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BASAA and Boston Public Schools join forces!

As part of BASAA’s commitment to the Institute for International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative, we are pleased to formally announce our partnership with the Boston Public School’s Department of Global Education.  Click here to learn more about the great work that the BPS is currently doing around global education.  Through our partnership we hope to support the Department of Global Education in the following areas of need:

  • Host Family Policy (review newly drafted policy)
  • Policy Review (thought partner in reviewing trip policies)
  • Fundraising Support (prospect research, grant writing)
  • Public Relations Support (celebrating achievements through publications and web presence)
  • Professional Development Support (create online training modules for teachers leading trips)
  • Volunteer Support for Schools/Teachers Running Programs (pre-trip prep, fundraising, etc.)

This partnership will take shape through the work of a Community Engagement Task Force lead by Mary Ogburn, Program Manager, Boston University Study Abroad.    We are thrilled to have Mary on board to lead this important initiative.  BASAA members and friends are welcome to join the Community Engagement Task Force by emailing

About Mary Ogburn

Profile photo - smallerAs a program manager at Boston University Study Abroad, Mary works specifically with BU’s programs in France, Italy, and Israel. She advises prospective students from Boston University and other institutions, liaises closely with on-site staff, supports outreach initiatives, and informs students about pre-departure and visa application procedures. With a strong interest in community involvement, Mary also serves on the campus-wide Advising Network, advises the BU Salsa Club, and will be teaching a section of BU’s first-year experience course this fall.  Before coming to BU, Mary has worked in study abroad in various capacities at Virginia Tech, Boston College, and Wellesley College. Mary has a BA in French from the College of William and Mary and an MA in Higher Education Administration from Boston College, and has been active in BASAA since 2010. She spent a semester abroad in Aix-en-Provence at the American University Center of Provence, in addition to shorter study experiences in Florence, Italy; Montpellier, France; and Kassel, Germany.

BASAA Summer Social!

BASAA Summer Meeting and Social
Tuesday, August 11th from 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Boston Beer Work
61 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA

group photo 2

We hope you can join us for some business and some fun.  As always, the summer social is free to attend and no registration is required.  We will provide chips and salsa and a cash bar will be available.  We look forward to seeing you in August!

  • 4:00-5:00: Returnee Conference Initial Planning Meeting
  • 5:00-5:30: Boston Public Schools/BASAA Community Engagement Task Force Announcement and Opportunities
  • 5:30-7:00: Summer Social!

Meet Barbara Harrison, BASAA Mentor Program Coordinator!

One of the most rewarding aspects of my career as an international education professional is meeting and mentoring those new to the field. Such an amazing outcome for both me, as the mentor, and also the mentees.

Barb HarrisonHi, I am Barbara Harrison, and am now retired after a long and productive career in this field covering all aspects of international education. I am a New Zealander and came to the United States some years ago with my husband, who was pursuing his PhD. Without a work permit, I began a long stint of volunteering in the international office helping and supporting other international spouses, and later international students, at the different universities where we found ourselves. During this journey, I met many future colleagues and numerous forever friends. Finally, with a green card, and later citizenship, I was fortunate to be fully employed in the education abroad field. I have been both a mentee, and as time passed, a mentor. I took a further step in this role by becoming a coach for the NAFSA Academy of International Education. My cohort originally had 20 members, so I solicited the assistance of a colleague, and that year, our region had two coaches and two 10-person cohorts! I enthusiastically agree with the “No ‘child’ left behind” statement!

It is now a great pleasure for me to set up the Mentorship Program for the Boston Area Study Abroad Association. We are unified in our work; we have the same goals; yet we are often strangers to each other. Each of us has knowledge to share, whether we are brand new to the field, or long-timers. How rewarding for us to meet up and share our knowledge. The mentor often will not have all the answers, but can certainly guide the mentee in the right direction. In turn, the mentee does not come to the partnership with a completely empty slate.  Together, discussion begins, a friendship grows, and a good partnership is formed.

