What to Do with Your One Wild and Precious Life? Three Positive, Inspiring Stories about Study Abroad.

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

-Mary Oliver, “The Summer Day

Our lives deserve to be lived as the wild and precious times they are. As the academic year celebratorily closes, I spoke with three women whose own lives have inspired me in the past nine months. Two will return home – to China and Japan – and another will take her first flight abroad.

Some context. Of the 72 international exchange students who studied at Cal State LA in the 2018-19 year, a handful of them actively participated in our weekly meetings and volunteering on and off campus. Natsumi Nishioka from Japan and Yumeng “Sky” Deng from China were two of these students. And of the over 100 students who studied abroad the same year, Debra Lozano is one. She has received two scholarships and will board a plane to Australia this summer.

While each student takes a different path, they all share the same perspective: positivity. Here are their stories. Continue reading

What Will the Field of International Higher Education Look Like in 5 Years?

Every November for the past 100 years, the Institute of International Education (IIE) has been collecting data on international education. The data collected there, self-reported by approximately 3,000 educational institutions, answer these two questions: Who studies in the United States? Who studies abroad?

By writing this feature, I rooted my own experiences – working with international student services for over seven years and managing a study abroad program for nearly five years – in answering the following question:

What will the field of international higher education look like in five years?

Upon reflecting upon trends in international higher education, including trends in immigration and pop culture, these are the three directions I believe our field will take in the next five years:

  • Canada will continue to draw international students. We can learn from this.
  • South Korea and the Korean language will increase in popularity, whether we’re ready or not. Here’s how we can ride the “Korean wave.”
  • Universities in the U.S. will have to hold themselves accountable through assessment; study abroad offices are no different. Consequently, assessment and scholar-practitioners will be more highly valued and sought after. I’ve listed a few things we can do.

Continue reading