The National Trust is delighted to present this special Forum Journal on Study Abroad: Global Perspectives. As many of our readers know, the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States (our "official" name) has its roots in international preservation. We were modeled on the work of international conservation groups, most notably the National Trust of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Today we remain active in international preservation issues and continue to work diligently with our counterparts overseas.
Preservationists in the U.S. may sometimes feel they do not speak the same language as their counterparts throughout the world. What we call "preservation" usually goes by the term "conservation" elsewhere. By whatever language, we have much to learn from our contemporaries abroad. In addition to the programs and topics covered in this journal, there are other organizations that help bring our global work together.
Just as we were modeled after our colleagues in the United Kingdom, an entire National Trust movement sprang up over the past 100 years, and today, National Trust or National Trust-like organizations can be found all across the globe. A desire to increase international cooperation and coordination between these groups resulted in the launch of the International National Trusts Organisation (INTO) in 2007. As a founding member of INTO, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has brought preservation groups and individuals together to share best practices and to serve as a global voice for preservation efforts around the world.
In addition, we have a long-standing relationship with the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and its U.S. committee. This year, the National Trust hosted an intern through the ICOMOS International Exchange Program, which was established in 1984 to promote an understanding of international preservation policies, methods, and techniques enabling interns [End Page 3] to make professional contacts and ensure a dialogue between countries.
You will enjoy hearing about the experiences of this year's intern, Maria Llanos Martinez, in her interview which is included in this issue.
In these articles, you will read about a number of issues that have applicability at home as well as abroad. As the National Trust broadens our portfolio of National Treasures, we continue to learn from and work with our international colleagues. Our recent work on the Charleston Waterfront called upon several global partners, including ICOMOS and the World Monument Fund, to help us examine various approaches to cruise tourism in historic port communities. In February 2013, a symposium in Charleston brought distinguished experts and participants from around the world to explore best practices and challenging issues facing this area of heritage management today.
Preservation Leadership Forum is a critical tool for helping us achieve these goals. This network of preservationists is continually expanding and evolving to engage new and diverse audiences, from emerging professionals to thought leaders in the field. This issue of Forum Journal encompasses the full breadth of this dynamic group. From reflections on French preservation projects to a discussion of community transformations in the Caribbean, the articles featured in this issue illustrate the variety and scope of global preservation work today.
I hope you will join me in studying abroad!
Join us for the #builtheritage twitter chat on international preservation on November 6 at 4 pm EST. There will be a transcript posted following the chat on the Preservation Nation blog. [End Page 4]
David J. Brown is the executive vice president and chief preservation officer at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.