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!
In addition to the design and development of inbound study abroad receiving capacity (faculty-led, customized, and even semester-long) and major scholarship activities for outbound study abroad to Canada — and the securing of approximately $125,000 for Bahamian students — our founder also brought in dozens of new partnerships from the Blue Sage network in the US.
Our founder discusses the work in a live radio interview held in the Bahamas along with a student-scholar who is Canada-bound under the new scholarship program that was instituted! Much more information on the Bahamas can be found on the Blue Sage Facebook page, which we encourage all to Like and Follow.
It is important to note that every aspect of the study abroad development work in the Bahamas has followed, step-by-step, the Blue Sage method outlined in “Study Abroad: A Guide for Program Developers.” The method works and the national university of the Bahamas is seeing the immediate impact! It has been exciting to see over 2,500 copies sold with very little promotion activities. Several university libraries in Italy and Spain purchased the eBook, presumably for students in International Education Master’s programs and staff members in the global studies development offices.
Blue Sage is constantly adapting to the changing landscape of international program development and a series questions have emerged, prompting a second eBook project. The call from US-based outbound study abroad institutions has made it exceedingly clear that study abroad should be more inclusive and that more students should be enrolling in these life-changing programs. Cost of participation in study abroad programs, however, has been identified as the most significant barrier which prevents more diverse programs and greater student participation. The next eBook examines supported Direct Enrollment as a viable way of reducing costs and offering rich, full-immersion opportunities.
The new eBook begins as a guide for students and families, written from a director/developer perspective, on how to choose the right study abroad program. It then looks at Direct Enrollment, offering guidance on how to directly enroll at a foreign university. In doing that, the goal of the eBook is also to present a viable way of breaking down the cost barriers while providing excellent programs.
While doing the research on the incredible direct enrollment opportunities in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries, Blue Sage services acquired more focus and precision. Some universities have contracted Blue Sage for hands-on program development in which we, for example, develop a language program curriculum, hire and train professors, use the host city as a language “lab,” and then let our network of US universities know of a great new program addition. But several universities with strong international operations have found Blue Sage’s value to lie in our US university network — primarily in New England and New York — and our ability to develop institutional partnerships in the form of MoU’s. Our newest service is perhaps our simplest: we connect our US network to excellent Higher Learning Institutions in English, Portuguese, and Spanish-speaking countries (and occasionally Italy), write agreements (MoU’s), and then offer an optional service in which we write grants under the newly formed alliances. These grants—some national, some international, some from the universities themselves—sustain student mobility and fund the institutional advancement of the Iberian and Latin American universities. This has been of great benefit to universities in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Latin America who seek to recruit students.
Finally, as we write the second eBook on how to choose the right study abroad program, which questions to ask, and how to navigate direct enrollments at a fraction of the cost, Blue Sage has started to advise students and families. Our particular focus is Direct Enrollment: we want to demystify and clarify this very important method of studying abroad so that our field can really become more inclusive. By providing guidance through the Direct Enrollment process, especially in a google age and when host universities have equipped themselves so well to receive students, we hope that more students will pursue global studies.