Graduate Student Learning Abroad: Landscape, Student Experiences, and Partnerships

Workshop Fr2: Nov 12, 10:40 AM

Description of Workshop:

This session will paint a clearer picture of the landscape of graduate-level study abroad and promising institutional practices in collecting student mobility data to support graduate students’ needs. The presenters will also discuss the role of universities in forming and facilitating such international partnerships, based on experiences from several German higher education institutions.

Finally, the presenters will share best practices in designing a graduate-student learning experience abroad based on working with a diverse set of U.S. higher education institutions, graduate students, faculty advisors and non-U.S. host institutions. This part will be based on the implementation of the IIE-GIRE (Graduate International Research Experiences) fellowship, supported by the National Science Foundation.


Sylvia Jons is Lead on the Higher Education Initiatives team at IIE and also serves as a Manager in IIE’s Center for International Partnerships.  She oversees IIE’s Centennial Fellowship, IIE’s New Leaders Award, IIE’s Goldberg Prize for Peace in the Middle East and other initiatives, fellowships and projects in the global higher education space. Sylvia also leads Global STEM and Engineering Education initiatives at IIE including the IIE Global E3 and the IIE-GIRE (Graduate International Research Experiences) Fellowship. At IIE, Sylvia has developed a career working in various roles throughout the institute. She has worked on IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative, on the Global Fulbright Program, the Brazilian Scientific Mobility Program and on two private STEM programs within the U.S. Student Programs Division. Prior to joining IIE in 2012, Sylvia worked at the University of Nebraska on a system-wide Internationalization plan. Sylvia has a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration with a focus on Internationalization. She studied abroad at Korea University and extended her stay in Korea working with the Asian Pacific Association of International Education. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising with an emphasis in Public Relations from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Dr. Leah Mason leads a team of researchers at IIE to design and implement key research projects and reports in international student mobility and international education, including Project Atlas, Graduate Learning Overseas, Global Workforce Pathways, and the AIFS Foundation Global Education Research Report series. Dr. Mason has more than 15 years of experience as a researcher and program administrator in international and higher education, including seven years supporting research and program activities related to language acquisition during study abroad. She is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University for the Programs in Education, Inquiry, and Justice. Dr. Mason holds an EdD and EdM in International Educational Development from Teachers College and a BME from Otterbein College.

Dr. Katja Simons is the Executive Director of the New York liaison office of Campus OWL, a network of five higher education institutions in Eastern Westphalia (Germany). In this role she promotes study and research opportunities and supports collaborations with North American partners. Previously she was Executive Director at the German University Alliance and Program Director at the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in New York as well as Summit Manager for Generation Study Abroad at the Institute of International Education. Katja studied sociology, political science, and history at the University of Freiburg and at Freie Universitaet Berlin, and received her doctorate at the Ruhr-University Bochum in 2002.