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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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.

Specialization Areas:

– Education Abroad
– International education leadership development
– Intercultural education and engagement
– International partnerships and linkages

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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.

Specialization Areas:

– Student services
– Education abroad programming
– Institutional partnerships
– Education and training

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