Portugal / U.S. Exchange Training Program for Higher Education International Relations Officers

Assist Portuguese institutions of higher education build capacity to expand partnerships and educational exchanges with institutions in the United States.

The Portugal / U.S. Exchange Training Program for Higher Education International Relations Officers will be a partnership between Fulbright Portugal, the U.S. Embassy, and instituions of higher education in Portugal and the United States. The objective of the program is to assist Portuguese institutions of higher education build capacity to expand partnerships and educational exchanges with institutions in the United States.

As a result of participating in the program, Portuguese International Relations Officers will:

1) Expand their knowledge of U.S. higher education system;

2) Understand trends and insights related to student mobility and the various programs facilitating mobility of students to and from the U.S.

3) Identify potential partner institutions and develop a network;

4) Assess feasibility of implementing potential summer school programs for American students to study in Portugal;

5) Put in place strategies for increasing the number of Portuguese students going to study in the U.S and vice-versa.

Program Content

The program will be delivered in three stages:

 Stage 1:  On-Line Learning (end of March – early May, 2016)

Using e-learning platform, participants will engage in active learning. Two mandatory e-learning modules will be provided and a third optional module will be offered.

On-line learning will cover the following topics:

1. Overview of U.S. Higher Education System ( 2 hours module)

                Distinctive characteristics of U.S. Higher Education System

                University Administration & Services

                Curriculum and Degrees

                Accreditation and Quality Assurance

                Current Issues

2. Trends and Insights related to International Education in the U.S.

                Internationalization of Higher Education

                Student Mobility Patterns to the U.S.

                Study Abroad Trends

                Student Service Delivery models in U.S. Universities

                International Student Advising Practices

3. Making the Most of the NAFSA Conference in Denver (Optional module for those who will be attending the 2016 NAFSA Conference)

                Overview of the NAFSA Conference

                Identifying key sessions & workshops to attend

                Setting up meeting times and visits with potential partners

                Taking advantage of networking opportunities

Stage 2: In person workshops and site visits in the United States (July 17-22, 2016, Washington DC area)

During this stage participants will visit with key stakeholders and be provided hands-on workshops to build on skills.  Agenda for phase 2 include:

1.  Workshop on Strategic Partnership Development (1/2 Day)

                 Developing Partnerships with U.S. Institutions

                 Identifying and Selecting Appropriate Partner Institutions

                 Models of Partnerships

2. Workshop on Building Effective Education Abroad Programs (1 Day)

                 Study abroad infrastructure

                 Program models

                 Funding Structures

                 Risk Management

3. Visit study abroad and international student services offices to understand structure and programmatic initiatives (1 day).

4. Meetings with key associations and organizations in DC (1 Day).

5. Design and Implementation workshop (½ day)

Stage 3: Assessment (Meeting in Portugal, October 2016)

Assess progress made by participants in implementing initiatives and provide technical assistance as needed.

Program Administration

Fulbright Portugal will be responsible for the administration of the program.

Dr. Fanta Aw, President of NAFSA and Assistant Vice-President of Campus Life at American University will be the lead consultant on the project and will design content and coordinate program logistics for the on-line and Site Visit portion.  She will be assisted by two graduate students, Julia Throop and Laura Marks, both with experience and expertise in international education. Julia Throop will be coordinating the on-line learning modules and Laura Marks the site visits to D.C.

Program Funding: All participants' costs will be covered, including: program administration; international travel and domestic transportation in the U.S.; housing and meals in the U.S. (private accommodations at one of the American University Summer Housing locations).

Program Requirements: All participants are expected to participate fully in the program. Selected participants must attend all on-line modules and organized activities, complete assigned readings and tasks, participate in the site visits and in the final assessment meeting.


  1. Candidates should download the application form below, fill in the required information and send it by email to headoffice@fulbright.pt.
  2. A letter from the candidate’s home institution and direct supervisor, confirming institutional support, type of contract and permission to participate in the program, will be required and should also be sent by email to headoffice@fulbright.pt.

Deadline: The competition deadline is the 29th of February, 2016

Selection process: Pre-selected candidates will be interviewed in early March.

10 participants will be selected.

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