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

A Republic for Whom?
The Need for Schooling Beyond "Integration" in France

In October 2020, the killing of a French middle school social studies teacher, Samuel Paty, ignited outrage across France, fueling widespread calls to confront ‘Islamoleftism’ and to reinforce republican ideals in schools. Far less examined however, was how the Paty incident also brought to light issues of systemic and institutional racism in France, as well as how teachers, schools, and educational policies are implicated in their reproduction. In this webinar, Roozbeh Shirazi (OLPD), Marco Brighenti (CASNAV) and Yacine Djebelnouar (UPE2A) will examine the limits and paradoxes of ‘integration’ as a pedagogical and sociopolitical horizon, and reflect on how to deepen anti-racist awareness and action in French classrooms.

Roozbeh Shirazi, PhD is Associate Professor of Comparative International Development Education in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development and a former public school teacher in New Jersey. His research is centered on questions of justice, representation, narration, and belonging in and through education. Dr. Shirazi has extensive experience working and conducting research in urban and suburban k-12 educational settings in the US and Middle East. He is currently leading a research project on digital storytelling with newcomer youth in France.

Marco Brighenti has been a departmental administrator in the Academic Center for Education for New Arrivals and Travelers’ Children (CASNAV), based in Essonne. CASNAV is an expert agency in charge of educating newly arrived students at a regional level in France. The agency is tasked with informing, training, creating, and disseminating educational tools on behalf of teachers, school principals, and inspectors, as well as parents, associations, and social workers. Marco holds a Master’s degree in history and geography. He taught French for two years in Laos and taught history, geography, and citizenship education for 15 years in a suburb of Paris.

Yacine Djebelnouar is a secondary French language teacher for new arrivals and President of the Shams LGBTQI Association, France.

CEHD International Speaker Series Webinar

Thursday, January 28, 2021

11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.


Our global initiatives staff and leadership bring timely and relevant speakers from around the world to address pressing, interconnected topics. For more information, contact the Office of International Initiatives and Relations at

Mary Tjosvold Fellowship 2020: 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 2020 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.

Global fellowships

CEHD's global fellowships include support for faculty applying to the Fulbright Scholar Program, the JRM Graduate Fellowship in Community Development, and the Mary Tjosvold Fellowship.

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.