Integrating Primary, Secondary, and Post-secondary Global Learning Strategies

Integrating Primary, Secondary, and Post-secondary Global Learning Strategies
Kendall EF

In September 2022, the Harris Poll, on behalf of EF Education First, conducted a survey which has important implications for the higher education space. Its results can foster greater coordination between secondary and post-secondary institutions advocating for the value of global learning. The survey was conducted for the purpose of gathering insights of parents of K-12 students on the intersection of knowledge acquisition (critical academic skills) and socio-emotional intelligence, problem solving and adaptability in preparing their students for the global workforce.  

The survey results paint a promising portrait that underlines the value parents give to immersive experiences, particularly global ones, in developing students’ cultural agilities. For the higher education space, the survey invites us to consider how we might engage more closely with primary and secondary schools to seamlessly weave the value of the global dimension into the mindsets of students and parents, from the K-12 years through college.  

Some key survey findings: 

• Parents place importance on the acquisition of “soft skills” that their children missed during the COVID-19 pandemic which they believe are important for their child’s educational success and career preparedness. 

• Four out of five parents (80%) believe problem-solving skills are critical to acquire in K-12 education to ensure future readiness (college and/or work force success). Parents feel similarly about the acquisition of cognitive skills such as critical thinking (78%), self-leadership skills (76%), and social and emotional intelligence skills such as perseverance (75%).

•Many of the parents surveyed indicated that they would prioritize education-based travel and immersion learning opportunities over other expenses. More than 3 in 4 parents of children in grades K-12 (77%) say they would put off other expenses to pay for their children to have the opportunity to participate in an education-based travel or immersion learning opportunity.

Knowledge acquisition and free enquiry should be lifelong and, to be truly impactful, borderless.  There is much to be gained by working across our educational spaces to close an intercultural competency gap that remains stubbornly profound.   At the opening plenary of the Career Integrated Global Learning 

Conference during Forum Education Week in Milan, in October 2022, Dr. Paula Caligiuri, Distinguished Professor of International Business at Northeastern, pointed out that employers and students alike acknowledge that there is a real need to build intercultural fluency.  

As the baton is passed from K-12 to the higher education space, we should consider the value of working collaboratively with our K-12 professional colleagues to harness our combined talents and resources to seamlessly weave global learning opportunities throughout a student’s formative years, planting the seed in elementary school, nurturing it in high school and watching it blossom in college. These experiences instill in students the kinds of skills – cultural awareness, adaptability, resilience, perseverance, empathy, tolerance, creativity, initiative, and teamwork – that employers are looking for in their employees. Although commonly referred to as soft skills, they are, in fact, increasingly core to preparing students to successfully access and negotiate decisions across cultures, as they seek to undertake lives of purpose beyond their college years.   

About the author: Kendall Brostuen is Vice President of Academic Affairs for College Study Abroad at EF/Education First, where he manages academic and co-curricular content for quality assurance purposes and oversees the development of all new college study programs to ensure that they are grounded in academic and operational excellence. He has over 30 years of experience developing, managing and assessing education abroad programs.

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Episode 29: Cultural Lens on U.S. Higher Education: Analyzing International Perceptions of 'Anti-Woke’ Discourse

Dive into a nuanced exploration of the global discourse surrounding higher education in the United States. Join us for a panel discussion with esteemed international educators as we embark on a journey through the lenses of culture and international perspective, examining how global audiences interpret and engage with the ‘anti-woke’ discourse within the context of U.S. higher education. This engaging panel discussion will delve into the intersections of culture, ideology, and education, and the complex landscape of how international audiences perceive the ‘anti-woke’ narrative that has emerged within U.S. academia.

Whether you’re a senior international officer, or simply curious about the diverse viewpoints shaping U.S. higher education, this podcast episode will provide an invaluable space for critical analysis and insightful conversations.

Speaker Biography:

Fanta Aw is a distinguished leader in international education, renowned for her extensive contributions to global learning, cross-cultural understanding, and educational equity. With a deep commitment to fostering connections between diverse cultures and promoting educational excellence, she has significantly impacted the international education community.

Fanta Aw’s career has been characterized by her dedication to advancing global education initiatives, promoting diversity and inclusion, and nurturing partnerships that transcend borders. She has held influential roles in various organizations, advocating for the importance of international collaboration and learning experiences that empower individuals to navigate an increasingly interconnected world.

As a thought leader and visionary, Fanta Aw’s insights and expertise have shaped discussions on the future of international education, emphasizing the significance of equitable access, cultural exchange, and lifelong learning. Her work has not only elevated institutions but has also inspired countless individuals to embrace the transformative power of global education.

Date: September 14th, 2023
Time: 12 noon ET

Sponsored by:

Mark Beirn


An experienced global researcher and administrator, Mark Beirn brings a critical approach to risk management, factoring structural racism and identity-based violence into his rubric for supporting equitable global mobility.

Specialization Areas:

– Global Risk Management
– Education Abroad
– Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in International Education
– Health and Safety
– Curriculum Development


Stephen Appiah-Padi​


Stephen Appiah-Padi is an international educator with several years of teaching and administrative experience in both 4 and 2-year HEIs. An experienced global education practitioner-scholar, with a demonstrated history of success in the field.

Dr. Appiah-Padi has a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada in Educational Policy & Administration with a specialization in International/Intercultural Education.

At Northwestern College, he provided oversight in the administration of education abroad and international student services. In Lansing, Michigan, he first oversaw diversity and intercultural education at Lansing Community College, and later created the Center for International and Intercultural Education (CIIE) which merged intercultural engagement and international education programs of the institution, and he became its first director. Additionally, Dr. Appiah-Padi taught a course, “Diversity in the American Workplace”, to undergraduate management students of the College. In his current position, he provides leadership and vision in advancing strategic internationalization initiatives, including international partnerships and study abroad programs at Bucknell University.

Dr Appiah-Padi has created and facilitated several workshops for faculty and staff development in higher education and in business organizations. He has presented at several national and international conferences. In NAFSA, among several volunteer leadership positions, he has served as Dean of the Fundamentals of Intercultural Communication Workshop, the Leadership Development Committee member, Chair of the Africa Special Interest Group, and a Fellow of the Global Fellowship Program for mentoring emerging leaders of internationalization in African HEIs. He currently serves as a member of the NAFSA Board of Directors.

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Rosa Almoguera


Dr. Rosa Almoguera has worked as an international educator for over twenty years. She was trained as a Hispanic Philologist at the Universidad Complutense, in Madrid, and did her M.A. at the University of Pennsylvania. Her Ph.D., from Universidad Complutense included a field study and edition of written balladry “Romancero”. During many years Rosa combined teaching and her role as a senior administrator at the Fundación Ortega-Marañón in Toledo, Spain. At the Foundation, Rosa directed and, in many cases created, programs for the University of Minnesota, Notre Dame, Princeton, Ohio State, Arcadia, and the University of Chicago. She has also been a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota, University of Portland, and Interamericana de Puerto Rico.

Beginning in 2016, Rosa works as an international education consultant for both public and private European and US higher education institutions. Rosa has been successful in developing new partnerships and programs, as well as helping improve already existing ones.

Rosa is a member of Forum and NAFSA and has presented with higher education professionals on innovative academic and research programming, STEM in study abroad and Nationalism in Europe. Rosa is currently completing the final Professional Certification from the Forum on Education Abroad.

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