NAFSA Strategic Retreat for Education Abroad Leaders Schedule


Attendees are encouraged to arrive in Washington, D.C., by Wednesday evening, August 3.

THURSDAY, August 4 (full-day)

Leverage an open space approach

The NAFSA Strategic Retreat for Education Abroad Leaders commences with an opening speaker who will encourage you to consider the multiple ways students experience college. How does student participation in fraternities or sororities, religious and ethnic student organizations affect friendship on campus? How do crossracial and interracial friendships on campus impact student outcomes?

Through an exploration of the diversity of ways students encounter college, we will then consider how an understanding of this diversity can inform the way we develop and assess education abroad programs. How does understanding this diversity help us think about the meaning of study abroad as a “high-impact practice” for all students?

Following the speaker, the NAFSA Strategic Retreat uses an “open space” methodology to ensure a robust and meaningful discussion. Open space is a special, creative meeting design that has been used thousands of times around the world with proven results.

A NAFSA facilitator will introduce the open space purpose, structure, and guiding principles. Participants then create the working agenda, designate topics, and determine when and where each topic will be discussed. Each individual "convener" of a breakout topic session takes responsibility for naming the issue, posting it on the agenda, and then later initiating the conversation and ensuring that notes are taken. These notes will be compiled into a proceedings document that is given to all participants.

Throughout the morning’s opening talk and agenda creation, a graphic recorder creates a visual distillation of the discussion themes.

The first day of the retreat concludes with an off-site informal reception.

FRIDAY, August 5 (half day)

Moving from insight to action

Through a facilitated dialogue, participants elevate and refine insights from the first day’s conversations. Selecting the most resonate topics from day one, small working group participants develop action steps before concluding by sharing takeaways and ideas for encouraging similar conversations at their home institutions. Each participant is also paired with a learning partner to share experiences.

The retreat will conclude by 1:00 p.m. Departures should be scheduled for after 2:30 p.m.


Hamilton Crowne Plaza
1001 14th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20005


The NAFSA rate expires on July 10. Registrants should call the hotel directly or visit the linked page to book accommodation.