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Office of International Affairs ANNUAL REPORT AY 2015-16

U M D :


G l o b a l l y

C o n n e c t e d

U n i v e r s i t y


Executive Summary


Office of International Affairs


Education Abroad


International Student & Scholar Services


Office of China Affairs




n Academic Year 2015-16 (AY 2015-16), the Office of International Affairs (OIA) and its constituent units—Education Abroad, International Student and Scholar Services, and the Office of China Affairs—continued to foster the internationalization of the University of Maryland. Education Abroad (EA) helped more than 1,900 UMD students gain significant overseas experiences, adding an exciting suite of new opportunities for students including an increasing number of credit-bearing internships focused on improving the common good around the globe. International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) helped a record number of degree-seeking international students integrate into the life of the university and greater Washington, D.C., including a six percent increase in undergraduate international enrollment and four percent increase in overall international enrollment. Existing OIA-sponsored programs also continued to grow. Four more Global Classroom courses were added, a 50 percent growth in the options UMD students now have to connect with peers around the world in digital-based classrooms working on real world projects. The Global Semester in Washington program once again outpaced its domestic predecessor, Federal Semester, in popularity. OIA also piloted the innovative Global Entrepreneurship Semester, sending students not only to study and live in Seoul, South Korea for a semester, but also to intern at startup companies there. Travel grants were awarded to five faculty and four staff members, and two more joint research workshops were funded with Tel Aviv University, leading to an expansion of that model to partners in Northern Ireland and Brazil. UMD students, faculty and academic leadership deepened their engagement with the Universitas 21 global consortium, hosting gatherings at UMD and organizing major collaborative projects across the network worldwide. The Office of China Affairs (OCA) increased by 40 percent the number of trainees in its tailored programs for Chinese administrators, while also further expanding its service to those on campus and in the region who are, or wish to be, engaged with China. Overall, OIA facilitated the establishment of formal agreements for the university with 40 new partners in 19 countries, while also implementing a new International Risk Management plan that, among other features, automatically provides UMD personnel going outside the United States on university-related business with travel insurance, free of charge.




UMD student Colin Burr (second from left) works with colleagues at a South Korean startup as part of the Global Entrepreuneurship Semester.


In AY 2015-16, programs sponsored by OIA continued to grow. Existing internationalization opportunities for students either expanded or prepared to do so, and new options were added. OIA also funded individual faculty and staff travel to deepen research and professional ties with international partners, supported additional workshops for UMD faculty teams to explore major new international research collaborations, and launched a new international travel insurance program for faculty and staff. UMD students, faculty and academic leadership further increased their participation in the Universitas 21 global consortium, with OIA backing.

OIA PROGRAMS The Global Classrooms Initiative The Global Classrooms Initiative grew by 50 percent in AY 2015-16, adding four new courses to the existing suite of eight and promising a significant addition to the 240 UMD students who have already benefited from this unique educational experience. A fall 2015 Call for Proposals extended the Global Classroom model to seven new fields and three additional colleges, tapping relationships in new countries, including Bangladesh,


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China, Germany, and Sweden. At the same time, at least two of the global classrooms funded in the 2014 competition are confirmed to continue beyond the duration of their OIA seed grant. As a result, in AY 2016-17 UMD undergraduate and graduate students will have at least 13 courses to choose from that will feature the real world setting of being part of a virtual international team that uses communication technology to work on a common project (Chart 1). The projects are mostly inter-disciplinary and cover various topics, from business consulting, product design, to international devel-

opment, data collection or policy recommendations. Mechanical engineering and computer science students in UMD’s QUEST program worked with colleagues in Sweden to improve a company’s efficiency in receiving parts from suppliers. Chemical engineering and mathematics students virtually joined their Australian peers in a project aimed at improving Brisbane’s CityCat Ferry system. Architecture graduate students paired up with Russian counterparts to compare industrial districts and special economic zones in the two countries and

explore development solutions. English majors joined colleagues in Birmingham, UK in collecting oral histories of Caribbean and Latin American Communities in the USA and Britain. Together with Tel Aviv University teammates, UMD students from the MIDCM program analyzed problems and outlined development solutions for communities affected by conflict. This coming fall, public health students from UMD and the Independent University of Bangladesh will collaboratively address pressing issues in waste management in Dhaka.

Chart 1: Global Classroom Courses, 2014-2016 Course #

Global Classroom Course Title

Partner University

URSP 661

Industrial Districts: History, Theory and Practice

Higher School of Economics St. Petersburg, Russia

SPAN 422

Cross-cultural Communication

Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial, Ecuador


Capstone in International Development and Conflict Management

Tel Aviv University, Israel


International Development Amidst Conflict (in development)

University College Dublin, Ireland Leiden University, the Netherlands


Understanding U.S. Foreign Policy toward Afghanistan

American University of Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan

ENGL261/ ENGL 361

Recovering Oral Histories: Caribbean and Latin American Communities in the USA and Britain

University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

CPSP379D/ UAE Global Immersion Experience HONR349V

American University of Sharjah (AUS), United Arab Emirates


Indigenous People and Conservation (in development)

Universidade do Estado do Amazoas (UEA), Brazil

ARAB 499W/ SLLC 499I/ HIST 429G/ PERS 498W

The Islamicate World 2.0: Studying Islamic Cultures through Computational Textual Analysis*

Universität Leipzig, Germany


Addressing Current, Pressing Global and Environmental Public Health Challenges in Bangladesh*

Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB)


Global Consulting and Innovation Practicum*

Linköping University, Sweden University of Queensland, Australia


Technology Beyond Borders: Service Learning and Leadership Across Cultural, Ethnic and Community Lines*

Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

* 2015 Global Classrooms Initiative new grants I N TER N ATI O N AL A F FA I RS


Global Entrepreneurship Semester AY 2015-16 saw the launch of the Global Entrepreneurship Semester (GES), a new overseas program for students that places them in local startup companies for 20 hours a week while they live and study at a local university. Developed in collaboration with the Honors Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, the UMD Career Center, and Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, GES’ first cohort (Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering majors) spent the fall semester on campus studying the basis of international entrepreneurship and innovation, and learning about the South Korean startup ecosystem. Winter and Spring 2016 terms were then spent in Seoul studying Korean language and culture, taking three academic courses at Yonsei University and, most importantly, interning at start-up companies such as ClassPrep, a Korean venture developing a flipped learning platform specifically tailored to ASEAN10 countries, or Travelog, an international start-up providing travel insights for visitors of East and Southeast Asia through web and mobile applications. Global Semester in Washington, D.C. “The Global Semester in Washington, D.C.”, administered by the Office of Undergraduate Studies and rebranded as “Global Fellows in Washington, D.C.,” was another runaway success in AY 2015-16, with 64 students enrolled. Participants chose between preparatory seminars, taught by D.C. practitioners, on responding to global challenges; the foreign policy of science, technology, and innovation; and the making of U.S. diplomacy and public policy. Demand was so strong that a new field, “Critical Regions and International Relations,” taught by active duty U.S. Foreign Service Officers, will be added going forward. In the spring, this professional preparation led to substantive, globally-oriented work experiences at placements such as the White House (Office of Science and Technology Policy), U.S. federal agencies (U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; HHS International Health Security Division; U.S. Helsinki Commission), foreign embassies (Bangladesh, Brazil, Spain), international think-tanks (Middle East Institute), global NGOs (the ONE campaign), and more. 6

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The Global Semester program’s Science Diplomacy cohort visits the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Global Partnerships Travel Grants Beginning in summer 2016, as a result of the third OIA call for proposals for Global Partnerships Faculty Travel Grants, UMD professors will be off to Uganda, China, the Netherlands, and Norway, working to establish or expand collaborations with UMD partner institutions on everything from food security to entrepreneurship education, from human rights, to climate change (Chart 2a). UMD staff will travel to Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and the UK, gaining additional global perspective for campus by seeing firsthand how international colleagues approach shared tasks, such as management of external grants and research data, and development of infrastructure for teaching and learning (Chart 2b). Joint Research Workshops How to apply recent micro and nano technology developments for the cooling and heating of electronic components, nuclear reactors, military systems, and hybrid and electric vehicles, brought a group of UMD faculty from the Department of Mechanical Engineering to Tel Aviv University for several days of discussions with colleagues there. A second workshop was prompted by the recent opening to researchers of diplomatic archives dating through the 1980s in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. UMD history faculty joined colleagues from TAU’s S. Daniel Abraham Center for International and Regional Studies, and Wiener Library for the Study of the Nazi era and the Holocaust at Tel Aviv University, to plan a major new collaborative project to better under-

Chart 2a: Faculty Awards GRANTEE



Dr. Jan Dempewolf Makerere University, Uganda Dept. of Geographical Sciences

Agricultural monitoring for food security in Uganda

Dr. Waverly Ding Dept. of Management and Organization

Guanghua School of Management, Peking University

New Venture Incubator Management and Founder Entrepreneurship Education in China

Dr. Stacy Kosko CIDCM

Leiden University, The Netherlands

The Global Justice Partnership for Human Rights, Law, and Development

Dr. Robert Koulish M-Law Program

Dr. Laurent G. Montesi University of Oslo, Norway Dept. of Geology

Integrating Models of Plate Motion and the Rheology of Earth’s Lithosphere

Chart 2b: Staff Awards GRANTEE


Dr. Cathy Barks American University Honors College of Afghanistan Ms. Tara Burke Division of Research

PROJECT Global Classrooms and More: Advancing the Honors College Partnership with the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul

University of Birmingham, Data Research at Three U21 Partners University College Dublin, University of Glasgow

Ms. Susan B. Johnston University of Edinburgh IT-SI-Learning Technologies and Environment

Sharing Best Practices in Accessible and Inclusive Learning

Ms. Melekte Truneh Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Managing External Grants at Ethiopian Partner Institutions

Bahir Dar University, Debre Berhan University, Wolkite University

stand both the European perception of Israel and the Israeli perception of Europe, since 1948. The success of previous UMD TAU joint research workshops led to the use of this model by the UMD Division of Research for collaborations with the State of São Paulo in Brazil and Ulster University in the United Kingdom. Workshops on the burning of biomass, nanoscience and solar cells, gravitational waves and neutron stars, and geometry beyond Euclidian space were funded by São Paulo Researchers in International

Collaboration program grants. Ulster-UMD Joint Research Workshops focused on intelligent robotic systems; developing a cross-national event dataset, and cityscapes, on peace; and addressing the social determinants of health to eliminate health inequalities. Further extensions of the joint research workshop model are planned, including partnerships with Lund University, Sweden; the University of New South Wales, Australia; Auckland University, New Zealand; University College Dublin, Ireland; and University College Cork, Ireland.



Universitas 21 (U21) Highlights of UMD’s ever deepening engagement with the U21 network included: • UMD student participation in the Undergraduate Research Conference, “Peoples and Places,” hosted by the University of Auckland, New Zealand. UMD’s delegation won first place for poster presentation, and second place for oral presentation • UMD student participation in the annual U21 Summer School, hosted this year by the University of Glasgow, Scotland on “Cities and Citizen Engagement in the Digital Age.” • UMD Student Government Association’s joining the U21 Student Leaders Group Meeting, hosted by the University of Connecticut in April 2016. • The first UMD undergraduate team entry in the U21 Global Ingenuity Challenge, sharing via video their innovative ideas for addressing challenges in sustainable housing. • Doctoral student participation in the 2015 U21 Three Minute Thesis Competition, winning the People’s Choice Award for Carly Muletz Wolz’s presentation on the “Presence of antifungal bacteria associated with salamander resistance to infection by deadly fungal pathogen.”

