Over the last few months as our industry has come to a halt a new myth has emerged. If no one is studying abroad, then there must be nothing for international educators to do on campus. Similar to myths of study abroad past this just simply isn’t true. Students are still signing up for future study abroad programs and in turn need to be advised and international students are still on campus and in turn need your support. Then there’s the emergency support for those students you still have overseas, the support for those students who are still planning to travel even in the midst of the pandemic, and the planning and implementation of our newest found phenomenon – the virtual program. All take professional hours and are keeping our colleagues busier than ever.

So if they are doing all of the above and in essence busy, then why are so many being so silent?

You know back in high school or college when the teacher would ask a question and you weren’t sure you knew the right answer. What would you do? Avoid eye contact and be quiet. Don’t even move or they’ll certainly call on you. What would then happen? They would always call on you.

In a time when our study abroad colleagues should be raising their hand and showcasing their value more than ever, many have gone silent. Did you know in a recent survey of 26 institutions, 73.1% of them said they weren’t communicating with administration and were in fact taking the silent approach. They aren’t raising their hands. In fear of being furloughed, reduced or simply cut, they try to avoid being seen. We can’t stress this enough, raise your hand. Show your administration what you are working on, how you can help, and for those who can – be proactive and go to your supervisor with your predetermined list of budget cuts. If you showcase your value I guarantee they’ll focus more on those not raising their hands.

Looking for more tips? Check out this IEP Webinar on Showcasing Your Value!

Thinking of you all, and always here to help,

Scott, IEP Founder and Executive Director