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UT Austin International Office Study Abroad

This year's symposium will focus on creating access in Latin America, through panels and discussion featuring a mix of faculty and staff from UT Austin and visiting experts. The symposium will provide a forum for faculty, academic advisors, and international educators to foster dialog and mutual understanding. Presentations by industry leaders and academic partners on relevant topics will create a unique opportunity for participants to learn and discuss best practices around equity and access. Participants can expect to learn about the role they can play in increasing access to international education and can exchange ideas and expertise with participants from other organizations and universities as well.



Registration fee for UT Austin faculty and staff is $30 per person. Contact the symposium coordinator if you need to pay via inter-departmental transfer (IDT).
Registration fee for guests is $75. Please register by Friday, September 11, 2015.

Register here >>


Symposium Schedule - Friday, September 25, 2015, Student Activity Center


8:30 - 9:00       Registration - Student Activity Center Ballroom 2.410

9:00 - 9:30       Welcome: Dr. Janet Ellzey, Vice Provost of International Programs and Heather Thompson, Director of Study Abroad, International Office

9:30 - 10:45     Opening Session: A Partnership Framework for Increasing Collaboration with Mexic​o

Chair: Dr. Teri Albrecht, Executive Director of the International Office

Presenters: Dr. Joaquin Guerra Achem, Vice Rector for International Affairs, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey; Carlos González Gutiérrez, Cónsul General de Mexico; and Dr. Charles Hale, Professor and Director of the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, College of Liberal Arts, UT Austin

Description: As the University of Texas at Austin works to increase ties with Latin America through strategic partnerships, expert presenters will discuss successful strategies for increased collaboration. This session will reveal the student impact of leveraging research and exchange partnerships to increase international education opportunities and will demonstrate challenges international degree seekers face. Presenters will also highlight the impact on international partners when moving towards a high-percentage mobility rate. Finally, the California System-Mexico accord will underscore how a similar agreement with the state of Texas would impact higher education, with economic implications for both Mexico and Texas.

10:45 - 11:00   Coffee Break

11:00 - 12:15   Session 2: Internationalization from the Student Perspective

Chair: Margaret Storm McCullers, Curriculum Integration & Special Projects Coordinator, Study Abroad, International Office

Presenters: Student Panelists

Description: A student panel consisting of ESL students, study abroad participants, and international students and scholars will highlight their international experiences at UT Austin or in Latin America. After presenters have had the opportunity to share their individual stories, a majority of the session will be open to questions and discussion from the audience. 

12:15 - 1:30     Keynote Lunch by Margaret Hug: The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Initiative: Impact on Campus Internationalization

Description: The keynote address will explore the presidential 100,000 Strong in the Americas campaign goal of moving 100,000 students in both directions by 2020. The session will highlight program goals, milestones, and impacts on deepening relationships across the Hemisphere. Campus resources and examples of grant awardees and their initiatives will also be covered, including the UT Austin-based Young Latin American Initiative on business and social entrepreneurship, funded by the Department of State. 

1:45 - 3:00       Session 3a: DACA & Dreamers: Supporting Student Mobility

Chair: Dan Siefken, Program Coordinator, Study Abroad, International Office

Presenters: Meghan Merchant, Program Coordinator, International Student and Scholar Services, International Office; DACA study abroad alumna

Description: What type of services, support and advocacy should U.S. colleges and universities provide to Undocumented and DACA-mented students? What are the barriers encountered by students and staff along the way?  What is the most accurate information regarding federal and state DACA regulations? Gain valuable insight into DACA and a holistic support model that includes admissions, financial aid, advising and study abroad.

Session 3b: Spain vs. Latin America

Chair: Monya Lemery, Associate Director of Study Abroad, International Office

Presenters: Jennifer Attal Allen, President and Executive Director, Academic Programs International; Lia Haisley, Senior Academic Advisor, College of Liberal Arts

Description: What is it going to take to shift the American college student’s focus from Spain to Latin America? What new collaborations need to be developed to influence student perceptions and final decisions? Presenters will discuss these challenges from their individual perspectives and evaluate a few case studies as a means to understand what lies ahead.

3:00 - 3:15       Coffee Break

3:15 - 4:30       Session 4a: Generation Study Abroad: UT’s Commitment to Doubling Participation in Latin America by 2020

Chair: Heather Thompson, Director of Study Abroad, International Office

Presenter: Dr. Aileen Bumphus, Assistant Vice President, Division of Diversity & Community Engagement

Description:  Generation Study Abroad is an initiative of the Institute of International Education (IIE) to mobilize resources and commitments with the goal of doubling the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of the decade. The University of Texas at Austin’s commitment pledge is to double the number of students studying in Latin America. Engage in thoughtful dialogue about how this initiative will support nontraditional students and create new pathways to access.

Session 4b: Affording College: Financial Support Opportunities for Latin American Students  

Chair: Patricia Gamboa, Assistant Director of Sponsored Student Services, International Student & Scholar Services, International Office

Presenters: Phuoc Bui, Support Services Advisor-Financial Aid and Taxes Lead, International Student & Scholar Services; and Tina Fiet, Sponsored Student Advisor, International Student & Scholar Services

Description: U.S. colleges and university costs are increasing every year, which can be a challenge for Latin American students who want to pursue their dream of studying in the United States. This session will look at scholarship programs administered by UT Austin that are available to Latin American students. It will examine how UT Austin has worked with exchange partners to increase participation among schools that are challenged to send exchange students to the U.S. and will identify organizations that financially sponsor students from Latin America to pursue degrees in the United States. Through both structured and creative financial support, increased mobility to bring Latin American students to the U.S. can be achieved.

Session 4c: Academic Innovation: International Mobility through Area Studies

Chair: Dr. Nicole Guidotti-Hernández, Chair, Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies, College of Liberal Arts

Presenters: Dr. Michael Anderson, Director of International Relations & Global Studies, College of Liberal Arts; and Dr. Laura Gutierrez, Associate Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance, College of Fine Arts               

Description: In 2014, the UT Austin Mexican American and Latina/o Studies degree program was launched. The first degree program of its kind in the U.S., UT students can now pursue an array of rigorous degree programs designed to produce the most competitive Latina/o serving professionals in the nation. Join us to explore how innovative academic degrees and programming will impact the mobility of students to Latin America.

 5:00 - 7:00       Networking & Fundraising Event (benefiting Fund for Education Abroad)

Description: Join us after the conference for our Networking & Fundraising Event in the Legends Room at the University of Texas Alumni Center! We will have happy hour appetizers, a cash bar, silent auction, raffle, and bingo to raise money for the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) Central Texas scholarship program.

Location: The Etter-Harbin Alumni Center is located across the street from the Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium at 2110 San Jacinto Boulevard, Austin, TX 78712. Map here

Ticket Cost: $25.00

Buy tickets here!




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Symposium Coordinator

Margaret Storm McCullers