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A 2018 ‘Retro’ for International Educators

What worked, what didn't and what will we change in the new year?

Viewer in a large, white art gallery

Photo by Antenna on Unsplash

In the art world, a retrospective is an exhibition that displays work from a particular artist created over the course of their career.

In technology, a retrospective is a meeting where software developers look back over a project and identify what worked, what didn’t, and where there is room for improvement.

Here at Via TRM, we’ve created our own version of a ‘retro’ to conclude major projects and campaigns. We get out the post-its and take time to reflect with intention and a desire to strive for continued improvement.

In that spirit, we invite our colleagues in the field of International Education into this practice and offer a:

2018 Retro for International Educators


>My Very Personal Taste of Racism Abroad, an article by NYU alumni Nicole Phillip, struck a chord with many of us working in the field. Phillip’s vivid depictions of traumatic experiences she had while studying abroad was a reminder and call to action for the field to design radically inclusive pre-departure, on-site and returnee programming and support.

>With the rise of the #MeToo movement, many industries around the US and the world have taken an important look at gender inequality. AIEA published Today’s Women Leaders in International Education, an article authored by four women leaders in the field who surveyed colleagues about obstacles women leaders face at home and abroad. The Global Leadership League and Lead 5050, two organizations focused on elevating women in IE saw membership growth this year and co-hosted The Women in International Education Awards in Berlin.

>We are seeing the impacts of shifting social and political climates on international education. For the second consecutive year, U.S. institutions reported a decline in new international student enrollments. Meanwhile, Canada and China are seeing record numbers of incoming international students. On the study abroad side, the trend continues upwards, but this year’s increase of 2% is small compared with previous years (2015/2016 saw a 4% increase).

>Samantha Martin, Via TRM’s Founder and CEO, sparked a lively dialogue when she considered the impact of shifts in the travel industry and higher education on international education in her article ‘The Future of International Education’.

>One of the most talked-about topics this year was Generation Z, or the iGeneration. We talked with colleagues at conferences about strategies for communication with a generation that is characterized by their pragmatism, drive and sense of responsibility. One of our favorite articles on the topic game from Travel Weekly: They’re not millennials: Targeting Generation Z.

We end our retro with a reflection from Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds, by adrienne maree brown.

“Do you already know that your existence–who and how you are–is in and of itself a contribution to the people and place around you? Not after or because you do some particular thing, but simply the miracle of your life. And that the people around you, and the place(s), have contributions as well? Do you understand that your quality of life and your survival are tied to how authentic and generous the connections are between you and the people and place you live with and in?

Are you actively practicing generosity and vulnerability in order to make the connections between you and others clear, open, available, durable? Generosity here means giving of what you have without strings or expectations attached. Vulnerability means showing your needs.”

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