U.S. Senate Moves to Promote Study Abroad

Senators Say Study Abroad Prepares U.S. Students to Compete Globally

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., have re-introduced legislation that creates a competitive grant program for colleges and universities to expand study abroad opportunities for American college students and encourage more minority, low-income, and non-traditional students to spend part of their undergraduate experience abroad. The Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act would help to improve young Americans’ language skills and cultural competency. Named after the late Illinois Senator Paul Simon, a champion of multilingualism who campaigned to extend the benefits of study abroad, this bill aims to increase the number of undergraduate students studying abroad annually to one million within ten years. Currently, less than two percent of all enrolled post-secondary students in the U.S. study abroad.

“Our nation benefits in the long run when students have the opportunity to study abroad,” Senator Wicker said. “No one can predict what the world will look like in 10, 20, or 30 years. A better understanding of global issues and the global economy helps prepare our young leaders to succeed, regardless of what the future holds.” continue reading

September 23rd, 2016 | Leave your comments

5 “Très Bon” Independent French Bookstores You Can Only Find in the U.S.


5 “Très Bon” Independent French Bookstores You Can Only Find in the U.S.


For French students and francophiles alike, Language Magazine’s list of great French bookstores in the U.S. is sure to get readers excited to explore some new cities in search of that perfect bookstore. While, unfortunately, many bookstores have closed their doors, instead of being sad readers can say c’est la vie and celebrate these independent businesses are still living in thriving across the U.S.


Albertine Interior. Photo courtesy of Yelp.

Albertine Interior. Photo courtesy of Yelp.

Albertine, NY, NY

A project of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Albertine is the only bookstore in New York to carry solely French and English titles. This dreamy bookstore is located in the official landmark Payne Whitney mansion in Manhattan on fifth avenue, and features a stellar hand-painted ceiling, busts of Voltaire and other French and French-American figures, and a replica of Michelangelo’s Young Archer. The scenery is just the beginning, though. The bookstore holds a diverse selection of titles: from literature to sci-fi, to self-help, cooking, social science, and everything in-between. The store holds events which can be viewed here.


Schoenhof's Exterior. Photo Courtesy of Shoenhof's.

Schoenhof’s Exterior. Photo courtesy of Shoenhof’s.

Schoenhof’s Foreign Books, Cambridge, MA

This bookstore is not only quite old (founded it 1856) it also boasts the largest selection of foreign books in North America. While Schoenhof’s carries a plethora of language books—be it Latin, Japanese, African languages, Asian language, among many others—One of the languages most extensively covered is French. The website lists over seven thousand French titles, and has quite the range from literary classics like The Little Price, to translations of an obscure Biography of Brigitte Bardot. This quaint Harvard Square bookstore is sure to please any inner francophile.

Tempo Bookstore. Photo courtesy of Yelp.

Tempo Bookstore. Photo courtesy of Yelp.

Tempo Bookstore, Washington, DC

This unassuming bookstore in the heart of Tenleytown could appear like a mini-mart or magazine stand. Inside, though, one can find resources for many languages—French being one of them. Packed inside the cozy store are French-language dictionaries, novels, language learning tools, children’s books, and more. Not quite your quaint old Parisian bookstore, Tempo is still a gem for language books, and the cashiers will even order books that aren’t currently in stock in the shop for customers.





European Books and Media Interior. Photo courtesy EB&M.

European Books and Media Interior. Photo courtesy EB&M.

European Books and Media, Oakland, CA

This quaint Oakland bookstore is an independent book company (librairie francaise) carrying French literature, textbooks, comic books, and more. European Books and Media (formerly European Book Company) imports directly from France and supplies schools, school districts, libraries and individuals. This Bay Area staple is a resource for French speakers wanting to find new novels to sink into, and students seeking textbooks alike.


Bonjour Mama exterior. Photo Courtesy Bonjour Mama.

Bonjour Mama exterior. Photo Courtesy Bonjour Mama.

Bonjour Mama, Kensington, MD

The small town of Kensington may seem like an unlikely place for an independent French bookstore, but given that many of its residents commute to Washington, DC and return to the suburban town, Bonjour Mama has plenty of customers for its exclusively French fare. This charming bookstore, located in the back of Kensington Row Bookshop, packs a punch in a small space with loads of French titles. The bookstore’s highlight is the vast collection of French children’s books. Bonjour Mama has translated popular titles like The Hobbit along with nature guides, and language resource books. Not to worry if children’s books aren’t of particular interest; this retailer has literary and genre fiction for the adult reader too.

June 7th, 2016 | Leave your comments

Spanish Teachers: Free Trip to Castilla Leon



The Tourist Office of Spain in Los Angeles is coordinating a trip to the autonomous region of Castilla Leon, birthplace of the Castilian language, aimed at teachers, heads of modern languages departments, or administrative staff in charge of coordinating student travel abroad.

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May 18th, 2016 | 7 Comments

Touring With Class (in Mind)

 Kristal Bivona sets her mind on turning tourism into professional development

Teaching, in general, is a profession that demands ongoing professional development, be it learning about cutting-edge pedagogical approaches, new classroom technology, or new teaching standards. As language teachers, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to travel abroad for our professional development and spend time immersed in the cultures that we teach. Even seasoned teachers with a lot of experience or natives of the target languages they teach return from trips abroad with fresh ideas for the classroom. The most mundane experiences overseas have the potential to teach a language teacher about the current events and cultural phenomena of today. continue reading

May 12th, 2016 | 1 Comment

Top Tips for Students Planning to Study in the U.S.


