AFS Intercultural Programs, a leading nonprofit international education organization, is pleased to partner with Terra Dotta, a provider of higher education travel, study abroad and international program management solutions. As a result, Terra Dotta’s new platform called TD Connect, which is immediately available, will start providing their university and college clients with the possibility to integrate AFS’s online and in-person educational program, the Global Competence Certificate seamlessly into their programming.

Study abroad and internationalization programs at universities are often designed on the assumption that participants learn simply through reading about culture or by coming into contact with the new and different people and situations. Research has firmly disproven the impact of such programs, and concluded that global competence, the capacity to effectively communicate, collaborate and lead across differences, can only be developed through a structured learning program.

That’s why AFS has developed the Global Competence Certificate, meeting the needs of global universities to provide both outbound and inbound students with vital cultural awareness and skills needed for today’s communities and workforce. The Global Competence Certificate prepares students and faculty for a meaningful study abroad experience and reduces the fear of the unknown, as well as the multitude of challenges that occur when studying in another country. Terra Dotta’s experience in helping higher education institutions strengthen and optimize their internationalization initiatives will now be further enhanced by the possibility for their clients to have direct access to the AFS Global Competence Certificate.

“We are pleased to offer Terra Dotta clients direct access to the AFS Global Competence Certificate through TD Connect as a way to enhance students’ study abroad and international education experiences. Cultural self-awareness, cultural empathy and emotional intelligence are invaluable skills for international education travel but also for effective communication in our increasingly globalized world,” said Brandon Lee, CEO of Terra Dotta.

“We are proud to partner with Terra Dotta and work together on empowering more higher education institutions to improve their internationalization programs. The AFS Global Competence Certificate is an amazing tool to help students gain the critical power skills that’ll help them navigate complex situations, communicate across cultures and work in diverse settings,” says Daniel Obst, President and CEO of AFS Intercultural Programs.

Terra Dotta’s cloud-based solutions help higher education institutions automate and streamline all aspects of travel and international student programs. They also help higher education teams optimize study abroad and international program enrollment and retention; deliver real-time, GPS-driven travel communication for students and faculty; and ensure compliance and risk mitigation for international travel/scholar programs worldwide. Besides AFS, the program’s inaugural partners include spend management and travel solutions provider SAP Concur; travel booking platform StudentUniverse; U.S. mobile phone plan provider J1SIMcards; English language proficiency assessment platform English3.

AFS’s Global Competence Certificate program is available in 8 languages, and it provides blended, personalized learning experiences through 18 modules with clear educational goals. It is currently used by 65 organizations in 40+ countries. Partners include the Purdue University, Languages Canada, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belgium, as well as a number of academic institutions.

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