Dear fellow Global Citizen,

International Education Week (IEW) is about study abroad… and so much more: It’s about celebrating learning in a world that is more connected, more diverse and—sometimes—more complicated than ever before. And it’s about sharpening the critical skills each of us needs to do this, no matter where we are.

For IEW 2017, we are delighted to offer 5 special (free!) webinars to help improve your global competenceJoin a fantastic line-up of AFS experts plus AFS Educational Advisory Council members Dr. Darla Deardorff and Dr. Mick Vande Berg to become part of AFS’s learning-to-live-together movement and better your classroom, your workplace, your community and yourself.



Melissa Liles
Chief Education Officer at AFS Intercultural Programs


Intercultural Competence in the Classroom

by Julia Taleisnik, AFS Argentina and Elisa Briga, European Federation for Intercultural Learning

What is intercultural competence and how can teachers develop interculturally competent citizens prepared to make an impact in the world? Given its importance for societies, education systems (including Programme for International Student Assessment, PISA) and personal and professional development, this webinar will explore different ways in which educators can implement intercultural competence development into the classroom, the benefits of doing so, and the important role educators have in the process. Take-aways include best-practice sharing and access to toolkits and lesson plans for educators to use in the classroom.

Deeper Insights to Better Understand the Arab, Muslim World

by Sherifa Fayez, AFS Egypt

Who are the real Arabs? What else is out there besides the wealth, violence and “incomprehensible” Islam? This webinar aims at lifting the veil of the pervasive reductionist perspectives on the Middle East. It will give you useful insights to better support students going to and coming from the Middle East and it will hopefully encourage you to learn more on your own.

The Missing Piece - Supporting Host Families of Study Abroad Participants

by Marcela Lapertosa, AFS Intercultural Programs and Carla Rey Vasquez, AFS New Zealand

The role host families play in study abroad programs and learning outcomes they gain from the experience are largely unexplored. In this webinar we will explore what research shows about the part host families play in international education and look into best practices to make sure we double up impact when helping people develop intercultural competence. Based on AFS Intercultural Programs Host Family Intercultural Learning Journey, we will share practical approaches and activities to be used before, during and after the intercultural experience.

Global Skills Development for the Workforce: Interventions for Mobility Programs

by Dr. Michael Vande Berg, Principal at MVB Associates LLC, and Bert Vercamer, AFS Intercultural Programs and Sentio, Global Education Network

Companies want job candidates with global skills, but they say it’s up to candidates to show that they have those skills. In this webinar we offer an evidence- and research-based framework for how to build mobility programs that deliver those global skills – it’s not as simple as is mostly assumed. We end with one best practice to showcase integration of all requirements into a scalable solution. Attend this webinar if you are responsible for or oversee study abroad, volunteering abroad, intern abroad, or language programs, both inbound and outbound.

Assessing Intercultural Competence

by Dr. Darla Deardorff, Association of International Education Administrators at Duke University

Intercultural competence is said to be at the heart of international education. What is intercultural competence? How can it be assessed? And what are the implications for international organizations and educators? This webinar will highlight the research-based frameworks of intercultural competence, discuss some lessons learned in assessing intercultural competence and explore implications for international organizations and educators in addressing intercultural competence within the institutional context.


Meet our incredible line-up of presenters with a proven track record in fostering global competence and facilitating intercultural learning around the world.

Dr. Michael Vande Berg

Dr. Michael Vande Berg is the principal of MVB Associates, and has held leadership positions at a number of institutions and organizations. He has led several research projects and has published widely. He serves as senior faculty member at the Summer and Winter Institutes for Intercultural Communication and has taught intercultural courses, seminars and workshops on five continents. A founding board member of the Forum on Education Abroad, he has received the Forum’s Peter A. Wollitzer award for his “remarkable effectiveness in influencing institutions of higher education to understand and support study abroad,” and the IDI Intercultural Competence award “for outstanding contributions to organizational development in increasing intercultural competence.”

Dr. Darla Deardorff

Dr. Darla K. Deardorff is the executive director of the Association of International Education Administrators at Duke University in the United States. She is an adjunct or visiting professor at numerous universities around the world. Dr. Deardorff has served on faculty of Harvard University’s Future of Learning Institute and is faculty at the Summer Institute of Intercultural Communication. Dr. Deardorff has published and presented widely on topics in international education, global leadership and intercultural learning assessment. Find out more here.

Marcela Lapertosa

Marcela Lapertosa is the Director of Education and Intercultural Learning at AFS Intercultural Programs. She has 12+ years of experience working as a trainer and coach in over 20 countries. She led the AFS Educational Methodology Review project including the development of the AFS Student and Host Family Intercultural Journeys. She was designer of the AFS Intercultural Link Program, a training and assessment program aiming at develop the intercultural competence of AFS volunteers and staff around the world. She also led the development of Sentio’s Global Competence Certificate, a blended learning program for 18+ study abroad participants. Marcela is a Child Psychologist with a Master degree in Cross Cultural Psychology and is also a certified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory.

Bert Vercamer

Bert Vercamer is the Chief Program Innovation Officer of AFS Intercultural Programs and the General Manager of Sentio, the Global Education Network, a subsidiary of AFS. He has worked in the intercultural and educational field over the past 16 years, having lived in six countries on four continents. Bert worked with international companies and Belgian corporations on global competence building of executives and staff assigned abroad. He also worked with non-profits, building global competence of social workers in an international refugee context. Bert has a Masters in Economics and is currently pursuing a Masters in Intercultural Relations in the USA.

Sherifa Fayez

Sherifa Fayez is National Director of AFS Egypt Intercultural Educational Programs. She holds a Masters degree in Intercultural Communication from University of Pacific and an Economics degree from American University in Cairo. Sherifa has authored chapters in several publications related to intercultural communication and is passionate about spreading intercultural learning particularly in school curricula and professional workplaces.

Elisa Briga

Elisa Briga is the Programme, Project and Advocacy Coordinator for the European Federation for Intercultural Learning (EFIL), the umbrella of AFS Intercultural Programs in Europe. In the past she worked for the European Knowledge Center for Youth Policy at the EU-CoE youth partnership. Elisa holds a Masters degree in International Relations and Diplomacy (University of Trieste) with a thesis on the role of youth information centres in the promotion of youth mobility. She volunteers for CISV International, a volunteer-driven organisation promoting peace education.

Julia Taleisnik

Julia Taleisnik is the Volunteer Development Director for AFS Argentina and Uruguay and has been working with the Intercultural Learning Strategy for Volunteers and Educators since its beginning. She is a member of SIETAR Argentina, and in the past has volunteered for peace building organization in Argentina. Julia holds a psychology degree from the University of Córdoba (Argentina) and in her spare time she enjoys wiriting and travelling.

Carla Rey Vasquez

Carla Rey Vasquez is in charge of organizational development and intercultural learning at AFS New Zealand. She began her career in cross-cultural communication, lecturing and tutoring at the Anthropology Foundation at Victoria University of Wellington and the Open Polytechnic. She also worked in the fields of cultural consumer behaviour in Latin America, and gender research in New Zealand. Carla has a Masters degree in Cultural Anthropology and her thesis looked at children’s understanding of health, gender, and ethnicity in primary schools.

What is International Education Week?

International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. For the first time ever, AFS is holding a series of webinars during the International Education Week to encourage and enhance global competence development around the world, sharing our expertise and decades of experience in facilitating intercultural learning opportunities.

Find out more

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About AFS

AFS Intercultural Programs 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.

Find out more about our education approach