Virginia Tech Education Abroad

Faculty Mini-Grants

There's still time submit applications for the current Faculty Mini-Grants cycle. Proposals for the November to April cycle are due by 5:00 p.m. on November 15.

The purpose of these grants is to provide seed money to individual faculty or groups of faculty interested in increasing study abroad participation, either through faculty-led initiatives or student exchanges with overseas universities.

Funds are typically used for international travel to establish academic programming and program logistics. Up to $2,500 may be requested. Preference will be given to quality proposals that show a dollar-for-dollar level of matching from department and/or college sources and that are framed within that unit’s established plan for internationalization.

Full-time faculty members from all curricular and academic specializations are eligible to apply. The Mini-Grant proposal guidelines and forms are available on the VT Education Abroad website.

Please address any questions to Jennifer Quijano Sax (, director for International Education. 

Program Leader Training

Registration for the Program Leader Pre-Departure Training focused on health, safety and risk management is still open. The Fall 2013 training session will be held from 9 a.m. -12 p.m. in the Great Room on the second floor of West Ambler Johnston Hall. Please enter the building using the main entrance facing the McComas Lot, which is the closest parking available. 

Participating in the training are Maj. Kevin Foust, VT Police Department; Steve Capaldo, Legal Counsel; and Pamela White, J.D., Equity and Access.

Refreshments will be offered. Please click here to RSVP.

Please mark on your calendars the Spring 2014 training session on Friday, April 25, 2014. The location will be announced in the spring. 

Major Kevin Foust of the VT Police leads a group discussion at last spring's training.

Title IX Training

The Title IX Advisory Committee invites you to attend a training on preventing and responding to concerns of sexual violence or harassment of students while traveling abroad on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 in the International Affairs Office (IAO) Conference Room (526 Prices Fork Rd.) from 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

During the training you will learn about:
  • The University’s responsibilities pursuant to the 2011 “Dear Colleague Letter”
  • Virginia Tech’s policy on harassment and discrimination
  • Your responsibilities if someone discloses a harassment or sexual violence concern to you on an abroad program
  • How to support a student that discloses a sexual assault on an abroad program
  • How to handle “consensual relationships,” and
  • Staying aware of boundaries.
Leading the training are Pamela White, J.D., Title IX Coordinator for the University; Christine Dennis Smith, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., Co-Director for Services, Women's Center; and
Charlotte Amenkhienam, Ph.D., L.P.C., Coordinator of Outreach Services for Cook Counseling Center.

For more information contact: Pamela White at (540) 231-8771 or

Monthly Brown Bag Lunches

Thank you to Annie Hesp for leading an inspiring October Brown Bag on "Getting a new program into action."

Below are highlights from the discussion:
  • Cast a wide, but precise net when considering the student market for your program.
  • Be specific to student interests: Find an angle that fits different types of students.
  • In proposing a program, know and understand what the university/college/department requires.
  • Developing a program proposal is an iterative process. Revise it each year and be transparent. 
  • 80/20 rule: The planning phase will consume 80% of the time and effort. Implementing the program will require the last 20%.
  • There are two routes for arranging logistics abroad: 1) Do everything yourself (more time-consuming, less expensive, more personalized), or 2) Work with a third-party provider (less effort, additional expenses, finances are easier to calculate).
  • Remember, "we're there for the students." The study abroad experience is ultimately for them.
The November Brown Bag lunch is on November 22 from 12 p.m. -1 p.m. in the IAO conference room (526 Prices Fork Road). The topic is Internationalizing the Corps of Cadets with Nyusya Milman-Miller (CLAHS/Foreign Languages and Literatures). Major Rewa Mariger, Recruiting Officer for the Corps, will also join the discussion.

The informal gatherings are opportunities for campus administrators and study abroad program leaders to exchange ideas, learn from one another, and collaborate in sending students abroad.

Future dates and topics:
  • January 24: Study Abroad Scholarships Overview with Bill Pruitt (Education Abroad) and guests Christina McIntyre (University Honors), Delight Yokley (MAOP), and Stephanie Clements (Scholarships & Financial Aid).
  • February 28: Destination Latin America with Daniel Cordova (Outreach and International Affairs).
  • March 28: Study Abroad Video Workshop with Gabe Minnich and Megan Donald (University Relations).


Alumni Awards for Excellence

Nominations for the Alumni Award for Excellence in International Education, for the Alumni Award for Excellence in International Outreach, and for the Alumni Award for Excellence in International Research are currently being accepted. The deadline for nominations and submission of nomination materials is 5 p.m. EST Monday, January 27, 2014.

Each award recipient will receive a monetary award of $2,000 and a plaque. The Alumni Awards are conferred during the honors convocation in the fall (August 2014). Please refer to the Employee Awards and Recognition Programs Policy 4335, Section 3.4, regarding taxation of awards.

For more information on the respective award descriptions, criteria, nature, and requirements please see here

Please send complete nomination packages only, including all letters and support materials, via email, campus mail, or hand delivery, to:

Betty Watts,
International Affairs Offices
526 Prices Fork Road (378)
Blacksburg, VA 24061
(540) 231-6452

Past award recipients can be found here. Prospective nominees are encouraged to consult here.


Staff Position Updates

Our office is currently conducting two searches.