UMD’s Graduate School hosted this year’s meeting of the U21 Deans and Directors of Graduate Studies (DDoGS) and leads a network-wide conversation on graduate student international mobility models, in consultation with the U21 Student Mobility Network. UMD’s Division of Research continued its involvement with the U21 Researcher Engagement Cluster activities and groups, such as the VPs for Research and Researcher Collaboration Group. UMD is building strong, strategic bilateral research and comprehensive partnerships with select U21 member institutions, including Lund University, University College Dublin, Auckland University, and the University of New South Wales.

Stronger formal institutional ties led to greater faculty and staff involvement with U21 partner universities and in U21 activities. • In October 2015, Scott Roberts (Teaching and Learning Transformation Center) represented UMD in the U21 Educational Innovation Conference, “Using the Digital to Capture the International,” at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. • Dr. Colin Phillips proposed and led a U21 workshop in Language Science & Global Mobility at the University of Edinburgh in late April 2016, mobilizing colleagues from across the network to join U21 GRAIL (Global Research Alliance in Language). • In May 2016, UMD hosted a three-day U21 Workshop, ”Informing Climate Action 2016.” Integrated with the 2016 Climate Action Forum at UMD, the open conference linked to the high-level Climate Action 2016 Summit in Washington D.C.

U21 workshop in Language Science & Global Mobility at the University of Edinburgh in late April 2016.


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International Events On Campus November’s annual campus celebration of International Education Week, jointly promoted by the U.S. Departments of State and Education, saw events such as the humanitarian Missing

bring Mr. Peter Van Derwater, director of outreach for the U.S. senior Fulbright program, to campus for the annual workshop for prospective UMD faculty and staff applicants to the Fulbright Scholars program. The 2015 workshop has to date produced four awards for UMD faculty for projects in India, Nepal, and South Africa. Spring 2016 closed on a high note, with the Climate Action 2016 Forum, organized by the School of Public Policy with support from OIA and other campus units, which drew more than 600 representatives from business, environmental organizations, and government, among others to campus.


Ambassador Luis Miguel Castilla visits campus to talk of progress and challenges ahead for Peru.

Maps Project; talks on Frederick Douglass’s formative stay in Ireland, the global governance of peace, and the relationship of diet and children’s health in the developing world; a celebration of global entrepreneurship; an evening of poems and short readings from different countries about peace; a benefit concert for Ugandan schools; and film screenings. The Maryland Global Leaders series, in partnership with the School of Public Policy, welcomed Peruvian Ambassador to the U.S., H.E. Dr. Luis Miguel Castilla, to UMD in April for a presentation and Q&A with the campus community and a planning meeting with UMD personnel who work in Peru. OIA also teamed with the Division of Research to

During AY 2015-16, OIA helped 30 UMD units with drafting and processing 45 international agreements, involving nearly 40 partners in 19 countries around the world. These include: • An agreement with the Max-Planck Society (MPS) in Germany, one of the world’s premier scientific research organizations, for the joint supervision of doctoral students—the first such agreement that MPS has ever signed; • A first-of-its-kind at UMD visiting student agreement with Beijing University of Technology (BJUT) in China, which will allow qualified BJUT students to spend the second and third years of their undergraduate studies at UMD, before returning to China to complete their degree; • An agreement with the Interamerican Development Bank that will support the UMD Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) in monitoring climatic conditions and crop productivity in the Western Hemisphere; • Eight agreements for student exchange involving new international partner universities.


In AY 2015-16, OIA significantly strengthened the university’s international risk management. In partnership with the Department of Business Services and the Provost’s Office, OIA introduced a Traveler Information I N TER N ATI O N AL A F FA I RS


System (TIS) that can quickly identify the names and locations of faculty and staff traveling abroad on behalf of university business. TIS has enabled OIA to contact these travelers during times of crisis. The university is also now providing comprehensive international traveler insurance, including security and medical evacuation, to all faculty and staff.


OIA strengthened its online presence with a focus on social media. While the global website saw a slight decrease in users—a 5.4 percent drop, OIA’s Twitter followers increased dramatically by 395 percent from 83 followers at the end of AY 2014-15 to 411 followers at the end of AY 2015-16 (Chart 3). OIA also created a Facebook page in February 2016, which currently has 50 likes. As well as producing Maryland International, a bi-anChart 3: Twitter Followers

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nual print publication distributed to just under 4,000 subscribers on- and off-campus, OIA launched a new monthly e-newsletter in March 2016, which is distributed to approximately 680 faculty and staff on campus. The May 2016 issue had a 34.2 percent open rate, which is significantly higher than the industry average open rate of 18.14 percent (source: Constant Contact,


In AY 2016-17, OIA plans the completion of certain projects, the continuation and expansion of others, and the creation of new initiatives. A UMD internationalization strategic plan will be further tested and vetted by the broader campus, and a final version presented to university leadership for approval. International Affairs will map its vision and goals to match the final version. The third call for proposals for development of Global Classroom courses is scheduled to close on September 20, 2016, aiming to add six new courses to Maryland’s global classrooms portfolio. New Global Entrepreneurship Semester tracks, open to students in all majors, will be launched in collaboration with two U21 partners: Lund University and Korea University. Lund will also partner with UMD Division of Research for a new Joint Research Workshop program. An assessment system for international agreements will be developed to help UMD better understand the impact of its more than 300 international partnerships. OIA will continue to expand its suite of social media platforms, to better share the magnitude and variety of UMD’s international engagement.


