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2021 Virtual Spring Conference


Where do we go from here? Moving Study Abroad Forward Sustainably 

Our unprecedented 2020 created a unique opportunity to reflect and provide a cultural reset on what education abroad can and should be. Our Spring 2021 Conference theme is, “Where Do We Go From Here? Moving Study Abroad Forward Sustainably,” and we will explore themes around creating systemic change and incorporating sustainability in education abroad. Sessions will be focused within one of five sub-themes:

  • Equity and Diversity
  • Evolving Best Practices with Technology 
  • Preparedness and Risk Management
  • Sustainability & Ethics in Study Abroad
  • Virtual programming 

Keynote Session: Navigating Study Abroad in a COVID-19 World: Perspectives from Around the Globe

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

As we’ve been experiencing over the course of the past year, COVID-19 has greatly impacted the field of international education and the study abroad experience. Personally, we have felt the ways in which the pandemic has affected our students and our offices, but how aware are we of what our partners abroad have been experiencing? What have been their biggest challenges, and how have they adjusted to absences of students at their sites? 

Please join us as we take the time to hear from our colleagues around the world and learn what their experience has been like navigating the challenges, and opportunities, that COVID-19 has presented at their sites. 

Panelists will include: 

  • Enda Carroll – Associate Director at University College Dublin (UCD) Global 
  • Luis García – Cultural Advisor at EdOdyssey Peru
  • Suzanne Crowder Han – Center Director at CIEE Seoul 
  • Theoni Scourta – Vice President of Academics at College Year in Athens (CYA)
  • Dr. Steve Wandiga – Academic Director in Kenya at School for International Training (SIT)

Morning session

11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Developing a Sustainability Plan

Hayley Spear – Education Abroad Advisor, University of Virginia   

Emily Graber – Education Abroad Advisor, University of Virginia

This presentation will outline steps the International Studies Office (ISO) at the University of Virginia (UVA) took to develop and implement its first Sustainability Plan. Highlights include implementing sustainability efforts in our administrative processes, Education Abroad programming, sustainability education, carbon offsets, and partnerships with offices across UVA and with our peer institution, William & Mary. 

The Ethics and Economics of Study Abroad Sexual Assault Prevention

Kylie Ashton Maurer – Graduate Student at Providence College

Over the past 40 years, sexual assault has been the subject of significant academic investigation, with a substantial body of research showing the undeniable and immensely harmful trauma experienced by survivors. Survivors often experience long-term consequences to physiological and psychological health, as well as significant economic burdens associated with sexual assault. Research shows that the problem of sexual assault is consistently prevalent across the world at large, but specifically in situations where victims experience heightened vulnerability, such as at colleges and universities. The purpose of this study is to examine the combined vulnerabilities that college students face during study abroad experiences and evaluate the perceived economic and ethical benefits of implementing pre-departure sexual assault prevention programming. Based on a survey of over 400 participants, findings indicate that a strong and latent market exists for higher education institutions and programs that implement meaningful and effective sexual assault prevention and response measures and demonstrate significantly lower levels of sexual assault compared to the national collegiate average. As more and more students venture out into the world for international academic experiences, a more significant population of vulnerable individuals is created. Implementation of sexual assault prevention programs displayed significant positive value for nearly all stakeholders and participants.

This presentation hopes to examine and discuss the ethical and economic arguments for implementing effective, evidence-based sexual assault prevention programming for study abroad departure and to consider the ways in which they could be meaningfully implemented.

Semester Virtual Internships: A Boston College Case Study – Reflections and Lessons for the Future

Sabrina Starke – University Partnership Manager, Absolute Internship

Robert J. Van Pelt – Graduate Assistant for International Programs & William F. Keough Memorial Fellow, Boston College

Like many institutions, Boston College has had to make significant adjustments due to the challenges presented by COVID-19. Given the reality that 1,200 of students were unable to partake in any international travel opportunity before graduating, BC decided to sponsor a novel spring semester virtual internship program with Absolute Internship. 71 students committed to intern part-time, free of charge, for a host company based in China, Hong Kong, Japan, France, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and the UK while taking a full course load While this session will review the overall premise of a university-provider partnership, this session is designed to facilitate a discussion around institutional use of virtual internships during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. This roundtable discussion will reflect on the components that have worked for the field of international higher education, the lessons we’ve learned, data regarding student and company evaluations and what partners and institutions can do better to deliver these experiences to students moving forward. 

Afternoon session

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Building Back Better: A Gamified Approach to Sustainable & Ethical Study Abroad Program Design

Sarah Craver – Assistant Director, Tufts European Center

Craig McDonald – University Relations Manager – Southern New England and Mid-Atlantic, SIT Study Abroad

Devin Foxall – Director of Institutional Relations and Institutional Relations Manager for the Upper Northeast Region, School for Field Studies

How can we work together to re-imagine study abroad in 2022 and beyond? In this interactive workshop-style session, we’ll use a “gamifying” approach to consider the lessons learned and the challenges overcome during the past year. In small groups, participants will engage in a collaborative, multi-phase guided process to design the “program of the future,” maintaining a sharp focus on ethical sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and risk preparedness. As we put our ideas together to create and evaluate potential study abroad programs of the future, we’ll seek to identify ways for our field to deliver education abroad opportunities that ethically meet the needs of students and host communities overseas in a post-pandemic reality.

Sustainability in Partnerships: Shared Success in Restarting Education Abroad

Andrea Drake – Director of International Health, Safety, and Security, University of Massachusetts Amherst 

Emily Ostenson – Education Abroad Advisor, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Jessica Jones – Vice President of University Relations & Custom Programs, CIS Abroad

In this panel presentation, representatives from CIS Abroad and the University of Massachusetts Amherst will explore the ways their organizations were able to engage in education abroad during the ongoing pandemic. The panelists will also showcase how a strong partnership can be leveraged to restart and support travel in this challenging time.

Using the Intercultural Development Continuum for social justice: A follow-up conversation

Andrea Wiley – Assistant Director, Education Abroad, Babson College

Lauren Chow – Education Abroad Advisor, Babson College

It has always been imperative for international education professionals to reflect on their own identities and roles in dismantling systems of oppression. However, recent events relating to discrimination and/or violence towards various communities over the past year in particular have prompted many conversations about social justice in the field of international education. 

During the BASAA Fall Meeting, our community had the opportunity to explore intercultural development tools and apply the Intercultural Development Continuum (IDC) to specifically a racial justice context. With hopes to continue the conversation on the IDC and social justice, this session aims to broaden our application of the IDC framework to other identity groups and current events through a workshop exercise and small group discussions. As we collectively work to further our own understanding of social justice issues, we welcome you to join us in this community dialogue. 

It is recommended that participants who were unable to attend “A call to action for IE professionals: Applying intercultural frameworks to a racial justice context” in December, watch the session recording prior to this session.

BASAA Happy Hour

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Join us for a casual happy hour!

Questions? Issues?

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