IFLE Newsletter - December 2020

US Department of Education Newsletter

Follow us on Twitter!

Sign up to receive this newsletter

Volume 6 | Issue 4 | December 2020

IFLE Header - March 2017


Stream the Inaugural Fulbright-Hays Virtual Summit on YouTube

Summit screenshot

The inaugural Fulbright-Hays Virtual Summit took place via YouTube premiere on Nov. 17. The summit highlighted and celebrated the accomplishments of distinguished alumni of our Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad fellowships, Group Projects Abroad, and Seminars Abroad programs. Paul Winfree, chair of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, gave opening remarks and Leela Hazzah, executive director and cofounder of Lion Guardians, gave the keynote address. The inspiring introductory addresses were followed by fascinating panel discussions on dissertation research experiences, curriculum projects, language learning, and careers.


In case you missed the summit premiere on Nov. 17, a full recording remains available to stream on YouTube.


Watch Video Button


Current and Upcoming Grant Competitions

Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad

Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program

Application Deadline: Dec. 18, 2020

The Seminars Abroad Program provides U.S. educators in the social sciences and humanities with opportunities to participate in short-term seminars abroad to improve their understanding and knowledge of the peoples and cultures of other countries. In 2021, summer seminars will be offered in Iceland, Morocco, and Mexico.  


Each seminar features educational lectures and interactive, cultural activities specifically designed for educators, including visits to local schools and organizations and meetings with education administrators, government officials, policymakers, teachers, and students. Participants draw on their experiences during the program to create new or to enhance cross-cultural curricula for use in their U.S. classrooms and school systems.


Sixteen educators participate in each seminar. The program covers airfare, room and board, and program costs. Teacher participants are responsible for a cost-share of $650. 


The deadline to apply is Dec. 18, 2020. For more information, please visit:



Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad


Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program

Applications Available (Estimated): January 2021

The Group Projects Abroad (GPA) Program provides grants to institutions and private, nonprofit educational entities to organize programs for K-12 teachers, postsecondary students, and faculty. The program provides opportunities for participants to engage in short-term or long-term overseas projects focused on training, research, and curriculum development in modern foreign languages and area studies. GPA short-term projects include seminars, curriculum development, and group research or study. GPA long-term projects offer intensive advanced language training programs overseas and opportunities to use the language in the culture of the host country.


The program competition will be announced in the coming weeks via the Federal Register and IFLE's website. Please check the GPA Program "Applicant Information" webpage for updates.


Read More Button

Google Map of FY 2020 Grantees

FY 2020 Google Map of IFLE Grantees

Explore our Google map of FY 2020 IFLE grantees to learn about the Title VI domestic projects being implemented on campuses across the United States and the Fulbright-Hays overseas projects being conducted around the world. These projects strengthen international education experiences and foreign language for students, participants, and dissertation researchers.


This map provides a user-friendly way for viewers to get a sense of the extensive reach of the Title VI and Fulbright-Hays grantee institutions featured, as well as the diversity of our grantee institutions.



GLO Toolkit Modules

The Institute of International Education (IIE) has debuted its new Graduate Learning Overseas (GLO) Toolkit, which serves as a resource for U.S. higher education institutions of all sizes and types to learn from IIE's research and each other. It offers practical and adaptable recommendations for adopting and tailoring promising practices for graduate learning overseas data collection. IIE developed the toolkit with a fiscal year 2017-2019 grant award under IFLE's Title VI International Research and Studies Program.


The toolkit is comprised of three modules:

  • Module 1: Fundamentals for Graduate Learning Overseas Data Collection
  • Module 2: Using All the Tools in Your Institution’s Toolbox
  • Module 3: Building Your Data Collection Team through Intracampus Collaboration

Case studies provide practical examples of what implementation may look like at an institution. Other graduate learning overseas resources are also available on the new GLO Toolkit page, including reports on promising practices, data dashboards, webinars, and more.

