Families on the Move: Challenges and Opportunities

September 9, 2010

Liz Perelstein recently published Families on the Move: Challenges and Opportunities (pg 42), in Mobility Magazine.

The personal tale of the heartache and immense growth due to a relocation is a must-read for any family considering international relocation!

Here’s a snippet ~

“You know what personal trainers say: “no pain, no gain.” Now a member of the “global mobility” world, I am almost embarrassed that my only overseas assignment was 12 years ago in a Western, English-speaking location—London—and for a predictable three years. But for me and for my family, even that relatively sheltered adventure provided an abundance of pain, out of which came infinitely more gain.”


Research, Research, Research: Study Abroad

September 8, 2010

What: Georgia Learning Outcomes of Students Studying Abroad Research Initiative (GLOSSARI)

Research Question: How does study abroad affect academic performance?

Who: Don Rubin, research director

Where: 35-institution University System of Georgia

How: 10 year research project involving students who studied abroad and control groups

Results: almost too many to list! Here’s a start…

  • Improved academic performance upon returning
  • Higher graduation rates
  • Improved knowledge of cultural practices and context
  • Improves academic performance of at-risk students


“I think if there’s one take-home message from this research as a whole it is that study abroad does not undermine educational outcomes, it doesn’t undermine graduation rate, it doesn’t undermine final semester GPA. It’s not a distraction.” Don Rubin

Read the whole article at InsideHigherEd.com

Top 10 Bizzare College Courses

August 30, 2010

ListVerse.com takes a look at the top ten most bizarre college courses. What a fascinating list!

Here are some highlights:

  • The Unbearable Whiteness of Barbie at Occidental College
  • Stupidity at Occidental College
  • The Joy of Garbage at Santa Clara University
  • Zombies at University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa
  • The Phallus at Occidental College

To learn more about these courses (for instance, the assigned readings) and to see the rest of the list, see the rest of the article!

What Do We Think?

Silliness aside, these course offerings illustrate a value that is central to the American educational system; US universities and colleges teach students to how to learn and analyze. Many of these skills can be acquired regardless of the content of the course… for instance, in The Joy of Garbage, professor Virginia Matzek teaches students to “do research and learn to work with data.” Students must analyze the difference between garbage, discard and waste. While the content for the course is garbage, the skills are priceless!

Compare this approach to systems which focus on memorization; an educational system that values information retention would never offer a class on garbage, zombies or the phallus, as the specific information learned would be relatively useless (except probably as dinner-table conversation starters… well maybe not even that!)

Changing the Face of Study Abroad

August 22, 2010


Study abroad  by American students has doubled over the last decade,

BUT not by African-American, Hispanic and Native American students

(Institute of International Education)



For example, although African-American students comprise 14 % of postsecondary student enrollment, they make up only 3.4 % of study abroad participants.

Percentage of minorities in the study abroad population (from IIE):

  • All minorities: 17%
  • Hispanics: 5.6 %,
  • Asian Americans: 6.3 %,
  • Multiracial: 1 %
  • Native Americans: 0.4 %


The numbers are pretty abysmal and unfortunate, as we already know that study abroad experiences can improve academic performance, increase graduation rates and even help at-risk students achieve in academic settings.

The good news is that groups like Bardoli Global are working to increase study abroad participation. Anthony Jewett, executive director and CEO, hopes to change “the face of America abroad.”

Bardoli Global works to combat the five barriers to studying abroad—family, faculty, finances, fear and friends—by providing scholarships and preparing students for their time abroad. Upon returning, students work in teams to procure small grants (of $1,000 to $1,500) to develop social projects with a global dimension.


Read the full article at InsideHigherEd.com

Join Bardoli Global on Facebook

Planning to Study Abroad?

August 18, 2010

See full article in Inside Higher Ed

The U.S. Department of Education would like to set new rules to make it more difficult for students to receive federal financial aid in order to attend institutions outside the US. It seems most of the rules are in regards to foreign medical schools (for instance, there may be an increased minimum score of 75 % on US medical licensing exam to be even eligible for aid), however there may be more stringent reporting requirements for U.S. institutions as well.

The impetus seems to be decreasing federal funding in smart ways, but of course, this is easier said than done!

New School: Twitter Style

August 10, 2010

Name of School: Alta Vista

Created By: Abdur Chowdhury, scientist at Twitter

For: Chowdhury’s daughter, who likes science

School’s Twitter Account: twitter.com/altavistaschool

Focus: Math, science and art

Location: San Francisco

Size: 2 classrooms, K and 1st grade, of 10-12 students

Opening Date: September 7, 2010

Price Tag: $20,000 a year

A-levels or IB?

August 4, 2010


Even in public schools, students around the world have to decide between educational systems. For instance, state institutions in the UK (and the US) are now offering the International Baccalaureate (IB); in fact, over 63% of the IB schools in the UK are state funded schools. Well, which one is better? At School Choice International, we believe each system has its benefits and it really depends on the particular student.


Listen to a student and experts discuss the pros and cons, as well as the type of pupil best suited to each program.

~ Woman’s Hour on BBC looks at this important issue ~


Here are some of the topics:


  • Standard: Most students in the UK take the A-Levels
  • Specialized Study: A-level students narrow their academic focus quite early
  • UK Focused: Like most state programs, the A-Levels tends to be focused on British topics, for instance British literature and economics
  • Curriculum 2000: The current A-levels have changed to 4 modules, so it is not the same program the parents took

International Baccalaureate

  • A Liberal Arts Approach: IB students must take a broad range of subjects, allowing students to keep options open
  • World Perspective: Students must study world literature, foreign languages, global economics
  • Strong Work Ethic: In order complete this challenging program, students have to develop strong study skills
  • Privileged and Academic Elite: The IB program is no longer only for the financially privileged or the academically elite