“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it’s faced.” James Baldwin



Most of us strive to promote intercultural learning and facilitate global competence development for our faculty, staff and students. Together we seek campuses and learning spaces that encourage inclusion, belongingness and community. Establishing global competence means cultivating the knowledge, skills and attitudes of intercultural competence for today’s campus culture and future employability.

If you’re like most institutions you are still figuring out exactly what this means. There are goals that have yet to be operationalized, resources to be allocated or identified, solutions that make a difference for your institution. How will you get started or even once you have, how will you sustain this undertaking?

In “Student Learning Abroad: What Our Students Are Learning, What They’re Not, and What We Can Do About It,” the editors reaffirmed the critical insight that global exposure is not enough to develop intercultural competence. The framework describes the ongoing paradigmatic shifts about students abroad, nevertheless how do you translate that shift into your institution’s strategy and an ultimate implementation plan?

At AFS, we started with our century-long vision and purpose – “to provide intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world.” We set out make impact in three key ways: Developing Active Global Citizens, Empower Schools and Institutions, and Expanding Access to Intercultural Education. These mission-driven strategic goals include many initiatives, namely the Global Competence Certificate (GCC) which is an innovative blended learning program designed to support learners participating in an intercultural experience.

Do you have a clear vision/purpose statement that includes global competence development?  What is the key impact you hope for? What are some obstacles you have had or continue to face? Who are your advocates in this work? Who else needs to be included in this process?  Lastly, how will you measure the impact of truly developing global competence?  We are currently asking these questions ourselves and partnering with some pretty great folks in a similar mindset.

Join us in 2019 as we highlight our HEI partners using the GCC worldwide and the impact it’s having.

Upcoming Learning Opportunity: Looking for talking points to share your ideas with team members, leadership, and decision makers? Watch for our webinar in early 2019 on implementing Global Competence Development at your institution.