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

Physical fitness and physical activity environment of preschool children in Japan

This year, the Olympics and Paralympics will be held in Tokyo. It was also held in Tokyo in 1964. As one of the Olympic legacy from that time, the survey of the physical fitness of the Japanese people was started. This is still ongoing and has been used for health promotion. According to this survey, Japanese children's physical fitness was improving steadily, but peaked around 1985 and turned downward. Educators and school health officials had a sense of crisis in this situation and worked on various measures. As a result, from 2007 physical fitness has gradually increased. However, it has not yet returned to 1985 levels.

My research focuses primarily on preschool children, where research has been limited because they haven't been included in the physical fitness survey since 1964. In this presentation, I will briefly introduce a longitudinal study of changes in physical fitness in preschool children, and an intervention study. The longitudinal study showed that children's physical fitness was highly correlated with physical development. However, exercises that require skills, and those that require muscle endurance have different timings of improvement between boys and girls. Therefore, although it is not necessary to provide children with training for each physical fitness element, these need to be taken into account when making childcare plans related to exercise in kindergarten.

Kyota Takami PhD, is a visiting scholar working with Dr. Zan Gao in the School of Kinesiology for the 2019-2020 academic year. He is a professor in the Faculty of Sports and Health Studies, Hosei University, Tokyo, Japan. He has a Ph.D. in Health and Sport Sciences from Chukyo University, Aichi, Japan. Dr. Takami’s field of expertise is exercise physiology, and he teaches courses in exercise physiology, growth and development, physical fitness measurements, and fitness exercise practice. His current area of research is physical activity epidemiology, focusing on the relationship between physical activity environment in schools or home and young children's physical fitness.

Kyota Takami headshot
Kyota Takami PhD

CEHD International Speaker Series

Thursday, February 27, 2020
Burton Hall, Room 227
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Free and open to all, no RSVP necessary, lunch provided.

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.

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.