U.S.-Korea International Education Administrators (IEA) Program

Adria L. Baker, Ed.D.
Associate Vice Provost for International Education
Rice University

What a difference a two-week IEA makes! It was just two months ago that I arrived in Seoul, S. Korea, where I met up with my fellow international education colleagues from around the USA. We were anxious to see everything we could, since we had been well-prepared with many articles and pre-reading orientation materials about our host country. Little did I know how much these colleagues, as well as the Fulbright Korean colleagues, would come to mean to me – and how much I would learn from them, professionally and personally.

 To me, having the opportunity just to apply for the Fulbright application felt like an honor in itself.  Therefore, I cannot express how happy I was to find out that I was chosen for this program. The International Education Administrators (IEA) Seminar was a great Fulbright option for me, given the program’s purpose, goals, focus, and length of time.iea 3

 I did not want to attend just any of the IEA programs though;  I wanted specifically to apply to the South Korea IEA. This is because over the past decade at Rice University, the Korean student population has quadrupled, and our research collaborations have expanded significantly. We have hosted international delegations from S. Korea, and I have enjoyed learning about the many outstanding and diverse Korean institutions of higher education. I felt I needed to learn more about the country, the Korean people, their education system, and some of the underlying cultural contexts behind them.  Applying for the U.S-Korea IEA would be an avenue where I would seek to: 1) learn how I could better meet the needs of our growing Korean student and scholar population, 2) expand collaborations on my campus with Korean colleagues and universities, and 3) find feasible partnerships, so that our Rice students would be interested in traveling to S. Korea for study, internships, or other educational pursuits.

Since I returned six weeks ago, I have been pleasantly surprised by the many opportunities to disseminate the great things about this program through reports, articles, presentation proposal approvals, and meetings. I truly enjoy describing the outstanding hospitality, kindness and professionalism of the Korean colleagues we met.

If you are considering applying for iea koreaa Fulbright grant, I would do so only if you:

1) Aspire to grow professionally

2) Have specific reasons to increase your understanding of the host country

3) Plan to share your new-found cultural understandings widely, and as quickly as possible upon return

4) Can articulate how the purpose of the specific Fulbright program matches your professional needs, so that you can put to use the experiences you gaiieak orea 2n with others upon return

5) Want to give back to (and through) Fulbright by spreading the news about the wonderful program that it is

6) Seek to expand collaborations, understanding, connections and bi-national mobility with your host country, its people, and the professional colleagues that you meet

7) Desire experiences that will change you in a positive way, creating memories you will never forget!

Thank you, Fulbright!

The application deadlines and more information about each program can be found at www.cies.org/IEA.  If you have further questions, please contact Alexandra Squitieri at asquitieri@iie.org.

 

Occasional Lecturer Fund Brings Chinese Scholar to Kentucky

Philip Krummich
Fulbright Campus Representative
Morehead State University

Professor Gang Zhou, a Fulbright Scholar from Dalian University of Technology in China who is spending the year at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey, visited Morehead State University in Kentucky on April 22, 2013. Professor Zhou gave a talk entitled “Confucianism : Philosophy or Religion?” to an audience of over 100 students and faculty members.  That same day, Dr. Zhou, along with past Fulbright scholars and Morehead State faculty members Dr. Sylvia Henneberg and Dr. Adrian Mandzy, shared their experiences at an informational luncheon sponsored by the Center for Leadership and Professional Development. Approximately twenty faculty members attended the session in the Center for Regional Engagement, and learned about the various ways in which scholars can apply for support in Fulbright Programs. Dr. Zhou, Dr. Henneberg, and Dr. Mandzy spoke with warm appreciation of the professional growth they achieved as Fulbright Scholars, and urged their colleagues to look into applying. Those present were made aware of intriguing new options, such as the Fulbright Flex Awards. We are anticipating that there will be more applications from Morehead State University in the near future!

The Fulbright Scholar Program provides travel awards through the Occasional Lecturer Fund (OLF) to enable Fulbright Visiting Scholars who are currently in the U.S., for a grant longer than three months, to accept guest lecturing invitations at U.S. colleges and universities.

