diverse population of students.

“Virtually every college president in America has expressed a vision to internationalize—to increase access to life-changing international programs—and yet we know how hard it is to overcome these barriers,” explained CIEE Vice President and Chief Operating Officer David Fougere. “We know that a single intervention, like more scholarships, is not sufficient to make a difference. We need to harness the power of multiple interventions and coordinate our efforts if we are to be successful in helping university leaders achieve their vision.”

As part of the partnership with Diversity Abroad, CIEE has committed to incorporating exemplary and innovative solutions developed during Future Leaders Summits into future study abroad programming. By doing so, CIEE will be providing participants and the field of international education with concrete pilot programs deemed of high potential as well as possible future models that others might adopt to increase access and diversity.

The partnership between CIEE and Diversity Abroad is a natural extension of the two organizations’ long-standing commitments to making study abroad available to all students, no matter their backgrounds or academic majors. “For the past 65 years, CIEE has offered access to the highest quality educational and cultural programs that increase global understanding and intercultural knowledge,” said Fougere. “This commitment is at the core of Diversity Abroad’s mission, making them the perfect partner as we work to train the field in innovative ways to increase diversity in international education.”

Details on how to participate in upcoming Future Leaders Summits will be available August 22 at and

A nonprofit, non-governmental organization, CIEE is the world leader in international education and exchange. For 65 years, CIEE has helped thousands of students, professionals, and educators gain the knowledge and skills necessary to live and work in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world by offering the most comprehensive, relevant, and valuable exchange programs available. Today, CIEE offers more than 200 study abroad programs for college and university students in more than 40 countries and 60 cities worldwide.

Diversity Abroad Network
The Diversity Abroad Network (Diversity Network) is a leading professional association dedicated to increasing access, advancing inclusive excellence, and fostering diversity in international education and exchange. The Diversity Network was founded to provide international educators and other academic professionals with the good practices, professional development, and advising resources needed to ensure that all their students have access to the academic, career, and personal benefits afforded through meaningful international education opportunities, abroad, and at their home institutions.

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