Through its strategic plan, NAFSA is "committed to establishing internationalization as an essential component of higher education in the U.S." This commitment is realized through all of the following:

Annually since 2003, NAFSA has sought out the most innovative and successful U.S. institutions in the field of international education and honored them with the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization. An annual report, Internationalizing the Campus: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities, features these institutions' exemplary practices and model approaches.

Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization

As one of the 11 associations in the Inter-associational Network on Campus Internationalization, NAFSA works closely with others in higher education community to advance the cause of campus internationalization. Through the network, NAFSA members gain access to a wealth of resources being produced in a variety of associations.

Inter-associational Network on Campus Internationalization

For a first-hand experience with leaders in the field of campus internationalization, attend NAFSA's annual conference, where more than 8,500 international educators from around the world - 30 percent from outside the United States - share their expertise through more than 40 workshops and 130 sessions, many of which address internationalization topics.

NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo

A rich compilation of resources can be found in the Senior International Officer Network of NAFSA's International Education Leadership Knowledge Community, featuring practice resources, publications and discussion forums related to campus internationalization. These resources are available to all, and anyone can join the discussion forums by creating a login.

Additionally, the Internationalizing the Curriculum and Campus Network in NAFSA's Teaching, Learning and Scholarship Knowledge Community focuses on curricular and faculty topics. Both are updated regularly with new material, and subscribers to the communities are notified of "what's new" by e-mail.

Practical Resources for Professionals

Campus internationalization is a large and complex movement, to which many organizations contribute. In 2008, NAFSA's Board of Directors adopted a working definition of internationalization:

NAFSA's Contribution to Campus Internationalization

Internationalization is the conscious effort to integrate and infuse international, intercultural, and global dimensions into the ethos and outcomes of postsecondary education. To be fully successful, it must involve active and responsible engagement of the academic community in global networks and partnerships.

Four working objectives for 2008-2010 were set at that time, and guide NAFSA's efforts:

  • NAFSA should encourage and, when appropriate, facilitate a dialogue among international higher education associations and organizations to coordinate agendas and speak with a collective, consistent, and timely voice on issues concerning internationalization.
  • As part of its education effort, NAFSA should actively consolidate and disseminate global scholarship/research on future trends, current best practices, and the documented outcomes of various internationalization policies and strategies.
  • NAFSA should play a major role in educating its entire membership about the broad and complex dimensions of campus internationalization.
  • NAFSA should equip international educators who have, or wish to develop, an influential role in internationalization with skills in leadership, collaboration and change management, allowing them to work effectively within traditional institutional hierarchies as well as laterally with colleagues across the campus.