This quick reference sheet outlines commonly used terms at the NAFSA annual conference. Learn our lingo to get the most out of your conference experience!
NAFSA noun: the largest association of professionals committed exclusively to advancing international higher education; provides leadership to diverse constituencies through establishing principles of good practice and providing professional development opportunities; encourages networking among professionals, convenes conferences and collaborative dialogues, and promotes research and knowledge creation to strengthen and serve the field; advocates for a better world through international education.
Advanced Offering event type: a session or preconference workshop in which the content is geared towards advanced-level participants who have extensive knowledge of the topics, practices, resources, or publications covered. These sessions and workshops are indicated by the advanced icon up arrow.
Achieving Comprehensive Internationalization focus area: a group of conference offerings focused on infusing international and comparative perspectives throughout the teaching, research, and service missions of higher education.
Career Center event location: offers Speaker Series, resume reviews, employer information sessions, and career building resources for new and experienced professionals.
Career Center Speaker Series event type: a series of 45-minute presentations focused on content related to professional development.
Conference App helpful tool: a mobile application that allows attendees to view the conference schedule, explore the Expo Hall, and network by creating a profile. Available for download on May 5th.
Core Education Program Workshop preconference workshop type: focuses on reoccurring and key skill areas that build competencies in the field to train and inform attendees.
Cuba Focus Track event type: sessions and other programs focused on sharing information and partnership building between U.S. and Cuban academic institutions as part of the NAFSA Cuba Engagement initiative.
Current Topics Workshop preconference workshop type: focuses on contemporary issues and needs within and across specific domain areas in the field to train and inform attendees.
Education Abroad (EA) knowledge community: a community of professionals who advise on and develop study, intern, volunteer and research abroad programs for U.S. based students. The EAKC supports all levels of careers, including strategy and policy professionals, management professionals, and direct service professionals.
Expo Hall event location: the central location for attendees to interact with exhibitors in the field at their booths to develop sustaining partnerships.
Film Festival event type: celebrates and promotes international film making through screenings of feature-length and short films from around the world.
Focus Area event type: general content or overall topic that a session or workshop relates to or covers. Topics may be of interest for multiple knowledge communities.
Global Issues and Trends focus area: a group of conference offerings focused on global trends and international developments that have an impact on international education. Covers areas such as national interests, economics, security, higher educational policy, society, or the environment are appropriate.
Global Learning Colloquia event type: day-long NAFSA Signature Programs designed to help faculty members, international educators, and academic leaders define student learning outcomes, design pathways that produce these outcomes across their institutions, and develop practices to bring global perspectives into curricular and cocurricular educational experiences.
Global Partner Session event type: provides a learning experience for participants and may also be used to present information on a particular product or service.
Higher Education Partnership Fair event type: brings U.S.-based and non-U.S.-based international education leaders together to discuss possibilities for developing institutional partnerships.
International Education Leadership (IEL) knowledge community: supports senior international officers and other international education leaders who provide the vision and build commitment for comprehensive internationalization.
Internationalization industry term: a strategic institutional commitment through action to infuse international perspectives across all facets of the campus.
International Enrollment Management (IEM) knowledge community: addresses the needs of professionals working in admissions, recruitment, enrollment management, marketing, credential evaluation, intensive English programs, sponsored program administration, and overseas advising and counseling.
International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) knowledge community: provides resources and professional development opportunities for international student and scholar advisers and for those who work or volunteer in campus- and community-based international programming.
Knowledge Community (KC) NAFSA term: five professional practice areas within NAFSA that represent different areas in the field and foster relationships through collaboration. Also referred to by its acronym "KC". The five knowledge communities are:
Member Interest Group Meeting (MIG) event type: community groups formed around institution type, countries or personal/professional interest that promote the sharing of information and experience among their members and with professional colleagues.
NAFSA Adviser’s Manual 360 publication: an online, searchable knowledge base of current U.S. laws, policies, and procedures related to international student and scholar immigration and visa issues. Find a list of useful list of immigration related acronyms here!
