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A global expert in international education, Rajika Bhandari is the author of six academic and nonfiction books and several publications that touch upon the themes of movement, migration, and crossing borders. She is the author of the award-winning memoir, America Calling: A Foreign Student in a Country of Possibility and hosts the World Wise Podcast, a weekly take on the intersections of education, culture, and migration. She has written for the New York Times, the Guardian, Times Higher Education, the Huffington Post, Ms. Magazine, National Geographic Traveller, the Chronicle of Higher Education, University World News and Diplomatic Courier; been featured on NPR, PRI International and Voice of America; and been quoted in the BBC, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Times of India, and Time, among others.

Founder, Rajika Bhandari Advisors I Author I Keynote Speaker I Podcast Host

Open Doors 2014 Interview Rajika Bhandari.jpg

With a career in education that spans over 25 years, Rajika has held senior leadership roles in the private, academic, and nonprofit sectors and is a widely regarded thought leader in international education. She served most recently at the President and CEO of the IC3 Institute, prior to which she spent over a decade at the Institute of International Education (IIE), one of the world’s oldest and largest international education nonprofits, where she led IIE’s research, impact and thought leadership activities, including the flagship Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange–the most definitive resource on international students and scholars at U.S. colleges and universities and Americans studying abroad.


Rajika has served on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO and was one of 100 recipients worldwide to be awarded an IIE Centennial Medal in 2019, marking the Institute’s 100th anniversary. She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University and frequently guest lectures at universities in the U.S. and abroad. She currently serves on the Boards of ISEP Study Abroad and Education Credential Evaluators (ECE) and is the Co-Founder of SouthAsia-IEN (South Asia International Education Network) which brings together leaders, practitioners, scholars, and entrepreneurs in the U.S. higher education space whose origins and/or work touch upon the countries of South Asia.

Rajika has lived first-hand the experiences she studies and writes about: she came to the U.S. as an international student from India in 1992 to pursue a Ph.D. in Psychology at North Carolina State University, prior to which she obtained her B.A. (Honors) in Psychology at the University of Delhi, India.

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