Associate VP for International Affairs

Exec. Director, Education Abroad

Executive Assistant

Assoc. Director

Asst. Director

Director, Administrative Services

Asst. Director, Communications

Business Manager

Communications Assistant

Director, Intl. Student & Scholar Services

Director, China Affairs

Business Manager

Administrative Assistant

Accounting Assistant

Staff Position Student




UMD students in Nicaragua for the eight-week MSEC program. Photo courtesy of Alexis Marion.


In AY 2015-16, Education Abroad added an exciting suite of opportunities for students, from semester-long programs in Italy and a growing number of exchanges in different parts of the world to credit-bearing internships focused on improving the common good around the globe. While the overall number of UMD students participating in study abroad declined by three percent our Winter Break and Spring Semester enrollment rose by 13 and nine percent, respectively, over last year, while our enrollment in semester-long Maryland-in and Exchange programs continued to grow (Charts 1-4).

EA PROGRAMS New “Maryland-in” Programs • Maryland in Florence and Maryland in Perugia With the support of the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, the Department of Art History and Archaeology, and the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, EA partnered with the highly reputable International Studies Institute in Florence (ISI) and the Umbra Institute in Perugia to offer a new option for UMD stu-

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dents who want to study in Italy for a semester or a year. The program began in the Spring Semester with 32 students participating. The feedback from students is perhaps best captured in one student’s evaluation, “My courses abroad were a lot more hands on and living the experiences rather that just talking and taking notes in a classroom as I would in my home university. I learned a lot about Italian culture and different ways of life that I personally got to take part in and understand.”

Chart 1: Outgoing UMD Enrollment in Study Abroad (Undergraduate and Graduate)

Chart 2: Study Abroad Participation by Program Type Note – “affiliate” refers to programs administered by providers outside of UMD with whom EA has formal billing and course transfer agreements. “Risk management credit” refers to university-sponsored, travel abroad programs for which EA tracks location and dates for emergency response and international insurance only.



• Maryland in Barcelona, Summer 2016 EA also piloted a summer option for the “Maryland in Barcelona” program. Building on the strengths of EA’s well-established semester pro-

gram there, the new program allows students to enroll in courses at local universities during the summer, while taking courses in Spanish and English.

Chart 3: Outgoing UMD Enrollment in Study Abroad (Undergraduate Only)

Chart 4: Outgoing UMD Enrollment in Study Abroad (Graduate Only)

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Credit-bearing Internships Witnessing keen interest in overseas programs that have a professional engagement focus, EA expanded its existing offerings and added new opportunities. • Maryland Social Entrepreneur Corps In Fall 2015, EA held the third annual Maryland Social Entrepreneur Corps (MSEC) Forum, featuring summer 2015 MSEC program participants. In collaboration with the Robert H. Smith School of Business, the Smith Center for Social Value Creation, and the UMD Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, MSEC helps students engage directly with communities in Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and Ecuador to create sustainable, entrepreneurial solutions to complex challenges. MSEC students created poster presentations for the Forum, to share their insights, impacts, and lessons

during the program. Group presentations focused on social issues, including a cross-cultural comparison of the challenges in each of the MSEC host countries. For summer 2016, 21 UMD students formed the fourth cohort. As a result of MSEC’s success, the Smith School has started counting the program’s nine credits toward its new Innovation and Entrepreneurship minor. • Disabilities in a Global Context In Summer 2016, EA launched a new, multidisciplinary program that explores global perspectives on disabilities, allowing students to work with organizations seeking to eliminate barriers to full integration of people with disabilities into society. Before traveling to Peru, Ecuador or Ghana, students participate in a course offered on the virtual platform of our partner Omprakash, an NGO

Under the goal of offering easier health options to non-urban Nicaraguans, MSEC students introduced eye exams using an iPhone attachment and application. Photo courtesy of Alexis Marion.



that facilitates social change and learning around the world. With guidance from a mentor, students engage in a self-directed inquiry that culminates in a capstone project they present at a public forum at UMD in early Fall. Five students participated in this program. • Smith School Global Internship Program The Smith School also introduced opportunities for students to intern overseas, in Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, or Dublin. Students took a one-credit pre-internship course in Spring 2016 and traveled abroad for a six-credit internship that allowed them to experience firsthand the challenges and opportunities of working in another country and with people from different cultural backgrounds. 15 students participated in this program. Exchanges EA’s exchange program, which offers affordable opportunities for students to study at top-ranked research universities around the world, continued to grow. Student participation in outgoing exchanges increased by

11 percent (Chart 5) with a significant increase in U21 exchange partner participation. EA also welcomed 198 incoming exchange students to UMD from 68 partner institutions, representing 19 countries. EA executed eight new student exchange agreements in AY 2015-16, and deepened the integration of exchange opportunities within UMD’s colleges and departments, to ensure wider and targeted participation. UMD’s new partners include Australia’s Macquarie University, Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), University of British Columbia, McGill University, Japan’s Tohoku University, the Netherland’s Delft University of Technology, FESIA in France, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Short-term Programs Student participation in short-term study abroad programs declined overall about eight percent, most likely due to a combination of external factors, such as the slow economy, terrorism, the Zika outbreak. Faculty-led Winter programs increased by 16 percent, but Spring

Chart 5: Outgoing Exchange Enrollment Note: There are only six graduate students represented in this data (2 in AY 13, 3 In AY 14, and 1 in AY 15).

