History of Global Partners in Education


  • Rosina Chia East Carolina University
  • Elmer Poe East Carolina University
  • Biwu Yang East Carolina University


Education, Continuing Education, Empowerment


In the USA less than 4% of university students participate in Study Abroad programs (IIE Report).  In most other parts of the world, the percentage is even smaller.  There are many reasons for this with financial difficulty being the major factor.   There are other contributing factors, such as fear of foreign settings, lack of knowledge in the foreign language, not accustomed to the local foods, fear of the risk of terrorism and infectious diseases, etc.  However, while less than 4 % students can go abroad, 100% live in this same global world.  All of us need to know about other cultures and understand the people from other cultures.  While it is not possible to learn about all cultures, it is possible to acquire some basic knowledge about other countries.  The knowledge of some different cultures will help us realize that all people do not think alike, do not have the same perspective, do not share the same values, and do not hold the same priorities.   Thus when we are interacting with people from other cultures, we must try to interpret what happens in their part of the world using their lenses, and not our own.  Global Partners in Education (GPE) is an organization that provides a global network of partner institutions to provide a cost effective and self-sustainable solution for students to interact with their peers around the world and to learn cultures from each other.  This article is a short review of the background, the motivation, the process, and the success of GPE.

Author Biographies

Elmer Poe, East Carolina University

Assistant Vice Chancellor
Emerging Academic Initiatives

Biwu Yang, East Carolina University

Coordinator of Platform Research and Development
Emerging Academic Initiatives