International Research and Studies Grant Funds Development of Graduate Learning Overseas Toolkit

Read More Button

Canadian Studies National Resource Center Promotes Arctic Studies

Stephanie Masterman

The Canadian Studies Center at the University of Washington (UW) is among 106 U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Centers for 2018-2021. UW is an institutional member of the University of the Arctic (UArctic), a cooperative network of universities, colleges, research institutes, and other organizations concerned with education and research in and about the North. As an institutional member, UW students can take UArctic courses at no cost, and the credits can be applied to their transcripts. In summer 2020, Stephanie Masterman (right), a major in American Indian Studies and minor in Arctic Studies, enrolled in Circumpolar Studies 100 through UArctic. She shares her experience below:


“This summer I had the unique opportunity to participate in a UArctic course hosted by Trent University. The course, Introduction to the Circumpolar World, was held online with students participating from around the world. Many of the students were from Canadian provinces and others were from Russia and, like myself, the United States. As an Arctic Studies student at the University of Washington, I was eager to engage with other students studying Arctic environments, peoples, and policies from not only different countries, but from different places within the Arctic circle, too. We learned about the diverse geography and Indigenous cultures of the Arctic circle, as well as the complex history of colonization in different communities.


The primary focus of the course was to introduce students to the Arctic’s diverse and complex leadership by simulating an Arctic Council meeting. The Arctic Council’s role in shaping international policy is critical for addressing Arctic Indigenous peoples’ concerns, and I was excited for the chance to represent an Indigenous community in our model Arctic Council simulation. The Arctic Council includes the eight member countries of Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, the United States, and six Indigenous peoples organizations, called Permanent Participants, which include the Aleut International Association, Arctic Athabaskan Council, Gwich’in Council International, Inuit Circumpolar Council, Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, and the Saami Council.


My partner, based out of Ontario, and I worked together researching ecological issues for a couple of weeks in advance of the model Arctic Council meeting to be able to adequately represent Gwich’in Council International in their effort to shape policy regarding micro plastic pollution in Arctic waters. As an Indigenous person, I appreciated the Arctic Council’s inclusion of Indigenous people in a leadership role, however, there is a need for even stronger Indigenous leadership and community engagement. The course inspired me to work toward advancing Indigenous leadership in international policy, specifically by fortifying the use of Indigenous ecological knowledge in shaping such policy. The model Arctic Council simulation was a lot of fun and I hope that there will be an opportunity to participate in person in the future.”


The Arctic Studies minor is an interdisciplinary offering from the Canadian Studies Center, a Title VI National Resource Center, and UW's School of Oceanography, in collaboration with the University of the Arctic. Students in this minor gain skills relevant to addressing major science and policy issues in the Arctic, and are trained to work with international organizations, national governments, and sub-national organizations towards that end.

Read More Button

Group Projects Abroad Long-Term Fellowship Recipient on Language Learning and Career Opportunities

Aaron Shew

Aaron M. Shew is an assistant professor and REL Wilson Endowed Chair of Agricultural Economics at Arkansas State University. Shew has participated in several language programs from the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) over the years, including summer fellowships for studying Urdu in Lucknow through the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program, and summer and year-long fellowships for studying Hindi in Jaipur, made possible by grant funding from the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program. In this interview, Shew shares what inspired him to study Urdu and Hindi, how these language learning experiences helped to shape his scholarship, and why language immersion programs are important.


What made you to want to study Urdu and Hindi?

My family participated in an international student program as a host family when I was in middle and high school. We hosted one Indian student, followed by his two younger brothers. Over the years we became very close, such that we treated one another like family. This naturally sparked my interest in learning about Indian culture and specifically in Hindi, if for no other reason at the time than to say “bhaiya” correctly. My curiosity and interest in South Asia remained strong, even while opportunities took me to other regions of the world like Thailand, Morocco, and Turkey. Opportunities to study Hindi were limited where I lived and went to school, so I took advantage of Arabic. From Arabic, I made the link to the Urdu CLS Program, in part because I was interested in the Kashmir situation at the time. My interest in both Hindi and Urdu has not been so linear. I found opportunities and jumped at them when I could. I’ll always treasure the time I had to focus on language learning and people — it is much harder to come by now!