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Break enrollments dropped 46 percent and Summer enrollment decreased by 26 percent (Chart 6). Scholarships Education Abroad awards scholarships to undergraduates on the basis of financial need. This year, EA made the following awards: SCHOLARSHIP TOTAL AMOUNT AWARDED EA Need-based Scholarships


Exchange Tuition Waiver


EA’s capacity to award need-based scholarships is generously supported by the Jonathan V. David, Kendall, and Levy/Woolston scholarship funds. New Program Development EA, in conjunction with faculty and their sponsoring academic units across campus, developed 30 new short-term programs involving 20 different academic

While studying abroad, UMD students explore famous landmarks, like the Great Wall of China.

Chart 6: Enrollment Faculty-Led Maryland Short-term Programs Note: This data reflects enrollment in short-term faculty-led programs only. For overall enrollment in the terms depicted below, refer to Chart 1.



UMD students gain valuable hands-on experience while abroad.

departments (13 for Winter/Spring Break 2016, nine for Summer 2016, and eight for Winter/Spring Break 2017). Two highlights of the program were: a new program focusing on global climate change and sustainability that includes carbon offset projects; and the Maryland Language Science Center program in Guatemala, that took students and faculty to the western highlands of Guatemala to learn and conduct research on a Mayan language (Kaqchikel),and develop projects and partnerships as part of LSC’s newly-established Guatemala research field station. The experience sparked several promising research projects, including a collaboration to develop child language development assessments in Mayan languages. Further, three new short-term programs came out of EA’s “Laboratory for Innovation in International Education,” focused on diversifying education abroad programs: “Global Service in the Dominican Republic” run by the Global Communities Living and Learning program; “Leading for LGBTQ+ Empowerment,” in Thailand, sponsored by the LGBT Equity Center; and

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“Special Topics in Africa and the Americas: Understanding Social Inequalities in Post-Apartheid South Africa,” from the African-American Studies department. They attracted a total of 31 students, many from populations currently underrepresented in study abroad.

SERVICES AND PROC ESSES Faculty Training/Support EA introduced a new monthly brown-bag lunch series for faculty who lead or are interested in leading shortterm programs abroad. These sessions addressed topics and issues relevant to today’s challenges and opportunities within the education abroad environment, such as communicating across cultures, LGBTQ students, social media and study abroad, and the advantages and disadvantages of working with program providers. EA Policies and Procedures EA responded to various constituencies by developing new policies and guidelines for dependents, spouses,

and partners of faculty traveling on faculty-led study abroad programs, ensuring that the priority of EA’s faculty was their students’ experience and lowering program costs. EA refined its tracking systems of students in order to make better decisions about resource allocation and workflow. EA now records how many students come into its office for advising, to determine how many students enrolled versus number applied, as well as to ensure equitable distribution among advising staff. In January 2016, EA redistributed its advising regions to produce a more balanced caseload for each advising region and take better advantage of regional expertise. In Fall 2015, EA designed a student assessment tool to evaluate student experiences with its office. EA launched a pilot version to exchange students studying abroad in Fall 2015 and administered a full version for Spring 2016 with a 19 percent completion rate. This tool also resulted in connecting former and current study abroad students.

Short-term study abroad programs offer a variety of international internships, research projects, and immersion experiences.


EA expanded its outreach activities by 17 percent for a total of 282 individual events, including its annual study abroad fairs, with record attendance of more than 2,100 students in the fall and 775 in the spring. EA extended its capacity to advise students at convenient campus locations through the newly launched Study Abroad 101 initiative. EA’s 30 Study Abroad 101 sessions at the beginning of the study abroad process attracted more than 150 students, guiding them towards the next steps in the application process. This summer, EA launched a new section on its website aimed at providing self-guided resources to help students navigate and take ownership of the study abroad process. These include pages that will frame questions and help students consider their identities and affiliations when it comes to preparing for study abroad. The office is also working on a video resource for LGBTQ students. EA further built its capacity to facilitate peer-to-peer support, including a new student profile webpage that focuses on sharing the individual experience of returned students. Students will have #TerpsAbroad profiles where they can share personal insights and advice and showcase the diversity of UMD students studying abroad. EA will capitalize on the early momentum of its #TerpsAbroad hashtag, which allows EA to engage students while abroad so that EA can share the experience UMD students are having overseas through social media. EA organized the first Passport Day on campus, run with the generous support of CIEE, which allowed the University to provide free and subsidized passports to 174 students. Of the recipients, 84 percent are Pell grant recipients, 50 percent identify as a racial or ethnic minority, and 47 percent are first generation students.


EA sought new ways in AY 2015-16 to make study abroad opportunities accessible to all students. UMD’s study abroad gender gap decreased, while I N TER N ATI O N AL A F FA I RS


race/ethnicity participation rates remained steady (Chart 7-9). Outreach efforts were expanded to underrepresented student communities through continuous Satellite Advising with the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student En-

gagement (OMSE) and Multicultural Involvement and Community Advocacy (MICA). EA offered financial incentives to underrepresented students to raise their awareness of international opportunities before they arrive on campus and to encourage participation early on in planning their courses of study.

Chart 7: Diversity in Education Abroad – Gender (Undergraduate only) Note: Students who studied abroad more than once are counted only once. The UMD campus percentage reflects the proportion of gender groups for degrees awarded, according to Fall 2015 Campus Counts data

Chart 8: Diversity in Education Abroad – Gender (Graduate only)

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• •

Eight flight voucher awards ($15,000 in total) in collaboration with campus partners Support of the highest number of applicants for the Gilman scholarship, with UMD students winning 17 percent more awards for summer, fall, and academic year than in 2015. UMD students were also awarded 14 Bright Futures scholarships for unpaid internships. Awards ranged from $2,000-$4,500.

A new Diversity Initiatives Internship awarded to a graduate student generated the following outcomes: A new survey gathered data on real and perceived barriers to study abroad among undergraduate students. Barriers include the perceptions that studying abroad is expensive, lack of awareness of available scholarships, and the concern that students who study abroad may not finish their degrees on time. Students of color and LGBTQ students also regard prejudice and discrimination abroad as a barrier.

