A new collaboration between Sentio Global Education Network, a not-for-profit subsidiary of AFS Intercultural Programs, and Purdue University will advance the development of global competence among students who participate in study abroad programs.

With one in five jobs related to international trade, employers are under strong pressure to find employees who have the right skills to succeed in the global workforce, including the ability to work effectively with individuals and organizations from cultural backgrounds different from their own.

The Sentio Global Competence Certificate is designed to address this pressing need by preparing individuals for the global skills that employers and communities need. It offers engaging, practical and sustainable facilitated learning before, during, and after an intercultural experience to ensure the development of global competence skills.

“Becoming globally competent is more than getting on a plane or physically meeting someone from a different culture,” says Daniel Obst, President & CEO of AFS Intercultural Programs and Chair of Sentio’s Board of Directors. “The most successful study abroad programs are those that include intentional global competence training.”

During the course of the three-year partnership, Purdue University will promote Sentio’s Global Competence Certificate to its students who study abroad for a semester or academic year. A Purdue Scholarship program will incentivize students to choose to complete the Sentio Global Competence Certificate. During the next three years, hundreds of students will be afforded this opportunity by Purdue’s Center for Intercultural Learning Mentorship Assessment Research (CILMAR). Through this new partnership, CILMAR will support the Sentio Global Competence Certificate through research, articles, presentations at conferences and other means, in close coordination with Sentio. CILMAR may also liaise with various Purdue academic units to pursue the possibility of creating a Sentio Global Competence Certificate credit-bearing course.

Michael A. Brzesinski, Purdue’s Dean of International Programs and Director of CILMAR, says that, “as we considered options to scale intercultural mentoring and learning for our students who study abroad for a semester or longer, Sentio’s Global Competence Certificate easily rose to the top of the list of available options. It is a proven quality product based on solid intercultural theory and learning principles. We are thrilled about our partnership with Sentio and how it will help us take our intercultural learning activities to a next level.”

“Our goal is that every study abroad student can benefit from this research-based global competence training,” says Bert Vercamer, Chief Program Innovation Officer at AFS Intercultural Programs. “Purdue is at the forefront of higher education institutions who recognize that facilitated learning is essential to ensure students have the skills needed to succeed in the global workforce.”

The Sentio Global Competence Certificate, available in 8 languages, provides blended, personalized learning experiences through 18 modules with clear educational goals. The certificate program is currently used by 65 organizations in 40+ countries. Partners include Languages Canada, the European Federation for Intercultural Learning, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belgium, and Global Vision International (GVI), as well as a number of academic institutions.

For more information on the Global Competence Certificate, please visit www.sentionetwork.org/certificate or contact [email protected], Education and Program Specialist.


Sentio Global Education Network is a not-for-profit global education network that was created in 2014 as a subsidiary of AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc. (“AFS”) to develop a global network of member organizations to further promote the AFS mission and provide intercultural learning opportunities for adults. As a global education network, Sentio brings together high quality mobility program providers across the globe. Sentio members are rigorously vetted to ensure the highest standards in programming and support for adult participants. Sentio operates in over 50 countries in international language, internship, volunteer, and study abroad programs. Sentio provides services including coordination, support, operating standards, and access to the Global Competence Certificate program for all Sentio program participants.

AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc. is a global network of 60 independent organizations. Each year, more than 12,000 young people go on AFS Programs and there are more than 100 intercultural education events and social impact projects in 94 countries, supported by 50,000 AFS volunteers and thousands of host families.


Purdue University, a top public research institution, offers higher education at its highest proven value. Committed to affordability, the university has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels. Committed to student success, Purdue is changing the student experience with greater focus on faculty-student interaction and creative use of technology. Committed to pursuing scientific discoveries and engineered solutions, Purdue has streamlined pathways for faculty and student innovators who have a vision for moving the world forward.

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