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The Big Ten Academic Alliance Staff Development Program on Internationalization

The Big Ten Academic Alliance Staff Development Program on Internationalization was established in 2019 and is a professional development opportunity for selected staff to learn about the internationalization of higher education and best partnership practices.

In 2023, Northwestern will award this opportunity to two staff members.

This program involves a series of monthly on-line webinars and additional special topic sessions. Webinars are interactive in nature and responsive to the current state of global education. Meetings feature guest speakers, including current Big Ten Senior International Officers (SIOs) and representatives from international partner organizations. As a result of participating, individuals gain a better understanding of campus internationalization strategies and mechanisms as well as explore their own role in the context of their institution’s internationalization efforts.

The Program’s final component is a field experience to an international location which allows members to experience international travel and to meet with BTAA member universities’ partners.

2023 Program and Activities

Virtual Webinars & Optional Coffee Hours

Dates: January 27 - June 2023 (5 webinars and 4 coffee hours, usually held on Fridays)

These regular online seminars provide foundational knowledge about issues of importance to international higher education; an opportunity to study, discuss and hear Senior International Officers’ views and perspectives; and facilitate each participant’s exploration of internationalization efforts at their home campus. Cohort members also participate in group project presentations focused on various elements of German higher education and culture to aid in their preparation for their field experience.

Field Experience

Dates: June 11-16, 2023

The 2023 cohort will travel to Berlin and Hamburg, Germany. Participants will meet with representatives from organizations, such as:

  • US Embassy Berlin
  • International Office of Humboldt-Universität
  • DAAD German Academic Exchange Service
  • Indiana University Europe Gateway
  • Fulbright Germany
  • Universität Hamburg
  • Kühne Logistics University (KLU)

2022 Participant Testimonials

  • "It is a rare opportunity as a staff member to go abroad. Some areas of international education may go abroad (but with a student group) but this was an opportunity to focus on our professional development in another cultural context."
  • "The webinars gave me greater scope in specific programs and approaches across the Big Ten. I also felt encouraged to learn what additional initiatives we could investigate and pilot. I was reminded that I wasn’t working in isolation (sometimes even the big conference (i.e. NAFSA) can be lonely."
  • "I gained a wealth of knowledge from this experience, and it will be invaluable to my ability to look at how my institution is approaching things and understanding where I can make a different in that bigger picture."
  • "The Germany trip was a highlight of my career in international education thus far – a terrific experience."
  • "The things that sit with me the most are things I can do to improve my understanding and the understanding of my colleagues around cultural issues, DEI in the internationalization context. My thinking has grown, I have so many questions, I want to learn MORE… this is just the tip of the diving board and I’m ready to dive in!"