First-generation students and students with high financial need are more motivated by professional development opportunities than non-first-generation and non-need students, but also identified lack of awareness of scholarships and inability to earn income abroad as barriers to studying abroad. The requirements of addressing costs, creating scholarship awareness, and guiding academic, personal, and professional aspirations in study abroad emerged from this study. The study confirmed Education Abroad’s view of diversity programing, and will enhance the ongoing development of resources for students with diverse identities. LGBTQ EA, building access and inclusion to study abroad for students who identify as LGBTQ, created advising resources and raised awareness and understanding

Chart 9: Diversity in Education Abroad – Race/Ethnicity



Further efforts to diversify education abroad included: • “Diverse Terps Abroad: A Student Panel and Discussion on How Diverse Identities Impact the Study Abroad Experience, supported by the Office of Diversity “Rise Above” grant, for underrepresented study abroad alumni. • Online Diverse Identity Advising Guidelines and Resources to guide students exploring how their identities may impact the study abroad experience.


Through transformative experiential learning, UMD students become engaged global citizens.

among education abroad professionals worldwide. EA took the lead in LGBTQ study abroad, presenting at several conferences, including the USAC board meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the IES Abroad Annual conference in Chicago, and organizing a nation-wide conference at UMD, titled “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” EA has also developed one of the only online resources for the LGBTQ community interested in international education. Since LGBTQ students remain relatively difficult identity to quantify, it is not known to what extent they are underrepresented in study abroad. However, given the complexities of their identities and needs, and the lack of resources in the field of study abroad to support them, Education Abroad expanded those resources in AY 2015-16 through research, collaboration and interacting with LGBTQ students and professionals with expertise in LGBTQ identity development.

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Education Abroad requires program leaders to attend a Program Leader Training Workshop at least once each year. The workshops are offered in the Fall and Spring of each academic year. Beginning in fall 2015, EA worked with the Learning and Technology Center to produce online videos covering the content of the workshops—a total of nine risk management content modules. Over AY 2015-16, EA offered a mix of in-person training and online video training to all program leaders, allowing them easier access to the training content.


A new set of credit-bearing internships is in the works to address critical issues in global health, immigration, refugee and border issues, as well as sustainability and environmental justice. EA will continue to allocate more resources to help underrepresented students, including students with disabilities, gain access to international programming. We will be launching a rich set of programs in Buenos Aires and focus on the development of new assessment tools. We look forward to engaging new and old campus friends in moving Maryland’s global agenda forward.

Staff Position




Business Manager Assoc. Director of Operations

Assoc. Director for Programs

Assoc. Director for Advising and Outreach Coordinator for Exchanges

Applications Coordinator

Program Management Specialist

Coordinator for Short Term Programs

Advisor Coordinator, Freshman Initiatives Advisor Peer Mentor

Program Management Specialist

Advisor Peer Mentor

Administrative Assistant

Advisor Peer Mentor Program Assistant for Advising and Outreach

Peer Mentor

Student Worker Design & Marketing Peer Mentor

Intern, Online Communications

Intern, Diversity Initiatives

Peer Mentor




UMD international students pose with President Loh and former President C.D. Mote, Jr. at Maryland Day 2016.


International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) supported 5,498 international students in AY 2015-16, including 4,442 international students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and an additional 1,056 participating in other programs such as the Maryland English Institute and Optional Practical Training. International students constituted 12 percent of UMD’s overall student enrollment last year, a four percent increase from the prior year, and a 27.6 percent increase over the past five years (Chart 1). ISSS also supported 1,000 international faculty and scholars on campus. UMD international students and faculty, taken together, represent 137 countries. According to the Institute of International Education’s Opendoors 2015 report, the state of Maryland ranked #18 in the U.S. for size of population. This represents an increase of 4.6 percent for the state, and the University of Maryland College Park enrolled the most international students in the state of Maryland. According to NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the total estimated foreign student expenditure in the Maryland was more than $523 million per year to the local economy during AY 2013-14, making international students an important economic driver in the state.

On campus, ISSS provides these foreign students and scholars and their sponsoring units with advice, information, and referrals on matters such as immigration status and regulations, cultural adjustment, employment, overseas travel and study, volunteering on campus and in the community, and international careers. During AY 2015-16, the University of Maryland enrolled approximately 4,442 international undergraduate and graduate students. International students

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accounted for 3.8 percent of UMD’s enrolled undergraduate population and 31.2 percent of its enrolled graduate student population. Over the past academic year international undergraduate student enrollment increased almost six percent, reaching more than 1,000 international students for the first time in the history of the University of Maryland (Chart 2). Expanded recruitment efforts and an increase in transfer students are the foundation for this expansion.

The Graduate School also witnessed an increase in international enrollment, reaching almost 3,400 students, a rise of 3.5 percent over last year. The most dramatic expansion of the international graduate

student population came in the University’s master’s degree programs, which grew by 8 percent (Chart 3). The future for international graduate enrollments remains bright given the expansion of academic pro-

Chart 1: Total International Students Enrolled in Degree Programs

Chart 2: Total International Undergraduate Students Enrolled in Degree Programs





Number of International Students at UMD


3. South Korea 4. Taiwan 5. Iran

6. Brazil

7. Saudi Arabia 8. Vietnam 9. Canada 10. Nigeria



Engineering (1,149) Business (796) Computer Math and Natural Sciences (758) Behavioral Science and Sociology (405) Arts and Humanities (366)


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grams at the Masters level and the decline of domestic applications for PhDs.