Even as I begin to set up this program, and am contacting those who have expressed interest, I am assuming the spontaneous role of mentor. I answer many questions as I go about this work. It is a delight to encourage and support each one.

Please don’t hesitate to share your skills and information with someone else. It’s easy; takes a few minutes of your time; and is very rewarding for you both. I look forward to creating the initial partnership and then setting you free to create something that will enhance you both, as well as in the long run, be beneficial for our students. I can be reached at Don’t be shy!

4th Annual Bowl-a-thon raises over $10,000 to support scholarships!

On behalf of the co-chairs and the Fund for Education Abroad we want to say thank you all for your terrific support of the BASAA Scholarship. With your help, the 4th Annual BASAA Bowl-a-thon was an enormous success, raising over $10,000 to support two full semester scholarships for two deserving, area-students. This is great progress toward BASAA’s goal of five full semester scholarships–or $25,000–so stay tuned for more events and opportunities to raise awareness of the BASAA Scholarship initiative throughout the year.  You can find the updated scholarship flyer here.

Have you met the three BASAA scholars from 2015-2016?​ Brandon Morrissette of Plymouth State University is going to study for a full academic year in South Korea on an ISA program.Georgia Papaconstadinou of Bunker Hill Community College is going to study during the summer in Czech Replubic on a CIEE program. Sodany Soy  is going to study for a full academic year in South Korea on a ISEP program.

The BASAA community has given these three students the chance of a lifetime–all while bowling, networking, and celebrating increased access to study abroad. Many thanks to the bowlers, sponsors, and advocates of the BASAA scholarships. We couldn’t do it without you!

It’s not too late to make a gift of support to the BASAA Scholarship, securely on our donation page​ or by contacting FEA at (202) 349-7487.

Thank you, BASAA!

Join the BASAA Community Engagement Task Force in support of Generation Study Abroad!


Click on the image above to learn more about the Generation Study Abroad initiative.


BASAA is excited to share with the community our letter of support for IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative.  As part of our support we hope to create a community engagement task force designed to utilize local international education professionals to engage and educate the K-12 Boston community on the benefits of an international experience.  This is where we need your help!  Please sign up below to express your interest in joining the Task Force.  We hope to announce an inaugural meeting sometime in June.   

Thank you!

The BASAA Spring Conference was once again a great success thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of the 120+ attendees and the generous support of our sponsors and host!  The day was filled with interesting presentations, thought provoking conversations and of course lots of networking.

A special thank you to our host, Simmons College and to Joe Stanley, Director of International Programs and Study Abroad, for helping to organize the day.

And of course, the conference would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors!

Meet BASAA Scholar Sodany Soy

Hi everyone! Soy, Sodany PhotoMy name is Sodany Soy and I am one of the 1st generation Cambodian-Americans in my family to be attending university, and to be studying abroad. I currently attend the University of Massachusetts Boston as an undergraduate with a Marketing concentration and plan to attend Graduate school for Creative Writing.

I’ve always been intrigued with creativity in advertising and marketing from different countries. To me, South Korea has recently been growing in their economy and technology that I hope to enter the marketing department for major Korean companies. Not only do I like the technical side of marketing, but also how to create my own designs. I like to be creative and aim to take courses in media, design and communication along with marketing.

With my mother coming from Cambodia, I have a strong sense of social responsibility as well as global charity towards other countries. I will visit Korean orphanages to spend time with the children. I hope to join in activities in my neighborhood to feel a part of the community. With my love for new languages, I also plan to take Korean languages classes to be able to build a better bridge of communication between myself and the people I meet.

In some aspects, I am looking forward to observe yet enjoy the various cultures and subcultures in South Korea. From their delicious food to fashion, holidays to traditions, I want to immerse myself and experience their lifestyle to become more adaptable, open-minded, and appreciative and build strong international relations! I am also looking forward to intern opportunities in the Korean companies of my interest.

Click here to learn more about the Fund for Education Abroad


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