International initiatives

The University of Minnesota’s education program in the College of Education and Human Development ranks fourth among Big 10 schools, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2019 report.

Global updates from the 2019 CEHD annual report:

Learning Abroad Scholarships

  • Undergraduate: 43 students
  • Graduate: 7 students


  • College sponsored courses: 5
  • Department sponsored courses: 5
  • Global seminar courses led by CEHD faculty and staff: 3

Faculty Grants

  • Global Signature Grant: 15 faculty

CEHD Global Teacher Education Program

  • 35 visiting teachers and students from South Korea

CEHD Global Signature Grants

The CEHD Global Signature Grant is awarded to a faculty, P&A staff, department, or center that proposes program initiatives that demonstrate the college’s commitment to global engagement. Individual or group projects are considered, with priority given to projects that are interdisciplinary. CEHD Global Signature Grant projects are exemplars of institutionalized internationalization and global commitments in CEHD. They demonstrate our college’s strength through globally-focused, mission-driven activities.

The purpose of this grant program is to support the creation of an institutional culture of global engagement in CEHD. By supporting projects in this process, we seek to institutionalize our global focus, creating opportunities to integrate chosen activities into their core functions and support projects that need extra funding to begin, continue, or complete their activities. Projects that are interdisciplinary and integrate individuals from multiple centers or departments may have higher potential for sustainability than those that depend on individuals, therefore these would be given priority. We consider interdisciplinary to be both within the college or with partners outside the college. For the purpose of this grant attending an international conference is not considered an eligible project.

Application Process: Interested individuals, departments, or centers should submit a 1000-word proposal by February 3, 2020 including:

  • Overview of the program
  • Implementation timeline with aims to launch in the year awarded
  • Contribution of program to broader global efforts in CEHD
  • Budget
  • Letter of support from Department Chair or Center Director. For group applications one department chair letter is sufficient, with evidence of other department chair approval.
  • CVs from key implementers

Direct questions to Marina Aleixo,

Mary Tjosvold Fellowship 2019: Thailand

The Mary Tjovold ("Mary T.") Scholars program is one of the few study abroad programs at the University of Minnesota that provides graduate students an opportunity to engage in graduate-level professional development through community-based work in a foreign country. With airfare and most living expenses included in the program, this is not only a unique opportunity to build cultural awareness, but one of the most affordable opportunities for graduate student participation.

All CEHD graduate students are eligible to apply for this program. Learn more about the program, and the 2019 work in Chiang Khong, Thailand.

CEHD students in Thailand
Crystal Lee, PhD student in OLPD in the Higher Education program. Lisa Thao, Master of Social Work


We partner with institutions from across the globe in exchanges, teaching, and research. See some of our program partnerships.

If you're interested in a partnership between your institution and CEHD, contact Marina Alexio at

Global Teacher Education Program

Our Global Teacher Education Program (GTEP) is a professional development program for educators. This intensive program provides participants the opportunity to learn about innovative teaching strategies and assessments used in U.S. schools, develop further their English language proficiency, and engage in experiential learning through classroom observations and school internships.

Learn more about GTEP

Visiting scholars

Scholars from around the world join our college community each year to further our research and teaching. Read profiles of our 2019-2020 scholars.

Each of our departments has its own policies and procedures for working with international scholars. If you're interested in being a visiting scholar, please contact the department directly.

Fulbright Initiative

CEHD's Fulbright Initiative provides support to faculty applying for the Fulbright Scholar Program.

About us

Marina Aleixo headshot

Marina Aleixo

Program Director

Marina B. Aleixo is Program Director of International Initiatives and Relations at the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) at the University of Minnesota. Her work involves developing and negotiating global partnerships on behalf of CEHD with institutions from around the world. As program director, her focus is on developing new opportunities for international collaboration, research, and worldwide partnerships, particularly in the area of teacher and faculty education and training. Dr. Aleixo also leads the Global Teacher Education Program (GTEP) initiative, a short-term professional development program designed for international educators.

Dr. Aleixo’s research and scholarship explores the experiences of immigrant students and families. Currently she is involved in two international research projects. Multi-national Exploration of the School Experience of Somali Immigrant and Refugee Students examines the experience of Somali youth in Sweden, Netherlands, and England. The study explores how immigration policies in each country impact these school experiences. Supporting Refugees through Family Separation: Ambiguous Loss for Cambodian American Minnesotans documents the experience of recently deported Cambodian refugees in Cambodia, and their families left behind in Minnesota. Domestically, Dr. Aleixo has been involved in a collaborative multi-institutional research study that documents the college experiences of immigrant students.

Dr. Aleixo teaches courses that explore immigration policy and its impact on student school and community experiences. Her course, Borderland, Education Policy, and the Immigrant Student Experience examines the historical marginalization of immigrant and underrepresented students and families in the US educational system. This spring semester course also includes a one-week experience over spring break to Tucson, Arizona where students work with organizations that support migrants during the border crossing process. Dr. Aleixo also teaches Taste of South Korea: Culture, Language, and Education, a comparative international education course that evaluates and compares current US and Korean educational systems. The course also explores the historical background of Korean education, and its impact on current social, political and educational policies.

  • CI 5150 Borderland, Education Policy, and the Immigrant Student Experience
  • EDHD 3100/5100 Taste of South Korea: Culture, Language, and Education

Selected Publications

Stebleton, M. & Aleixo, M. (2016). Black African Immigrant College Students' Perceptions of Belonging at a Predominately White Institution (PWI). Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition.

Stebleton, M. & Aleixo, M. (2015). Examining undocumented Latino/a student interactions with faculty and institutional agents. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 1-18.

Aleixo, M., Hansen, S., Horii, S. & Un, S. (2014). Theory ain’t practice: Four novice researchers navigate dilemmas of representation within immigrant populations. Diaspora, Indigenous and Minority Education, 8, 32-43.

Oliver Ferguson headshot

Oliver Ferguson

Education Abroad Coordinator

Oliver holds a joint position with the College of Education and Human Development and the Learning Abroad Center as Education Abroad Coordinator. As the Education Abroad Coordinator, Oliver promotes education abroad opportunities across the college, working to increase awareness and participation in education abroad opportunities available to our students. He also works to support faculty and staff within the College in the development and management of short term study abroad programs. Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, Oliver worked in international programs and international education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds a Master's degree in International Development from the University of Pittsburgh and has worked in Sierra Leone, Ghana and Jamaica.