International Student Orientation, offered during the first week of each fall and spring semester, integrated more than 1,700 new students from around the world into the university this year. The fall program runs throughout the month of August, culminating in an intensive five-day program the week prior to the start of classes. These ISSS-led sessions and events include Coffee Hours, Afternoon Teas for spouses, luncheons, campus tours, runs to IKEA, trips to the District of Columbia, introductions to American Culture, and visa sessions, all of which helps students acclimate to the U.S. and the D.C. region and settle into life at UMD. Cumulative attendance over the 47 events approached 6,500. International Coffee Hour attendance increased more than 40 percent over the past year, with an average of 70 attendees per week. Coffee Hour offers a welcoming environment for domestic students and university staff to mingle with international students and scholars in an

informal setting. The College Park community is also engaging with the campus’ international population through sponsorships of this event. UMD ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) is another program that brings students and community members together, through language learning/teaching and cultural exchange. ISSS was able to revive this program in the spring semester with funding from the Counseling Center. The partnership creates the opportunity for international students, scholars or their spouses to meet with fluent English-speaking volunteer/teachers in one-on-one or group sessions over ten weeks. Students and scholars practice their English through structured discussions and other activities planned by ISSS. More than 100 language learners engaged with approximately 50 native speakers. Brazil Scientific Mobility Program – 35 Brazilian students from around the United States came to UMD during the summer of 2015 to participate in internships in UMD laboratories, augmenting their academic experience with practical research under the mentorship of UMD faculty. UMD’s Department of

Chart 3: Total International Graduate Students Enrolled in Degree Programs



Residence Life and ISSS worked closely to create an on-campus summer living experience for each student. Collaborations across campus – ISSS continued to represent the interests of international students, scholars and faculty on the following campus-wide initiatives: Maryland English Institute (MEI), Language Partner Program, Graduate Student Association, UMCP Diversity Task Force, Residency Classification Appeals Committee, and the Faculty Affairs Committee. These committees emphasize the importance of the international population on the University campus. The integration of our foreign students and scholars enhances the academic, research, and teaching missions of the university.


In AY 2015-16, ISSS enhanced iTerp, the web-based software application introduced last year. iTerp meets the international students where they are: on their phones and laptops. As a result, the average waiting time for ISSS services was reduced by 71 percent for

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graduate students and 48 percent for undergraduate students. Newly admitted international students, for example, received their visas much sooner compared to the previous year. ISSS also upgraded its forms in iTerp, so students can upload their requests for a service into the system, giving them 24/7 access to service requests. International students require letters for many different reasons, including Social Security Cards, Driver’s Licenses and visa applications for travel to other countries. ISSS also changed iTerp to enable students to login to the system to request a personalized letter. Another simple yet important addition made over the past year was a tuition calculator to help students and their parents determine the amount of funding required to study for one year at UMD. The streamlining of information achieved by these changes to iTerp increased the transparency of ISSS’s work, helping students submit their application and move through the immigration process with greater ease. Acceleration of H-1B Visa Processing Over the past year, ISSS reduced the processing time for H-1B visas by 50 percent. Faculty/ scholar staff assumed management of the “prevailing wage determination” that accompanies departmental requests for H-1B employment visas. This single change in process has saved hiring departments significant time in bringing on-board international postdocs, researchers, and faculty at UMD.

COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH Optional Practical Training (OPT) Stem Update A regulatory change to the federal Optional Practical Training (OPT) STEM Extension program was the most significant issue for international students on F-1 visas and their employers during AY 2015-16. The new OPT STEM Extensions rule: • Increases OPT STEM Extensions to a 24-month duration, providing students an additional seven months of employment authorization; • Allows for a second two-year period of work authorization, based on the completion of a second academic program; • Allows international students holding a previously earned STEM degree to request an additional twoyear period of employment; • Requires an articulated training plan to receive the STEM extension; • Requires the reporting of any material changes to the employment conditions; • Requires two evaluations to be completed and filed with ISSS, a midpoint and final evaluation. The University of Maryland, as an employer of OPT STEM students, assumed the following compliance responsibilities:

• • •

To articulate and follow the STEM training plan on file To be available for site visits from USCIS To meet the wage requirement of demonstrating that the trainee is paid the same as similarly employed workers To attest to the fact that the STEM student will not replace a full-time or part-time temporary or permanent U.S. worker

To meet these new, added compliance responsibilities ISSS will in the upcoming year move forward with the creation of a STEM Employer webpage, where the STEM employers of UMD F-1 students will find a central resource hub to meet their compliance requirements. Biennial ISSS Satisfaction Survey ISSS again conducted its “Services Survey,” with 82 percent of the respondents indicating a good to excellent service experience with iTerp and approximately 75 percent reporting that the experience was very good or excellent (Chart 4). ISSS direct service ratings trended upwards, with a majority of respondents stating they had a “very good experience.” Managing the high volume of phone inquiries remains a challenge, even though our clients’ preferred communication methods with ISSS are email and chat sessions. Feedback about the ISSS newsletter

Chart 4: Experience with iTerp Services



and website suggest that the international population wants individualized attention (Chart 5).


As the campus international population grows, ISSS will integrate new technologies to maintain and improve its delivery of services and information. Over the next year, ISSS plans to implement on-line appointment scheduling software, permitting students and scholars to schedule appointments without having to call the ISSS office. ISSS CHAT Service will be upgraded to handle the higher volume currently coming into the office both from applicants and enrolled students. ISSS will work to meet these new demands while also responding to campus requests to develop more programming and services for international undergraduate students, such as an introductory workshops to academic honesty/integrity, off-campus housing contracts, safety and security, and driver’s licenses.

Chart 5: Preferred Method of Receiving ISSS Services

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UMD international students at an ISSS orientation session.

