Greetings to all, We’ve had an incredibly busy year with a major new internationalization project in the Bahamas—essentially a build-from-scratch contract in which our founder has participated in the defining of the internationalization strategy and then every aspect of founding the Office of Global Studies and Programs. From the development of inbound study abroad for a network of US universities pursuing African diaspora and climate change studies in the Bahamas to entire outbound study abroad site builds in Havana, Barcelona, and Salvador da Bahia, we have been non-stop!
I started to talk about how education abroad transformed my life, how excited the campus is to receive more international students, and shared some of the different directions that I have in mind for the newly Global Studies & Programmes department.
Later in the evening, Drake University students had an incredible dinner at a family’s home, the gift of the Bahamian Ministry of Tourism’s People-to-People program. The food was incredible: conch chowder, conch fritters, fish, chicken, sweet potatoes, a wonderful salad (with organic, local-grown lettuce from Abaco!), and numerous deserts like Guava Duff.
The African Diaspora Studies & Climate Change program is an interdisciplinary, comparative initiative that will involve bilateral movement/exchange between The University of The Bahamas (UB) and a university located in the northeast of the United States.
It is a big week, with two inbound faculty-led programs coming from Drake University and University of Maryland-College Park. Drake University arrives today and I’ll be writing about this visit! It is also a week of utmost historical importance...
My flight from Boston to The Bahamas was cancelled due to a blizzard. Later on I'll post some photographs leaving frigid New England and the arrival in Bahamas. It was nice to return to the Cable Beach area of New Providence. A Professor of Special Education, part of the new faculty cohort that I joined, picked me up and we went directly to Dino's for a scorched conch salad and conch fritters. It's a great conch stand at the base of Gambier...
Blue Sage celebrates its one year anniversary today and this brief post shares some exciting news! From contracts in Brazil and Spain, to new ventures in The Bahamas--all detailed here!
The writing of the Blue Sage e-book began in Cambridge, MA in early 2017. It continued in Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, California, and then ventured to Puerto Rico, Mexico, Spain, and France. We are very excited to announce that Study Abroad: A Guide for Program Developers has been released and is now available for download!
My challenge in the writing process, to be fully transparent, is to make this guide straightforward with very simple language and to use concrete examples for resident staff/recent hires. I want folks to be able to read without jargon and to be able to move through the sections. The audience is more university/provider offices that have not had the field experience "on the ground" and recent hires who are tasked with building a program and need to hit the ground running. It's more a series of tips.
Universities and education abroad providers: Blue Sage builds new education abroad programs (from scratch!) or enhances and expands your current overseas operations. I specialize in Portuguese and Spanish-speaking countries to ensure strong partnerships with local institutions, full language and culture program development, and an efficient program build. I have been working on Brazil and Cuba programs of all lengths since 2009.
Blue Sage es una consultoría de desarrollo cuya misión es catalizar y apoyar la internacionalización de las universidades y los centros de investigación en América Latina e Iberia. Sus principales acciones: Desarrollar, optimizar y ampliar los programas de intercambio universitario para que las instituciones de América Latina e Iberia pueden recibir más estudiantes extranjeros.
Blue Sage Global Education é uma consultoria de desenvolvimento que tem como missão catalisar e apoiar a internacionalização de universidades e centros de pesquisa no Brasil. Suas principais ações: Desenvolver, otimizar e expandir programas de intercâmbio universitário para que as instituições brasileiras possam receber mais alunos estrangeiros. Traduzir e editar textos com o intuito de dar maior visibilidade internacional às universidades brasileiras e aos centros de pesquisa.
In 2012, I arrived at what was called ‘the most dangerous study abroad location’ on an organizational map of over 260 cities spread across 43 countries. My initial contract was to turn around program safety. Urgently. Just a few weeks before, a student had found a way to involve himself in a drug-dealing ring (yes, as a dealer) and another had to jump out of a moving van after being forced into the vehicle at gunpoint. True stories and there were many more.
Between 2015-2016, I was contracted by Harvard University to help strengthen operations and supports for Latin America’s most ambitious international scholarship initiatives. Working behind the scenes with the Ministries of Education, Ministries of Science and Technology, and private funders across the region, I quickly learned that it was the human element, relationships built around respect and trust, that made systems flow.
Most of us working in this field are the ‘result’ of study abroad programs or some kind of international education initiative that allowed us to cross national and cultural boundaries. We live the impact and understand how this academic journey changes lives. But would-be participants do not necessarily see this ‘poetic’ and, faced with expensive options, students and their families want to see concrete return on their investment.
I believe that if we take concrete in-country steps to make programs more supportive of the interests and well-being of diverse groups, then programs will 1) be stronger for all groups, including ‘majority’ groups, 2) they will be become more dynamic and incorporate new tracks of study and perspectives, and 3) these programs will attract excellent students who want to make the most out of the study abroad experience.
All students value a unique point of entry into the job market, grad school, or scholarship programs and Blue Sage trains university or provider staff on how to build career enhancement into the programs.
Blue Sage program development always involves a final goal of diversifying enrolment in study abroad programs. All students should have access to this life-changing “tool” that is study abroad and they should be able to see the transformative poetic and concrete career enhancement opportunities that experiential learning opens.
Diversifying participation in study abroad programs involves even the first phases of program development: the creation of courses and tracks of study, the hiring and training of staff, designing all-student meetings to create spaces for group reflection on the immersion process across gender, race, and class lines, designing excursions that explore themes of diversity in the host country, and more.