Toolkit menu

Blog Abroad

Blog Abroad

Tool Objectives:

  1. To experience writing not just as a tool for displaying knowledge but also as a means for acquiring knowledge.
  2. To use blogging to critically reflect on experiences and as a tool for self-discovery.
  3. To learn about global issues, develop multiple perspectives on global affairs, and to begin seeing yourself as a global citizen.

Tool Description:

Writing is not just a tool for displaying knowledge but also for acquiring knowledge. By writing about their experiences, students can deepen their understanding of the underlying cultural system that gives sense to those events. Because writing involves cognitive processes more rigorous than daily conversation, it is possible to use writing to push students past the limits of their current understanding to grasp new insights and transcend the discomforts of cultural learning and culture shock. Writing therefore becomes a mode to learning culture and personal discovery. This assignment requires that students maintain a blog throughout the duration of the course. Students write entries on three broad themes: global issues, expanding worldview and global citizenship.  Students are also required to respond to the blogs of other students.

Tool Procedures:

  1. Writing as a Tool for Cultural Understanding. Facilitate a discussion on how writing can be a tool not just for displaying knowledge, but also for acquiring knowledge and developing multiple perspectives. Writing encourages new ways of conceptualizing experiences.
  2. Blogging Abroad.  Introduce the goals and structure of the assignment, showing examples of other student blogs. Explain the three broad themes and give examples of possible topics related to each. Prior to departure, students should upload 3-5 posts to their blog on the topic of “global issues.” While abroad, they should upload 2-3 posts on “expanding my worldview.” After returning from abroad, they should upload 2-3 posts on “what it means to be a global citizen.” Emphasize that the blog posts are not mini-research papers or political rants but are to be thoughtful and insightful reflections on the three themes. Encourage students to upload photos taken while abroad and if appropriate, use secondary sources to support their posts.  (It may be necessary to specify one blog site for all students to use.)
  3. Blogger’s Code of Ethics. Stress the academic nature of this assignment and discuss ethical issues associated with publishing words publicly. Discuss the Code of Ethics on CyberJournalist.net.
  4. Shared Commentary. Encourage students not only to share their blogs, but also to read the blogs of other students in the class. They should upload at least three responses or comments for each of the three blog themes. This should be done respectfully and in the spirit of open and constructive dialogue. If possible, the faculty member should also create a blog for the course and encourage students to read and post their responses.

Tool Evaluation:

The blogs should be assessed on the depth of insight into the three broad themes and the level of self-reflection demonstrated in the entries. It may be helpful to specify a date and time for each blog entry to be posted and for students to provide responses or comments to other blogs. The assignment could count up to 30% of the overall course grade. Students’ comments on the blogs of other students should factor into the course participation grade.

Tool Time Requirement:

One class session (pre-departure); Time in-country for students to complete blogs

Tool Author(s):

A. Ogden & M. Reinig, 2009

Tool Handouts [.doc or .docx]:
Blog Abroad Handout

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.

Subscribe to Gateway Edge Newsletter & Spotlight Episodes

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.

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.