Staff Position




Manager, IT/Operations

Asst. Director, Scholar Advising

Assoc. Director, Admissions

Program Management Specialist

International Student Advisor

International Scholar & Faculty Advisor

Federal Work Study Student

Office Supervisor II

International Student Advisor

International Scholar & Faculty Advisor

Federal Work Study Student


International Student Advisor

Graduate Assistant

Federal Work Study Student

Graduate Assistant

International Student Advisor

Federal Work Study Student

Graduate Assistant

International Student Advisor

Federal Work Study Student

Graduate Assistant

International Student Advisor

Federal Work Study Student





The Office of China Affairs (OCA) broadened its efforts in AY 2015-16 to empower UMD students, faculty, staff, and the local region to more effectively engage with China, and to benefit the broader UMD community. OCA expanded its long-established work as the University’s Chinese-government-approved training center for Chinese officials, university administrators, and professionals. OCA helped coordinate existing relationships between various UMD academic units and China; developed exciting and innovative new student programs that will help to prepare our students to engage professionally with China; facilitated new UMD relationships with China by helping academic units translate documents, negotiate agreements, prepare documents, learn etiquette, and become versed on Chinese politics, economics, culture, and higher education; implemented strategic China initiatives across disciplines and interest areas to benefit the broader UMD community; advised stakeholders across campus and around the State of Maryland on China-related programs and policy developments; and promoted Chinese language and culture education throughout Maryland and greater Washington, D.C.

OCA PROGRAMS Training Programs In AY 2015-16 OCA once again expanded its China-focused training programs, one of the oldest Chinese-government approved overseas facilities in the United States (established in 1996). 525 professionals from various sectors of the Chinese economy graduated from one of OCA’s training programs, marking a 40 percent increase in enrollment over the previous year (Chart 1) Students enrolled in a record number

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of OCA programs, despite the Chinese government reducing the overall number of overseas training programs by 50 percent since 2013. The ongoing success of OCA’s training programs, with more than 10,000 Chinese officials and professionals over the past two decades learning about best practices in public administration, environmental protection, food safety, and higher education administration, both reflect and contribute significantly to UMD’s strong reputation in China. They are also the result of OCA’s efforts, tightly aligning its program offerings with Chinese

policy needs, increasing professionalism, and providing content that is highly technical in nature. Last year, OCA developed this business significantly, visiting more than 30 Chinese institutions to better understand client needs, promote training programs, or to introduce OCA’s team and mission. OCA’s training programs contributed to OCA’s larger goal of strengthening UMD relationships with the Chinese government, both nationally and locally, and facilitated academic and research collaboration between UMD and Chinese universities. The revenue from these programs helps support further China-related programming and services at UMD. Academic Programs In AY 2015-16 OCA executed the first phase of a visiting international student program at UMD. Characterized as “1+2+1,” and organized in cooperation with the Beijing Municipal Education Commission (BMEC) based on an agreement that President Loh signed in Beijing in 2015, the program will admit qualified students from select Beijing universities for their sophomore and junior years, before returning to

Chinese officials from Sichuan learn about heavy metal soil and water pollution assessment and remediation.

China to complete their degrees. OCA also advised individual UMD students on issues relating to the study of Chinese and China-related career paths.


In AY 2015-16, in keeping with its mandate to be the

Chart 1: Number of Trainees



face of UMD in China, OCA hosted 18 visiting delegations from nine Chinese provinces. It developed formal agreements (MOUs) with 16 new Chinese partners. At the same time, OCA served its mission as the China resource for campus by advising academic units across UMD on their China programs and travel. For example, OCA worked closely with the College of Education on a grant application to support increased training of Chinese language teachers, and organized a presentation to faculty and researchers on security issues related to travel to China. OCA also supported the Smith School’s Center for International Business and Economic Research and the College of Arts and Humanities’ Center for East Asian Studies, joining both their advisory boards. OCA worked with the President’s Office on strategic issues related to China, including an agreement for a “Model Confucius Institute” at UMD, which will open in the upcoming academic year in a newly renovated facility.


Outside the walls of UMD, OCA supports the state and local county government’s China efforts. OCA assumed leadership of the Maryland-Anhui Sister State Committee’s Education Subcommittee, traveling to Anhui to represent Maryland schools on two occasions and helping to organize a celebration in Annapolis for the 35th anniversary of the Maryland-Anhui relationship. Further, OCA provided interpreters to Prince George’s County, and presented on China’s economy to the Maryland-China Business Council and its mem-

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bers. OCA was also a sponsor for the UMD Chinese Student and Scholar Association’s Chinese New Year celebration attended by more than 500 people. Finally, OCA provided China expertise at a number of public events and private roundtables. Its director was quoted in a number of Chinese newspapers and gave a series of talks in Japan as part of a “Leading American China Specialists” program.


During the upcoming academic year, OCA will continue expanding its programs. Among its highest priorities is organizing the inaugural Global Charity Forum, to be held in Beijing in partnership with the China Charity Alliance. OCA will also welcome the first students through the Beijing Municipal Education Commission visiting student program at UMD, and prepare the Global Professional Certification Program in China, which will ready UMD students to engage China both academically and professionally. OCA hopes to attract more long-term trainees, build a campus community at UMD of China-engaged faculty and staff, and create a UMD alumni network in China.



Associate Director

Program Coordinator

Interpretation Intern

Interpretation Intern

Interpretation Intern

Interpretation Intern

Staff Position Student



OFFICE O F IN T E R N AT IO N A L A FFA IR S 3101 Susquehanna Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 | 301-405-8535 Follow us on Twitter: @OIA_UMD

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OIA Annual Report, Academic Year 2015-2016  

The OIA Annual Report includes the Office of International Affairs, Education Abroad, International Student & Scholar Services, and the Offi...

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