Forget Christmas. Summer is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year in Chicago.
Summer here is the season of weekly street festivals, rooftop barbeques, baseball, and picnics at the beach. It also seemed like the perfect time for us to invite our university partners to Chicago for a few days of conversation, collaboration, and sunshine.
Last month, TEAN welcomed 40 guests from across the country (plus a few international guests) to our headquarters in Chicago. This was our second time hosting the TEAN Open House and Advisory Roundtable. Following the success and positive attendee feedback from our first event in 2012, we were eager to host again.
The primary goals of the Open House Advisory Roundtable were to engage with our partners in meaningful discussion, while also gaining valuable feedback on our programs. Also, to show everyone a good time while visiting our city (of course).
The first day was structured as a mini-conference. The day kicked off with a keynote from Dr. John Hudzik, former NAFSA President who spoke on emerging trends shaping the changes in higher education internationalization.
We then enjoyed a morning of presentations focusing on trending topics in international education in TEAN’s region of specialisation, the Asia Pacific. Our panel included Chris Knepler from the Australian Consulate in Chicago, Sam Hoben, Market Development Manager for New Zealand based in D.C., Robert Daly, Director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, and Adam Dedman, Director of the Institute of Southeast Asia Affairs at Chiang Mai University in Thailand.
The afternoon session was a look at what defines “Today’s Student” from both an academic and a corporate perspective. The academic approach to millennial research was presented by Dr. Michael Coomes, Associate Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Bowling Green State University. This was followed by Howard Laubusher, Vice President Participation Strategy Director for global advertising agency Leo Burnett, who provided an examination of the modern day student through the lens of an advertiser.
Our final session was with Tony Ogden, Executive Director of Education Abroad and Exchanges and an adjunct professor in Education Policy and Evaluation Studies at the University of Kentucky. Tony wrapped up our day by sharing his experience on why faculty engagement is the key component in a successful strategy for developing and growing effective international programs.
We topped off the busy day with an evening tour of The Art Institute of Chicago. Dinner at Terzo Piano, which sits on the third floor of the Modern Wing of the museum, was our final stop.
After a day of listening and some discussion, our second (and final) day was designed to let our attendees do most of the talking. The morning was spent collaborating at one of our favorite venues in Chicago, Catalyst Ranch.
We asked advisors to give us some feedback on how TEAN could better help them in their roles. Then broke away into small groups to discuss challenges study abroad advisors face in their home offices and the group shared their learnings from other campuses.
The weather for the rest of the day was very kind to us as we headed out with a private cruise on Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. The Roundtable finished on the lawn of Grant Park, enjoying one of the city’s most iconic events, the Chicago Blues Festival.
After three days of enjoying the company of our guests, we can safely say that we feel pretty lucky to call these folks colleagues. It is opportunities like this event that remind us just how fortunate we are to work with some of the most passionate folks in the field of International Education.
Thank you to everyone who came to Chicago see us. We’re excited to take the many valuable insights we gained, and use them to make TEAN programs even more valuable for our students and partners.
Please see more photos from the Open House & Advisor Roundtable on the TEAN Facebook page.