Emily Mickewicz, Southeast University Relations Coordinator at CISabroad recently returned from NAFSA– San Diego Annual Conference. Here’s her take on why attending is important.
As part of the University Relations and Marketing Team, NAFSA is an excellent way to connect with university partners in the United States as well as our overseas partners. Professionals from around the world present on topics in the field of international education such as health and safety, how to manage faculty-led programs, of international student recruiting, and many more! Each NAFSA conference has an exhibit hall where international education organizations have booths. It’s really exciting to see so many people in the field of international education all in one place, I’m not sure what the final attendee count was but it was over 10,000!
My favorite part of the week by far was the CISabroad Amazing Places Race. This was a chance for conference attendees to compete in a cultural race to get to know the great city of San Diego like the locals do. This competition is based on an on-site activity in our La Vida Local Cultural Curriculum, designed to help students explore and understand their host environment. The participants got to know the local side of San Diego AND the winners from New Mexico State University took home a Grand Prize of two $1,000 flight vouchers! I was stationed at a taco stand in Old Town that the teams arrived to using public transportation. One team member had to order two tacos in Spanish and the other one had to correctly make the order! Another great moment during the week was when CISabroad celebrated our 15th anniversary with a huge (and delicious) birthday cake at our booth!
For students interested in getting into the field, NAFSA is a great resource. The annual conference has a career center with people to review resumes and offer advice on searching for positions in the field. Employer info sessions are held througout the day for job seekers to learn about new positions. CISabroad had a session to review our University Relations Representative position! If you’re thinking about getting into the field, NAFSA is an awesome way to see all the different types of positions that are available such as working with inbound students to the US, advising study abroad students at a university, working for a program provider, or many other opportunities! If you can’t make it to the national conference, each region holds a smaller regional conference every year as well!