International Education Week

This is International Education Week and I almost missed the chance to remind folks of Kansas Paraguay Partners role in international education.

Latin American scholar and supporter of international education Charlie Stansifer was instrumental in making it possible for 24 Paraguayan students to study at each of the Kansas Regents universities each year for in-state tuition.  The program has grown since Charlie started it in the 1970s. Today more than 1,000 Paraguayan students have studied in Kansas.

Charlie went on to initiate a study abroad scholarship of $1,500 for Kansas students to study in Paraguay.  Since we are a partnership there is also $1,500 scholarship for a Paraguayan to study in Kansas.  We are a small but important part of the international education movement.

Here is a news release charting the recent progress of international education in he US.

The 2015 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, released today, finds the number of international students at U.S. colleges and universities had the highest rate of growth in 35 years, increasing by ten percent to a record high of 974,926 students in the 2014/15 academic year. This strong growth confirms that the United States remains the destination of choice in higher education. The United States hosts more of the world’s 4.5 million globally mobile college and university students than any other country in the world, almost double the number hosted by the United Kingdom, the second leading host country.

The report also found the number of U.S. students studying abroad increased by five percent in 2013/14, the highest rate of growth since before the 2008 economic downturn. While study abroad by American students has more than tripled in the last two decades, reaching a new high of 304,467, still only about 10 percent of U.S. students study abroad before graduating from college. The Open Doors® report is published annually by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The report also points out that a large part of the increase in international education is from India and China.  Latin America represents a small part of international education.  Partners of the Americas is seeking to change that through their 100,000 Strong initiative. Check out this great program at  And here is a video about the program

Scholarship Deadline

It is time to remind people that the deadline for the Kansas Paraguay Study Abroad Scholarship is March 1, 2014. Just click on the Scholarship tab at the top of the page for all of the information and the application. Any questions? Write John Poertner at

How Volunteer Organizations Get the Work Done: Some Examples from KPP


Kansas-Paraguay Partners is an all volunteer organization.  That means that what gets accomplished happens because someone steps up and helps make it happen.  The above picture is a short history of some significant KPP people and projects.  From right to left (I know that is backwards).

Alberto Granada who is visiting Kansas is a long time active member, officer and volunteer for Comite Paraguay Kansas.  For many years Alberto was the go to person for Paraguayans wanting to study in Kansas.  Many Paraguayans who have studied in Kansas credit Alberto for helping make it happen. Alberto was always there to host those from Kansas who traveled to Paraguay.  He opened his house, his heart and his calendar to make it possible for visitors to accomplish their goals He was also a main person behind the KPP-CPK tours to Paraguay and other countries in South America.   That is just the tip of the iceberg of Alberto’s involvement  with CPK.

Edith Black was the go to person for Paraguayan students studying at the University of Kansas for many years.  She kept track of student on the ‘list’, helped many move into their dorms and hosted meriendas to get to meet students and have them meet each other.

John Poertner was able to spend a year in Paraguay by combining a sabbatical from the University of Kansas with a special volunteer experience through the Peace Corps.  He is also the past president of KPP.

Charlie Stansifer was the originator of the agreement to allow Paraguayan students to study at Kansas Regents universities for in-state tuition.  Through this program hundreds of Paraguayans have studied in Kansas and returned home to make a significant impact on Paraguay.  Charlie also started the KPP-CPK Scholarship Fund that provides a scholarship each year to a Paraguayan to study in Kansas and a Kansan to study in Paraguay.

Mary Miller was an active member of the League of Women Voters when she teamed up with KPP member Nan Wilson to work with Women for Democracy.  This was a Paraguayan organization that promoted democracy when Paraguay was just beginning to develop democratic institutions.

This is a short and inadequate part of KPP history.  Shortly a much more detailed history will be available. Stay tuned.

Study Abroad Scholarship

At the Kansas Paraguay Partners quarterly meeting this weekend the Board approved an increase in our Study Abroad scholarship from $1,200 to $1,500.  This is the scholarship for a Kansan to study in Paraguay.  To learn more go to the top of this page and click on the Study Abroad Scholarship tab.   There is also information about intern and volunteer possibilities.

Environmentalist wins Award for Work in Paraguay

Karina Atkinson started Para La Tierra as an environmental organization in Paraguay.  Now she has won the 2012 Young Laureates of the Rolex Award for Enterprise.  Para La Tierra would be an awesome place for a Kansan to engage in a service learning study abroad volunteer assignment and apply for the Kansas Paraguay Study Abroad Scholarship.  Here is the link to the organizations website.

Scholarship for Studying in Paraguay

This is just a reminder that Kansas Paraguay Partners offers a $1,200 scholarship for Kansas students to study in Paraguay.  The description and application are on the Scholarship page.  Just click the tab above.  Since there is no formal study abroad program in Paraguay you will need to chart your own course but there is lots of help available from Kansas Paraguay Partners.  Just get in touch with me – John Poertner


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