NAFSA Bookstore event location: the NAFSA annual conference bookstore offers a wide selection of new and bestselling titles written by leading international education experts. All NAFSA titles are 25% off and NAFSA members enjoy an additional 5% discount on all purchases.
NAFSA Pavilion event location: located in the center of the Expo Hall with back-to-back special presentations and learning opportunities including author talks, knowledge community programming, professional development, and more. Network with fellow attendees, enjoy educational programming, and engage with authors and distinguished guests.
Networking Center event location: a central location for attendees to meet and interact with other attendees who work in similar knowledge community areas. Attend open meetings to discuss current hot topics with your peers and stop by the center throughout the week to network and find resources specific to your knowledge community.
Online Program helpful tool: a centralized, online platform for conference attendees to plan their conference experience. View the conference schedule and detailed information on events, exhibitors, posters, and all other conference aspects in an integrated system. In addition, view a list of all registered attendees, build your networking profile, and connect with other attendees who have opted to share their contact information.
Open Meeting event type: informal opportunities to connect with colleagues with similar professional or personal interests. Located in Networking Centers.
Partner Program event type: an event occurring adjacent to the NAFSA conference that is not organized by NAFSA. Discount registration is available in combination with NAFSA conference registration.
Plenary event type: daily keynote speakers share their unique insights and viewpoints on the challenges and opportunities facing everyone in the ever-changing global landscape. This year’s plenary lineup includes Isabel Wilkerson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dr. Shirin Ebadi, and Abigail E. Disney.
Poster Fair event type: visual presentations focused on a particular theme that are displayed on tables and bulletin boards in fairs. Presenters stand next to their displays to explain content and answer questions.
Practitioner Toolbox focus area: a group of conference offerings focused on sharing information, tools, and training that showcase the use of emerging technologies, developments in the field, research, good practices, and knowledge as it applies to daily work in international education.
Preconference Workshop event type: a half or full day workshop occurring between Sunday-Tuesday before the conference sessions begin that offer in depth information and training on a specific topic.
Professional Leadership and Development focus area: a group of conference offerings focused on the development of skills and strategies that will help international educators achieve career goals, reach leadership potential, and find balance between personal and professional life.
Public Policy focus area: a group of conference offerings focused on strategies and tactics for advocating the value of international education in order to influence public policy.
Seminar on Peace and the Global Civil Society event type: a NAFSA Signature Program, brings together international educators with scholars and practitioners in peacebuilding and provides opportunities for participants to engage in deep conversations about the role that international education programming can play in developing students as peacebuilders.
Regulatory Complexities focus area: a group of conference offerings focused on providing guidance and information on government regulations in the United States and abroad that impacts international education and exchange.
Session event type: 60 to 75-minute presentations on a variety of different topics and issues presented by seasoned international education professionals with extensive experience in their fields.
Senior International Officer (SIO) career role: the campus leader responsible for strategic planning and visioning toward comprehensive internationalization.
Shared Interest knowledge community: programming of interest to multiple Knowledge Communities or the broader international education community as a whole.
Signature Program and Special Events event type: fee-based programs that occur throughout the conference week and focus on specific topics related to international education. Special Events include fee-based events such as the First-Timers Breakfast, Film Festival, and various networking luncheons and events included with registration such as the opening and closing celebrations.
Simon Awards event type: NAFSA recognition of U.S. institutions for overall excellence in campus internationalization.
Social Responsibility and Inclusion focus area: a group of conference offerings focused on the connections between social justice, civil society, ethical practice, human rights, environmental impact, and sustainability issues to the work of international educators through research and practice.
Soundstage event location: a platform for partners and exhibitors looking to promote their programs, products, and services at the NAFSA Annual Conference Expo and showcasing innovations and trends in the industry.
Teaching and Learning in International Education focus area: a group of conference offerings focused on the integration of proven teaching and learning methodologies into international education.
Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship (TLS) knowledge community: focuses on curriculum internationalization, research that informs practice, and intercultural communication and serves faculty, administrators, graduate students/post-docs, researchers, intercultural trainers, cross-cultural counselors, and other professionals in international education.