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Innovation and Excellence: Partnership Enriches Global Education at Dickinson

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Forum on Education Abroad extends partnership through 2025

by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson

One is a nationally recognized leader in global education. The other is the only organization recognized by the U.S. government to develop standards for best practices in the field. Working together, Dickinson and The Forum on Education Abroad form a powerful and mutually fruitful partnership. The forum recently announced it would extend its strategic partnership agreement with Dickinson through 2025.

“Dickinson’s unwavering commitment to international education and the forum’s expertise and leadership make for an ideal partnership,” says Samantha Brandauer '95, associate provost and executive director of the Center for Global Study & Engagement. “Our large global footprint—which includes over 25 international partnerships and staff and faculty in 10 countries, collaborations across campus, strong engagement of our faculty, and relentless drive to innovate—make Dickinson a natural partner and home for the forum.”

The forum develops comprehensive good-practice standards in education-abroad programs and provides related resources, training and other support to higher-ed institutions. The only such organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission, it has more than 700 member institutions worldwide.

The forum awarded its coveted QUIP certification to Dickinson in 2009, indicating that the college meets its best-practice standards. It recertified Dickinson in 2018-19 after a detailed review that included a site visit to the college’s study-abroad center in Bremen, Germany. In its  report, forum experts noted that Dickinson does more than simply meet best practices—the college also looks ahead to remain ahead of the curve.

That forward-looking approach was critical in 2020 and spring 2021, when travel restrictions wreaked havoc with education-abroad programs worldwide. Dickinson responded with the Globally Integrated Semester, a flexible program combining education abroad, rigorous classes and values-based education in a novel way, and a new program in Washington, D.C. The college also rolled out global classes for alumni.

Now, the innovative thinking continues, the future remains bright and the forum is not the only organization to have taken note. The Institute of International Education ranks Dickinson as a top-5 institution for long-term study abroad, and last year sparked an international-education-training partnership with the college. Dickinson is also recognized as a top Fulbright-producing institution. And in 2019, Dickinson became the only college ever to twice earn the prestigious Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization.

Forum President & CEO Melissa Torres says that conversations between the forum and Dickinson have led to new areas for collaboration and innovation. She anticipates much more good work ahead, as the forum launches a new strategic plan to help continue to bring exceptional education-abroad opportunities to U.S. students.

“Dickinson’s launch of a new graduate degree, relationship with high school programs, ongoing work with international partners, and priorities around justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, and sustainability are of particular interest in our vision for the future,” says Torres. “We look forward to exploring these and other opportunities to ensure the continued success of Dickinson and the forum.”

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Published September 28, 2021