American stadium with confettiThe Institute for International Education’s new book offers insight to students, educators, advisors, and parents.

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May 12th, 2016 | 1 Comment

English is Great

IMG_0042 (Edited)The UK is an exciting place to live too, with a rich mix of history, culture, global influences, and opportunities to learn and progress in any chosen career. This year is particularly exciting politically, thanks to the “Brexit” referendum in June, which will decide whether or not Britain remains in the European Union. One advantage for international students is that the uncertainty has weakened the UK’s perennially strong currency—the pound.

In Brazil, there’s also a new campaign to attract even more students. English is GREAT: Speak to the World is a major, multichannel English UK campaign to promote the UK to Brazilians as the world’s premier English-language-learning destination. Funded by the GREAT UK Challenge Fund, this campaign aims to reach more than 17 million people through traveling classrooms, two video competitions, social media, and a digital video wall of current and prospective Brazilian students sharing “what English means to me.”

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May 12th, 2016 | Leave your comments

Familiarization Trip to Spain

Beautiful Valencia

Beautiful Valencia

The Tourist Office of Spain in Los Angeles, along with the Valencia Tourism Board and Fedele (Spanish Federation of Associations of Schools of Spanish as a Foreign Language) are looking for 8 U.S. agents that sell Spanish language courses in the U.S. or U.S. study abroad advisors to join a complimentary familiarization trip to Valencia, Spain from May 22nd thru May 28th, 2016.
Accommodation, food, and land transfers in Valencia are fully covered. Participants will receive a $500 voucher to cover part of the cost for the round trip flight to Valencia. The remaining cost of the flight will have to be covered by the participant.
Here is the tentative itinerary:

· Sunday 5/22: US-Valencia outbound flight.
· Monday 5/23: Arrivals in Valencia
· Tuesday 5/24: Guided tour of the city of Valencia. Visit to the City of Arts and Science and the Turia Gardens.
· Wednesday 5/25: Workshop with Fedele “Spanish Federation of Associations of Schools of Spanish as a Foreign Language).
· Thursday 5/26: Day trip to a town outside Valencia and/or visits to language schools (TD).
· Friday 5/27: Day trip to another town outside Valencia (TD)
· Saturday 5/28: Return to the US.INBOUND FLIGHT VALENCIA-US

Should you or any decision maker in your company/institution be interested, please email


May 9th, 2016 | 1 Comment

Trading Places


Judy Heflin assesses the option of teaching English in China while learning Chinese

China has been busy promoting its language and culture worldwide, and President Obama is hoping for a million Americans to learn Mandarin Chinese by the year 2020. But, while we know that learning Chinese is a great investment for the future, few of us have the resources to commit to truly immersing ourselves in the language. One of the best solutions is to teach English in China while gaining experience, traveling abroad, and being immersed in the language and culture. For those who are interested in teaching English in China, it is important to go through reputable programs to ensure a safe and positive experience. Here is a list of trustworthy organizations that have programs for teaching English in China. The requirements for each program vary, but all include competitive salaries, opportunities to travel throughout the country, and Mandarin Chinese language classes.

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March 7th, 2016 | Leave your comments

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Grants to Encourage Study Abroad in the Americas

blog2 image100,000 Strong in the Americas has announced that its Competition 6, the second funded with support from Santander Bank, will open January 15, 2015 and close March 6, 2015. Competition 6 is open to Higher Education Institutions in all countries in the Western Hemisphere without any thematic restrictions.

The last competition (#5: Promoting Study Abroad Focusing on Health and Nutrition) awarded eight 100K Strong Americas Innovation grants of $25,000 each.

There are several new and revised pages on the website of interest to you to prepare for this competition:

The  Request for Proposal (RFP), or guidelines for writing the proposal, are now accessible. Click here or visit click the “Apply for a Grant” Button.

If you have questions once you have had read the RFP, submit them by January 29, 2015. Questions can be submitted here or by copying to your browser Answers will be posted no later than February 5, 2015.

In addition to being able to ask questions there will be two informational webinars. The webinars were created for the Santander Universities network but will be open to representatives from all higher education institutions in the Western Hemisphere.

  • The first webinar will take place on January 22, 2014 at 12:30 PM EST and will be in English. To read more about it and to register click here.
  • The second webinar will take place on February 3 at 12:30 PM EST and will be in Spanish. To read more about it and to register click here.



January 12th, 2015 | Leave your comments

Obama & Peña Nieto Agree to Boost Student Exchange

187014827Building on the recently announced 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative, Mexico’s President Peña Nieto and U.S. President Obama agreed to boost student exchange between the two countries during last week’s trilateral conference with Canadian PM Stephen Harper in Toluca, Mexico.

Peña Nieto explained the plan, “Specifically, we talked about education.  We have set a goal of having more academic exchanges so that more Mexican students can study in the U.S. and, reciprocally, students from the United States come to study in Mexico.  The number of students so far is somewhat low, considering the potential that we have.  And, from the 14,000 students from Mexico that go to the U.S. to study, we plan to increase that figure year by year and reach 100,000 Mexican students a year that study in the U.S., and 50,000 students from the U.S. to Mexico.”

“We want more students from the United States studying throughout the hemisphere, and we want more students from places like Mexico and Canada studying in the United States — so that they’re developing familiarity and partnerships and friendships that will serve them and serve our countries well for decades to come,” added President Obama.

February 26th, 2014 | 2 Comments

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