As the Director of Study Abroad at Eastern Illinois University, I spend a fair amount of time researching and developing study abroad programs and partnerships outside of the United States. Prior to my recent discovery of EducationUSA, I would start each search by pulling all of my contacts and then scouring the Internet for fitting locations and institutions within a particular country. Recently, I was invited to present on the topic of U.S. Study Abroad at the tri-annual WHA Regional EducationUSA Training Program, which was held in Mexico City. It was there that I learned more about this resourceful network.
EducationUSA is a global network supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. It consists of more than 400 advising centers, whose primary mission is to promote U.S. higher education around the world, including study abroad. Recently, EducationUSA started offering its valuable host country knowledge, contacts, and connections to study abroad professionals and faculty leaders from the United States. This means that EducationUSA advising centers can help us find suitable study abroad sites, institutions, organizations, accommodations, guest lecturers, tour guides, and more.
To get started, find an advising center and contact them with your needs. You can also search EducationUSA’s 150+ Countries Database for national statistics, education systems, recent trends, photos, and more. If you haven’t yet figured it out, there’s a wealth of information and resources on the EducationUSA website.
I recently heard that some EducationUSA Advising Centers will be providing paid internships to US students who have studied abroad in their country for a semester or longer. What a great opportunity (and idea), not to mention resume builder, for students to have a semester-long study abroad experience followed by a paid internship.
Submitted by Wendy Williamson, Director of Study Abroad, Eastern Illinois University