Short-Term Volunteering Opportunities


NAFSA's greatest strength is the dedication of its members, not only to their work, but to the association as well. Members' commitment of time and energy to volunteer roles are essential in shaping and driving NAFSA's mission and impact on international education.

Many volunteer opportunities are often commitments of one, two, or three years. However, opportunities exist to get involved in short-term roles. Whether someone is new to NAFSA or a frequent volunteer, the following opportunities require less time and travel than membership on a national committee or a regional team.


Suggest a Collegial Conversation Topic

NAFSA's Collegial Conversations are live, online chats offered free-of-charge that provide practical information and opportunities to ask questions and share ideas on selected topics in the Education Abroad (EA), International Enrollment Management (IEM), and International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) knowledge communities.

NAFSA members can propose a collegial conversation topic idea that they would like to help present, and, if accepted, work with KC staff until delivery.

  • Duration: 4 months from acceptance to presentation
  • Openings: Ongoing
  • How to get involved: Send an email with your suggestion to EA, IEM, and ISSS

Annual Conference

Volunteer at the Conference

Volunteer your time at the NAFSA Annual Conference and earn a discount on your conference registration.

NAFSA always needs volunteers to assist with keeping attendance at sessions, directing crowds, answering questions, and a variety of other helpful duties.

  • Duration: Choose the times that you'd like to assist with at the Annual Conference.
  • Openings: Positions are made available in late March and continue through the conference dates.
  • How to get involved: Sign up online after conference registration opens.

Propose a Poster

Poster Fairs at the Annual Conference are themed collections of posters, which are visual presentations focused on a particular topic that are displayed on tables and bulletin boards.

Presenters stand next to their displays to explain the content that reflect the best thinking in the field, informed by theory, research, and practice. Learn more about the Poster Fair guidelines and read tips for developing an effective presentation.

  • Duration: Development of the poster leading up to the conference is self-paced, then poster fairs generally last 90 minutes.
  • Openings: Poster proposals are accepted until December 15, 2015
  • How to get involved: View the poster submission process

Propose an On-Site Core Education Program Workshop

NAFSA’s Core Education Program (CEP) workshops are offered at NAFSA's Annual Conference, Regional Conferences, as well as “on-site” throughout the year. On-Site workshops allow you to offer the same quality training to individuals for whom travel is difficult or scheduling is an issue. There are CEP workshops in the EA, IEM, ISSS, and TLS knowledge communities. NAFSA members can propose to host an On-Site CEP workshop anytime throughout the year. Once proposed, the workshop coordinator works with NAFSA staff to plan, promote, and host the CEP workshop.

Mentoring Programs

Education Abroad (EA) Connector Program
The Education Abroad (EA) Connector Program matches first-time attendees with study abroad professionals who have experience navigating the NAFSA Annual Conference.

As a "connector" you will help "first-timers'" maneuver the conference schedule of events, target important sessions for study abroad professionals, and meet and get acquainted with colleagues in the field.  

  • Duration: One week
  • Openings: Early April
  • How to get involved: An open call is sent out on the EA KC network and on SECUSS-L

International Enrollment Management (IEM) Knowledge Community (KC) Buddy Program
The IEM KC Buddy Program matches professionals new to IEM and the NAFSA Annual Conference with professionals who know the field and have attended previous conferences.

As a mentor, you will help the mentees navigate the NAFSA Annual Conference and inform them of networking opportunities.

Knowledge Community for International Student and Scholar Services (KC ISSS) Buddy Program
The KC ISSS Buddy Program matches professionals new to the field of international student and scholar services with professionals who know the field and the different offerings at the NAFSA Annual Conference.

NAFSA Diversity Impact Program Mentor
The NAFSA Diversity Impact program provides international educators from tribal colleges and universities; historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs); Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs); and community colleges and associates colleges, complimentary NAFSA membership, first-time registration to the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo, and yearlong mentoring and professional development opportunities. Apply to be a mentor to a program participant and help them network and navigate the association.

NAFSA Global Dialogue Fellowship Program: Dialogue Partner
The NAFSA Global Dialogue Fellowship Program will provide support to five African higher education professionals who are working to provide greater access to international study and research for their institution; to increase international competence among their students, faculty members, and university administrators; and to strengthen institutional relationships with higher education institutions in other countries.

Apply to be a Dialogue Partner to a program participant, gain insight into African higher education, and help Fellows network and navigate the association.

Leadership Opportunities