The search for a part-time Education Abroad Advisor (EAA) is ongoing. The EAA will work closely with members of the campus community and students to promote education abroad programs and activities. In addition to overseeing a regional portfolio of programs (to include faculty-led, exchange, and non-VT programs), the EAA must also understand best advising practices established in the field in addition to a having a comprehensive awareness of campus policies and procedures as they relate to education abroad. The EAA will provide highly customized advising and services to students interested in study abroad, including processing applications, assisting with visa procurement, and processing transcripts.

The search for the Assistant Director of International Education for Strategic Partnerships and Public Relations is also ongoing. The Assistant Director will manage the university’s international strategic partnerships and public relations. Specifically, the position will oversee the university’s student mobility partnerships with overseas universities, with responsibility for managing student exchange agreements. The position will also coordinate the Education Abroad Office’s public relations efforts, overseeing its marketing and communication initiatives on campus and beyond.
Please mark your calendars for January 28, 2014. The Education Abroad Spring Expo will be held from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. in Squires Commonwealth Ballroom. We will be opening registration for the expo soon!

Education Abroad Spring Expo

Please mark your calendars for January 28, 2014. The Education Abroad Spring Expo will be held from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. in Squires Commonwealth Ballroom. We will be opening registration for the expo soon!


Thank you for reading and Happy Thanksgiving!

VT Education Abroad


Redefine your classroom

Virginia Tech Education Abroad challenges students to engage with the world by providing study abroad opportunities that are academically, culturally, and personally enriching.
With over 200 options in over 60 countries around the world, we offer programs that meet the needs and budget of every Virginia Tech student.
Upcoming Events

FALL 2013
Nov. 9-10: Freshman Open House

Nov. 9: Transfer Open House

Nov. 12: EA Information Station: Squires Booth A, next to Au Bon Pain

Nov. 19: Outbound Pre-Departure Orientation for students participating in exchange, direct, or third-party programs, 7-9 p.m., 130 Hahn Hall North

Nov. 23 - Dec. 1: Thanksgiving Break

Dec. 13-19: Fall Exam Week

Dec. 20: University and Graduate Commencement Ceremonies

Jan. 28: Spring Education Abroad Expo

Mar. 1: Education Abroad Photo Contest Opens for Submissions

Mar. 8-16: Spring Break

Mar. 25-27: Deans' Forum on Global Engagement: Building a Community of Excellence

Apr. 1: Education Abroad Photo Contest Submission Deadline

Apr. 16: April 16 Day of Remembrance

Apr. 22: Outbound Pre-Departure Orientation for students participating in exchange, direct, or third-party programs (tentative)

Apr. 28: Education Abroad Photo Contest Exhibit (tentative)

May 9-14: Exam Week

May 17: Spring Commencement

*Dates are subject to change. For the most updated information, visit the Education Abroad website.

**If you would like your event to be included in this calendar, please contact Rommelyn Conde at

Important Deadlines

FALL 2013
Nov. 15: Education Abroad Faculty Mini-Grants Deadline for proposals taking place November-April

Nov. 15: Dean's Forum on Global Engagement Proposal Submission Deadline

Feb. 1: Bilateral Application Deadline for inbound students during Fall/Academic Year

Feb. 15: ISEP Application Deadline for Fall/Academic Year

Feb. 15:  Bilateral Application Deadline for outbound students during Fall/Academic Year

Mar. 1: Education Abroad Scholarship Deadline for Summer/Fall/Academic Year

Apr. 1: Education Abroad Faculty Mini-Grants Deadline for proposals taking place May-October

*Dates are subject to change. For the most updated information, visit the Education Abroad website.


FALL 2013
Nov. 13-16: NAFSA Region VIII, Wyndham Grand, Pittsburgh, PA

Feb 6-7: Workshop on Intercultural Skills Enhancement (WISE), Winston-Salem, NC

Mar. 12-15: Winter Institute for Intercultural Communication, offered by the Intercultural Communication Institute in partnerships with Wake Forest University, Charlotte, NC

Apr. 2-4: Forum on Education Abroad, Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, San Diego, CA

Apr. 14-16: Terra Dotta University, Denver, CO

May 25-30: NAFSA National, San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA


With Virginia Tech launching a new Winter Session, students will have additional opportunities to fulfill course requirements or explore other areas of interest. Winter session will fall in between the traditional fall and spring semesters, with courses being offered in residence, online, a blend of face-to-face and online, and winter experience education abroad opportunities.

In terms of winter experience education abroad opportunities, a variety of programs are being offered. Please see the Education Abroad website for the full list of approved offerings provided by the Office of Winter and Summer Sessions.

In order to allow students more access to financial aid, credits for the winter and fall sessions will be combined. A full-time load will be 12 credit hours. For example, if a student takes 12 credits in the fall and then three credits in winter, they will have a combined total of 15 credits.

For more information, please visit the Winter Session website.

Top Reasons
to Lead a Program Abroad

Rachel Fitzgerald, Assistant Director for Program Management, counts down some of the top reasons to lead a program abroad.

For more information and resources see the Faculty tab on the Education Abroad website.
Copyright © 2013 Virginia Tech Education Abroad, All rights reserved.

Virginia Tech Education Abroad
526 Prices Fork Road (0378), Room 131
Blacksburg, VA 24061 USA
Phone: (540) 231-5888 
Fax: (540) 231-5164
For questions, comments, or submissions to the monthly Education Abroad e-Newsletter, please contact:

Rommelyn Conde, communications specialist, or (540) 231-4266.