How did your language training with AIIS help support your research and academic career plans?

While I was in Jaipur as a graduate student, I conducted a survey about agricultural technology and consumers, which became my first peer-reviewed publication. Most of my research evolved from mixed to more quantitative methods in my graduate program, and I would say the language training at AIIS helped connect me to people on the ground in ways I never would have imagined. Data and analysis are important, but nuance and individual perspectives and experience are vital. They provide critical context for the applications of my agricultural research.


AIIS gave me such a wonderful opportunity to learn from people — to inform my research, address my questions, and generate new questions. As strange as it might sound, I found it challenging to explore and expand my research creativity while taking courses in the U.S. I was gaining skills to be sure, but I didn’t feel like mental space and time were available. The Hindi program allowed me to focus on one skill and created space to develop my research ideas in new and creative ways I might not have otherwise.

I ended up conducting most of my dissertation research in Bangladesh, and although I didn’t learn Bangla, the immersion into South Asian culture from participating in AIIS Urdu and Hindi programs helped me find ways to communicate and conduct research. My international experiences generally, and AIIS specifically, contributed to a solid foundation for cross-cultural research and work, one where a posture of learning created opportunities for success, even if success wasn’t what I imagined it to be on the front end. I suppose that is a major finding from my experience with AIIS — that it is OK, even positive and beneficial for my plans, goals, and interests to remain malleable as I gained new insights on the ground. That is in fact the point — to be open to change rather than merely affirming one’s initial presumptions.


It seems like your academic training is very diverse! From your experience, what do immersive language programs like AIIS provide for students even if they plan to change career paths after their programs?

Great question — my path has NOT been linear or formulaic to say the least. Related to my response about research, I think immersive language programs like AIIS create excellent pathways to explore one’s interests and provide space to change. Career paths are often pitched in ways that allow for little flexibility and follow step-by-step rules for success, which just isn’t reality for most people. I think immersion gives you experiences that go far beyond linguistic training that might help you meet a career or academic goal. Learning a language via immersion is as much about allowing yourself to change as it is about learning the skill itself. While my Hindi and especially Urdu language skills are rusty now, the interpersonal and cross-cultural experiences I gained still play a strong role in who I am now, the types of research questions I’m interested in, and how I approach my research and career. I think immersion made me more of an opportunist — I see success as an opportunity to be creative and explore rather than a defined process toward success. Beyond that, I made great friends from all over the world that I remain in touch with. Some are using their linguistic and cultural skills heavily, and others not so much. But I think most have found success in their own way, and AIIS likely played a role in developing who they are.

Read More Button


One-Stop Resource for U.S. Government Language Programs

New Language Challenge

Foreign language skills open doors in today's interconnected world. The U.S. government offers diverse programs that can help U.S. citizens learn a foreign language critical to national security and economic prosperity. 


The U.S. Department of State has unveiled a new website to help U.S. citizens identify programs that can help them learn a particular language. The site features an interactive quiz that filters language programs by type of learner, language of interest, world region, and more. Institutions of higher education can also host some of these language programs. IFLE's Title VI and Fulbright-Hays grant and fellowship programs are among the federal initiatives included on the website.

Read More Button

Teaching the World K-14 Outreach Website

Teaching the World

A collective of area and international studies Title VI National Resource Centers (NRCs), which are partially funded by the U.S. Department of Education, have leveraged resources to create the Teaching the World K-14 outreach website. NRCs are required to conduct outreach to K-14 educators, students, and the public through education, training, and cultural programming.


NRC resources are available locally and nationally, and include virtual classroom visits, training workshops and seminars, multimedia materials, lesson plans, and more.


The Teaching the World website provides links to all of the current NRCs and their outreach websites, organized by world region of focus. The site also features a calendar of upcoming professional development programs, including information specifically for community college educators.

