Fair Trade Learning

Fair Trade Learning

Tool Objectives:

  1. To consider the role of ethics in community engagement in international education.
  2. To review and apply one ethical framework in international education: Fair Trade Learning.
  3. To develop recommendations supporting continuous program enhancement, specifically in respect to quality community partnerships.

Tool Description:

In recent years, there has been astonishing growth in international programming that embeds service-learning, volunteerism, or some form of community engagement. This tool introduces the idea of Fair Trade Learning as a framework through which to critically examine ethical standards for community-engaged international education. Through a series of activities facilitated prior to departure, while abroad and upon return, students are asked to reframe their education abroad program as subject of study through the lens of fair trade learning standards. Though designed for community-engaged programs, the tool is relevant for all programs interested in establishing equitable community partnerships.

Tool Procedures:

  1. Students should be required to read the following articles prior to departure, as follows:
  2. Students should also be required to watch the following brief videos prior to departure:
  3. As described in Appendix 21b, prior to departure, form small groups of 3-5 students each. Note that each group will remain consistent throughout the course. The task for each group is to understand, apply and reflect upon the core principles of Fair Trade Learning. The education abroad program serves as the primary case for consideration. Each small group is responsible for applying and facilitating a class discussion on one component of the standards before, during, and after immersion.

Optional: Whether pre-departure or upon return, consider using one class meeting to facilitate a discussion of students’ reasons for global engagement (see Appendix 21a). Have students divide into groups of three. Within each group, have the students share their rankings and ask them to complete the exercise again but this time ranking them based upon group consensus. They will need to fill use the right-hand column to do so. After 15 minutes or so, bring the group back together and facilitate a discussion around the following questions:

  • What are your observations?
  • What criteria did you use to complete the ranking?
  • What did you observe in the interactive exercise?
  • What were commonalities?
  • What were differences?
  • Would you argue that any of the examples are not service?
  • Does it change your evaluation of an item if it ends with “in a developing country” or “internationally” or not (e.g. micro-
  • lending, housing)? How? Why?
  • Is there a universal definition of service?
  • If there are so many types of service how do groups/institutions proceed with common language of service?

Tool Evaluation:

Details of each assignment should be written into the course syllabus and account for a predetermined course grade percentage.  Grading should be based on completion of the assignment as specified.

Tool Time Requirement:

At least one class session during each phase (pre-departure, in-county & post-study abroad)

Tool Author(s):

E. Hartman & A. Ogden, 2014

Tool Handouts [.doc or .docx]:
Fair Trade Learning Appendix A
Fair Trade Learning Appendix B

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.