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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 basaamentor@gmail.com. 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!

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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

Meet BASAA Scholar Georgia Papaconstadinou

Hello everyoapollo and mene! My name is Georgia Sofia Papaconstadinou. I am 20 years old, a mother to a precious bundle of joy named Apollo, and a full-time college student. I attend Bunker Hill Community College which is located in the heart of Boston. While Boston is beautiful with its history, I dream of exploring the rest of the world too. This summer, I will be studying Psychology for a month in Central Europe- Prague, Czech Republic to be exact. I am interested in learning how others perceive the world and themselves, and I want to help people become the best person they could be. In Prague, I will gain insight on how other cultures’ and countries’ methods differentiate from the U.S. and apply in the field of psychology. I am hoping all of this new knowledge will open my mind up to understand what I’ve learned in a different light. Although I have a child, I was and am determined to make my dreams come true, and I will work hard to achieve all I want. This is my dream come true. Traveling to other places’ to explore and understand others’ ways of living is my passion. The world is so diverse, and if we stay in one place- we will never understand how others live and are. Experiencing more strengthens society as a whole. I hope this passion of wanting to understand more is passed along to my son as well, so he and I can make the world a better place together.

Click here to learn more about the Fund for Education Abroad

Volunteer at the Spring Conference

Each year the BASAA Spring Conference is made possible by generous efforts of our volunteers.  They assist with everything from check-in to clean-up and everything in between.  Volunteering at the conference is a great way to give back to BASAA while making new connections in the field!

If you would like to volunteer for this year’s conference please complete this quick form and we will be in touch with you as the date gets closer.  Please note: volunteer shifts are short and do not interfere with attending sessions so we ask that volunteers please still register for the conference. 

BASAA Spring Conference Volunteer Form

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