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  • 22 Feb 2020 1:23 PM | Anonymous

    How to keep it together while traveling for work.

    Anyone who works in International Education can tell you that the demands of the job can be rigorous. In a recent blog series, we explore this topic in relation to aging parents.

    But today, we are talking about the demands of the job in a much more physical sense… traveling. People to see, places to be, trains to take, planes to catch. You get the idea.

    When it comes to travel for international educators, there are numerous factors to consider. From leaving their families for extended periods of time to keeping all of the balls up in the air for professional responsibilities both at home and abroad, it can be a lot. Not to mention navigating the packing, physical transportation demands, time zone shifts, and cultural changes. Through all of this, the mind and body can take a beating.

    With all of these pressures and stressors, the urge to hit the ground running when the plane touches down can be a strong one. Lots of international educators fall into the ‘productivity trap’ of tackling as much-as-possible, in as short amount of time-as-possible, in order to turn around and get home as quickly-as-possible.  Additionally, the pressure to be budget conscience and keep the trip to as few nights as needed can compound this productivity impulse. In the long run however, this mindset can be extremely detrimental and result in excessive stress, exhaustion, and sleep deprivation.

    When faced with the challenges of this travel-based industry, it is important for international educators to create space for self-care and healthy balance. Life is a series of choices and trade-offs, and prioritizing overall well-being now will mean more demands can be met later - avoiding burnout or physical breakdowns such as injuries and illness. As well, today’s modern world luckily offers lots of support and portable comforts for easing these demands.

    Getting good with technology can really be of benefit to educators abroad. For communication with loved ones, there are numerous apps available to help alleviate physical distances. WhatsApp is a platform that offers free international messaging, and platforms such as Google Duo, Skype, or FaceTime offer free video chats. SnapChat can be another great option for sharing special experiences and moments without having to coordinate time zones to be on a call.

    For getting work done while also meeting the demands of a travel schedule, we suggest tapping into some of the wonderful productivity apps and programs that can help. There is a whole slew readily available to help you set schedules, keep track of project developments, and stay in communication with work teams back home. Here is an article about the best productivity apps for 2020.

    Lastly, prioritizing physical health should be a main consideration. Allowing yourself a half day or a day to adjust, acclimate, and take care of yours needs can mean the difference in feeling drained the rest of the trip or feeling ready and reliable. Talk with your manager on budgets before you leave and see if you can add a night at the hotel to accommodate this necessary time for self-care in your schedule. This might also mean skipping a trip to see the historical cathedral for a trip to the gym, or a healthy dinner and an early bed-time instead of that meal out. Just like at home, plenty of sleep and lots water will help keep you going and right on track.

    For international educators the demands can be many and tough. But, with proper consideration and preparation we believe you can be your best wherever in the world you may find yourself. Safe travels!

    The mission of the Global Leadership League is to ignite change across the global education field by empowering, connecting, and training leaders. We invite you to reach out to us here or learn more about becoming a member.
  • 28 Jan 2020 11:31 AM | Anonymous

    Part I

    A career in international education can be exhilarating. We have the privilege of traveling the world, experiencing other cultures, and meeting new people as part of our job. But, as we age, many of us take on responsibilities that do not co-exist well with these career benefits. The thrill of travel and stepping into different worlds can suddenly feel like a burden when commitments at home begin to stack up.

    One such responsibility international educators may experience is the necessary care for aging or sick parents at home. While this topic is broad and complex, we sought to share some insight into how other instructors balance this work-life dynamic.

    The Global Leadership League spoke with four international educators from around the world about how they balance work and family obligations. Our first educator in the series is Lakshmi Iyer of New Delhi, India.

    Lakshmi Iyer

    Executive Director & Head of Education
    Sannam S4
    New Delhi, India

    How old are your parents and what are their medical issues?

    My parents are in their late 70s. My mother suffers from Meniere’s disease for which there is no cure. We have to manage the condition while dealing with uncertainty and the loss of quality of life. Meniere’s destroys the nerves in the inner ear and causes tinnitus (ringing in the ear) and vertigo. My father acts as the primary caregiver during my mother’s vertigo episodes, which debilitate her for a couple of days.

    Where do you live and where do they live? Where do you travel for work and how often?

    I live in New Delhi, India. My parents live about 4 hours away by plane, in Kerala in the South of India. I travel all around the world for work and typical travel over 16 weeks a year.

    When managing a career in international education and dealing with an aging parent, you need a team of helpers. Whether it’s a traditional team, like family, or a non-traditional team like friends and co-workers, who is your team and how do they help you?

    Recently, my brother and I leased an apartment next door to my flat in Delhi so that my parents can live as independently as possible. My parents now divide their time between India and the United States, where my brother lives, so we take turns in accompanying them on the long journey one way and help share the load of the travel.

    Do you have a contingency plan if something happens to your parent?

    The contingency plan is ‘me’ and being able to be there on short notice in order to support them if the need arises.

    Do you have any tips or advice for others dealing with similar situations?

    Financial resources are paramount. I am fortunate that I share that with my brother. My parents have their pensions as well and are not financially reliant on anyone. I check in on them daily when I am on the road and the fact that my mother is tech savvy is helpful. My father is on Whatsapp, which enables us to see each other and chat.


    The mission of the Global Leadership League is to ignite change across the global education field by empowering, connecting, and training leaders. We invite you to reach out to us here or learn more about becoming a member.

  • 11 Dec 2019 2:10 PM | Anonymous

    Power. It can be a scary word, associated with negative connotations like abuse of power or feeling powerless. In higher education, we often shy away from these strong words, as our context is about service to students and the greater community.

    But our organizations need strong leaders who can make decisions and advance the work so how can power be a catalyst for success?   If we learn how to harness it in the right way, we can reach goals and objectives we never thought possible. 

    The Global Leadership League has chosen power as this year’s theme. During the next twelve months, we will celebrate and challenge ourselves to become better leaders in higher education, explore the role power plays in our field and demystify how to gain and use it to lean into established organizational structures instead of shying away from them.

    Power has always been a part of the organizational structure of higher education, playing an essential role in how things are accomplished.  Like a gas pedal, power can be overused or underused, propelling us forward or holding us back.  As leaders, we need to learn how to best use and share our new-found power. Finding a balance can prove challenging, and testing the waters and seeking advice can come at a price. Note - power is not hard-wired to feminine or masculine leadership and yet we need to explore how our gender informs our view of and expression of power.

    We invite you to join the conversation. Becoming a member, attend our 2020 events, learn from one of our webinars or read our new blog. However you choose to engage in the dialogue, we are thrilled to have you.

    Here’s to a powerful year!

    Cynthia Banks



INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION

Our members come from different backgrounds, abilities, levels of experience, and parts of the world. Our goal is to embrace this diversity and encourage relationships across generations and experience levels for the benefit of all involved. 

The Global Leadership League was started by a group of women in the field of international education for the purposes of advancing women’s leadership skills, knowledge, and connections.

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The mission of the Global Leadership League is to ignite change across the global education field by empowering, connecting, and training leaders.  Become a Member