Read More Button

Spring BookBox for Spanish Teachers


The Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at the Ohio State University announces its new Virtual BookBoxes initiative. Each participating teacher will receive a selection of children's books centered on Latin America to keep. On a weekly basis (beginning in January), participating teachers will be guided in discussions on how to critically engage students in purposeful classroom conversations. The program runs for seven weeks and teachers can earn 11.5 CEU's for their participation. For more information and to register, please visit the Spring BookBox website HERE


Read More Button

Transatlantic Educators Dialogue Program

TED logo

The Transatlantic Educators Dialogue (TED) Program is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for educators in the United States and Europe to come together online for shared exploration and examination of a variety of educational topics, such as technology in the classroom, student and parental involvement in schools, active teaching methods, youth culture, and issues related to identity and difference. TED is organized by the European Union Center at the University of Illinois, a Title VI National Resource Center.


TED represents a unique experience in educational diplomacy and facilitates the exploration of new and diverse cultures. It is also a fantastic opportunity to build networks with European colleagues and foster global learning opportunities. 2021 marks TED's 11th year, and the European Union Center is excited to welcome a new cohort of teachers into the TED alumni network.

Who is involved with TED?

A total of 50 educators in the United States and Europe will be involved. Participants may be current teachers, pre-service teacher education students, school administrators, graduate students, and education faculty.

Where does TED meet?

Participants can participate from any location, provided they have access to the internet. Program sessions are synchronous; group collaborations and discussion board responses take place asynchronously.


Synchronous sessions take place once a week for 90 minutes using Zoom. Prior to each session, participants receive thematic-focused questions designed to initiate crucial conversations about diverse U.S. and European perspectives on the weekly topics. Participants will meet online on Sundays, Feb. 7 through May 2, 2021, 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. CST; 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. EST; 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. GMT. 


 Why participate in TED?

  • Learn about educational systems and realities in diverse cultural and policy contexts.
  • Network with transatlantic counterparts.
  • Access opportunities for career development, professional reflection, and growth, acknowledged in an official capacity at the end of the program.
  • Develop critical thinking and analytical skills, with a focus on making connections between current events and material covered in our discussions.
  • Share experiences with other educators, maintain connections with other participants, and engage your students in online classroom exchanges.
  • Receive a certificate of completion upon successful completion of the TED Program.
  • Earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and Professional Development Hours (PDH) from the University of Illinois, available to interested U.S. participants. Illinois teachers can receive up to 30 non-credit PDHs, and U.S. teachers from other states can receive up to 3.0 noncredit University of Illinois CEUs (30 contact hours) to be applied to professional development credits in their home states.

How do I apply?

There is no application fee for TED. Apply online by Jan. 8, 2021

Read More Button


Follow Us on Twitter @GoGlobalED

Twitter Logo Blue

IFLE is on Twitter with the latest from the world of international and foreign language education. Follow us @GoGlobalED and tell your friends. We’ll see you in the Twittersphere!

Subscribe to Our YouTube Channel

YouTube icon

We’re on YouTube with informative webinars and exciting grant program videos. Subscribe to IFLE’s YouTube channel to enjoy the latest content.

Join Our FLAS and Fulbright-Hays Alumni Groups on LinkedIn

LinkedIn [in] Logo

Have you received a FLAS fellowship or participated in a Fulbright-Hays grant program? Join our alumni groups on LinkedIn.

FLAS Program Alumni          Fulbright-Hays Program Alumni

Seeking IFLE Interns

Intern with IFLE

We seek motivated students who are eager to learn and work as part of our team as an unpaid full- or part-time intern during the summer, fall, and/or spring. Visit our website for more information.

Send Us Your Feedback and Comments

Heart of flags

We want to hear from you! Do you have suggestions for webinar topics? Ideas for things to include in future newsletters? Send them to Carolyn Collins at carolyn.collins@ed.gov.

BeGlobalReady Image

If you know someone who would like to receive the IFLE newsletter, encourage them to sign up HERE.