An Extraordinary International Education Resource

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

I've got such an incredible resource - and international educator - to share with you today! Missy Gluckmann is the founder of Melibee Global Education Consulting and a true international educator. I'm so impressed with her story - and with Melibee - an extraordinary resource for international education. She advises students on study abroad, gap years, travel and career counseling. She also advises universities about Study Abroad (program reviews, risk management) and cultural training. Her wide range of experiences is a great asset to anyone that works with her - and she also serves in the field of international education, both with NAFSA and the Forum on Education Abroad. Truly a committed interculturalist, I am very impressed with her vision and work.

We were lucky enough to sit down and chat with Missy about Melibee Global, international education, intercultural learning, and more. Here's what she had to say...

 

Melibee Global

 

 

WE: Please tell us about your site, Melibee Global Education Consulting...

MG: I started Melibee Global Educational Consulting because I had been consulting informally, so in 2007, I finally "formalized" the practice.  I added a blog to the site in November 2009 and it has been a terrific creative outlet.  I express my opinions, share information and attempt to create dialogue.

 

 

WE:  What was the genesis of your site? 

MG: Interestingly, I decided to formalize my site while I was home on a medical leave a few years ago.  I had gotten very ill from toxic mold exposure (really - it does exist!) and wanted to continue to use my talent and creativity while recovering.  Melibee Global has been a very positive experience that bloomed from a difficult health experience.

 

iguana, Costa Rica

iguana, Costa Rica

 

 

WE: What is your background in international education? 

MG: My parents hosted students through the Rotary Club when I was in high school and I participated in a Rotary Club exchange program to Nottingham, England at 17. I studied abroad in London, worked in the International Students and Scholars Office at Binghamton University as an undergraduate, then went on to obtain an MA at the School for International Training. My graduate internship was in Lugano, Switzerland and my first job out of grad school was at New York University's Office for International Students and Scholars, which was a tremendous training ground. I also worked for the world's largest international relocation company for several years, which was an valuable experience.  From there, I concentrated on study abroad program administration at various colleges/universities and continued to travel to more than 20 countries.

 

Jama Masjid (Mosque), Delhi (India)

Jama Masjid (Mosque), Delhi (India)

 

 

WE: How do you feel that universities can best promote international
education?

MG: To truly celebrate international education, an organization must make it part of the culture and mission.  Having a handful of keen faculty and administrators is not enough.  The organization, from the top down and bottom up, must communicate the value of educating across cultures. Examining your mission statement and values, sharing a clear message about the VALUE of international education across all levels of the organization - that is how you promote international education.  It is a multi-pronged approach - through study abroad, bringing in exchange students/scholars, diverse programming, having a strong language department, strategically assessing how to internationalize the curriculum - all of these things are key components. 

 

 

WE: International Education (through Study Abroad, cultural exchange, etc.) can change the world. How can we promote these activities and move forward with intercultural knowledge and cultural diplomacy?

MG:  I am a firm believer in teaching children about culture from a very young age .They are incredibly open and will call out an injustice when they see it - creating opportunities for true dialogue. Intercultural training can be incorporated into many learning opportunities, directly or in a more subtle way, regardless of the discipline.  Technology gives us the chance to dialogue in our classes with our peers around the world.  And for those who cannot afford to travel abroad very easily, we can certainly participate in classes that use technology and media to share cultural information.  Reading across cultures is an obvious and easy tactic also.

 

Germany - a beautiful cathedral against the sky at dusk

Germany - a beautiful cathedral against the sky at dusk

 

 

WE: How can students best prepare for international sojourns and careers in international fields/abroad? 

MG: The best preparation is to never think you know it all and that you can ever be fully "prepared". Reading, studying languages, watching foreign films, attending networking events, visiting museums and cultural events, traveling, participating in formal university study/continuing education, surrounding yourself with people who are passionate and curious, reflecting upon yourself and your own culture  - these are all important steps to having an awareness of other cultures.  If you're specifically interested in a career in Study Abroad, I would highly recommend that you attend the Forum on Education Abroad conference.

 

Missy Gluckmann

Self portrait  - walking along the beach on my way to the Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, just south of Quepos (Costa Rica)

 

 

WE: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us? 

MG: Part of my journey is to learn from others as well as through my own life experiences.  As a result, I invite anyone interested in serving as a guest blogger to contact me - we all have stories to share - so if you're interested, please reach out with some blog content ideas.  Finally, my favorite quote is by Gandhi: "Be the change you want to see in the world."  We all have experiences in life that move us to our core - act on those experiences that truly resonate with you and trust in your ability to be your truly powerful and capable self.  If we think about Gandhi's movement and his quote we will be that change, and therefore, all will benefit from a more understanding and compassionate world. 

 

 

WE: Thanks so very much, Missy! Again, I am so very impressed with your great work in international education.

For more information, please see:
http://melibeeglobal.com/

or find Melibee on Facebook

 

Feature photo:

Costa Rica - on a small plane flying from San Jose to Quepos

All photos courtesy and copyright Missy Gluckmann

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