Fulbright International Education Administrator (IEA) Seminars: Which One is Right for You?

I learned so much about the student experience, higher education, and the employment process in Japan, and I became much more familiar with Japanese culture in general – the insight I gained has already been useful on the job this year. In addition to meeting all the generous and enlightening Japanese educators/administrators, one of the unexpected highlights of the program for me was getting to know the other U.S. participants – we bonded quickly and have stayed in touch regularly.

– Sarah Langston, University of South Carolina
2012 Japan IEA participant.

The Fulbright International Education Administrator (IEA) Seminars are designed for U.S. higher education administrators who are interested in spending an intensive two or three week period in one of six countries: India, Japan, Korea, Germany, France or the United Kingdom.

Each seminar offers participants an in-depth look at the higher education system, culture and society of the host country and provides an invigorating opportunity for networking with international and U.S. colleagues. All seminar participants gain a new perspective on the need to internationalize U.S. campuses and insight into how it can be done.

But which seminar is right for you? There are some differences in program goals to consider, depending on the strategic needs of your institution, as well as varying qualification information.

Participants in India’s IEA seminar will spend two weeks in March in New Delhi and other major cities, attending meetings with representatives of Indian universities, private-sector agencies and organizations and government agencies. The seminar aims to achieve a balance of topical discussions, knowledge sharing, experiential excursions and exposure to societal and cultural facets of India. Applicants must be international education administrators or senior-level university administrators with substantial responsibility for enhancing the international dimension of their institutions and who wish to expand opportunities for international collaborations through faculty exchanges, collaborative research projects or pursuit of innovative curricular design.

Administrators exploring the Japanese higher education landscape for two weeks in June will participate in briefings, campus visits, appointments with government officials, cultural activities and meetings with Japanese international education professionals in Tokyo and other cities. Preference is given to those who indicate an institutional interest in increasing the number of Japanese students on their campus. Applicants must be international education administrators or senior-level university administrators with substantial (at least 25 percent) responsibility for enhancing the international dimension of their institutions.

Korea IEA seminar participants will spend a week in June in Seoul and a week visiting institutions outside of Seoul. They will attend meetings with representatives from Korean universities, private sector agencies and organizations and government agencies. This program is not a vehicle for initiating or developing a U.S. institution’s linkage programs, for student recruitment or for establishment of branch campuses. Applicants must be international education administrators or senior-level university administrators with substantial (at least 60 percent of their time) responsibility for enhancing the international dimension of their institutions.

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In October, administrators have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with Germany’s higher education system. During the first week in Berlin, participants are provided with an introduction through briefings, government appointments, campus visits and cultural events. During the second week, participants are divided into small groups, traveling to other German cities. Applicants working in career services, alumni affairs and development and fundraising are welcome to apply, along with those working in international exchanges.

Senior level administrators (deans, vice presidents, provosts and presidents) wishing to spend two weeks in October in Paris, Bordeaux and Strasbourg are invited to apply to the France IEA seminar, designed to familiarize participants with France’s higher education and research system. The program consists of briefings, campus visits, appointments with government officials, networking and cultural activities and meetings with French international education professionals.

For three weeks in August, administrators will explore the higher education system in the United Kingdom through briefings, campus visits, appointments with government officials, cultural activities and meetings with British international education professionals. U.S. and U.K. administrators will have interactive sessions to share best practices in both directions across the Atlantic. Applicants should be full-time international education administrators or senior-level university administrators. Applicants with particular expertise in student advising, student services, student recruitment and admissions are encouraged to apply.

All IEA participants return to their home institutions empowered with an enhanced ability to build partnerships, encourage study abroad participation and support international students.

Korea IEA US 2011 Group Picture

Each program can have varying qualification information, so applicants should read the award description carefully. All programs have intensive, pre-arranged itineraries, but in most cases, return travel can be arranged to allow for personal meetings or travel in-country. All awards include economy round-trip travel, travel within the country, lodging and a lump sum supplement for incidentals.

The application deadlines and more information about each program can be found at www.cies.org/IEA.  If you have further questions, please contact Alexandra Squitieri at asquitieri@iie.org or Anna Valiante at avaliante@iie.org.

Research on Thailand’s Vegetarian Festival: How Social Support turns Pain into Pride

Andreas Schneider

From left to right: two helpers in Schneider’s project, the visiting monk at the shrine, Schneider, the president of all Phuket shrines.

By Andreas Schneider (Ph.D., Indiana University)
Associate Professor of Sociology
Texas Tech University

During my Fulbright grant in Thailand, I sought evidence of how social support creates situations in which people achieve positive identities, a process instrumental in rendering their subjective experience of pain. To study the rendering of pain, I interviewed the Ma Song, a group of religious devotees that engage in extreme forms of self-torture during the Vegetarian Festival in Phuket.

The Vegetarian Festival started as a form of redemption for the successful recovery of a community from a plague. The festival has been held annually since 1825 by the large Chinese immigrant community in Phuket Town and increasingly elsewhere in Thailand.

The Ma Song are chosen by the leaders of nine shrines in Phuket.  They often volunteer because they experienced life threatening events.  According to the local interpretation of Chinese Taoism, during the festival, the nine embody the gods’ will incarnate on earth in the bodies of the Ma Song.  I gained the understanding that the Ma Song follow a Chinese logic of fair trade: they volunteer their bodies to be used by the gods in exchange for being kept alive through the gods’ use of their bodies in the future. The Ma Song inflict on themselves mild to extreme piercings that are displayed in processions, fire walking, and the climbing of high ladders with steps of blades.

The challenge for me was to conduct interviews with the Ma Song during the time of the festival while they were not occupied with the festival itself or suffering from the physical aftermath of their activities. Having finished the interviews before the main events, I was able to conduct a photo documentation of the piercing ceremonies, processions, fire walking and the ladder climbing photographically.

I was especially touched on my last day during the purification ritual where thousands of devotees walked across a symbolic bridge to be stamped by the Ma Song with the seal of the nine emperor gods.  Blonde and 6’4”, I clearly stood out of the crowd. My colleague Supatra Supchukul (Patti) from Burapha University remarked that I was the only white guy she had seen, though I did not feel out of place.

Because of the recent sensationalization of the religious practices of minorities through the posting of explicit images on the Internet, I had to work delicately to obtain the collaboration of the Kingdom, the Shrines and the Ma Song. Despite this, the collaboration and support for my research in Thailand was overwhelming. The National Research Council of Thailand in Bangkok approved my application to conduct research in Thailand and informed the Phuket Provincial Cultural Office to support my case with the Governor of Phuket and the Presidents of the local Shrines.

Meeting all these people was half the fun. However, I was grateful when Supatra Supchukul (Patti), came to Phuket to support me in my ongoing research project, easing communication about our work. Patti’s presence was also instrumental in approaching the female Ma Songs that recently were allowed to participate in most of the events in one of the temples.

New Fulbright International Education Administrator Seminars in France and the United Kingdom

We are pleased to announce the addition of France and the United Kingdom to the Fulbright International Education Administrator Seminars. The IEA seminars are designed for U.S. higher education administrators who are interested in spending an intensive two-week seminar in one of six countries: India, Japan, Korea, Germany, France, or the United Kingdom. Each seminar offers participants an in-depth look at the higher education system, culture and society of the host country. The seminars also provide an invigorating opportunity for networking with international and U.S. colleagues. Participants return to their home institutions empowered with first-hand knowledge, new professional connections and an enhanced ability to build partnerships, encourage study abroad participation and support international students.

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The February 1, 2013 application deadline for the IEA Seminars in Germany, France and the United Kingdom is fast approaching.

To Apply go to the CIES Web site:http://www.cies.org/IEA/ Please contact Margo M. Cunniffe, Assistant Director, mcunniffe@iie.org, 202-686-6243 or Anna Valiante, Program Coordinator, at avaliante@iie.org with any questions.

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To find out more, check out the Webinar discussing the Fulbright-Nehru IEA Seminar

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