Greetings from Boston, a city renowned for being the epicenter of American history and a preeminent higher education location where tens of thousands of international students choose to study. I look forward to sharing fun facts, must-sees, and must-eats in and around this vibrant and multifaceted city in the coming months as you prepare for your stay in Boston for the NAFSA 2015 Annual Conference & Expo.
Conference Location: Downtown Boston
You are certain to fall in love with Boston, whether you are a sports fanatic; enjoy art and theater; or just want the opportunity to walk and admire the history, beautiful architecture, and greenery.
The conference will take place at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, located close to the waterfront and the famous Boston Harbor. You will find amazing restaurants, museums, and historical landmarks just a short walk from the convention center.
For those who are looking to explore beyond, the city is split up into several locales, including the Back Bay, the Financial District, Downtown Crossing, the North End, and Beacon Hill, to name a few. This layout is only enhanced by the hundreds of thousands of college students who have made Boston their home away from home. The nightlife and cultural pace of the city reflect this. With the use of the "T," Boston's subway system, you will find it easy to get from one place to another if you are not up for walking. Many of you will choose to stay in hotels located in the Back Bay, where the shopping and dining opportunities are endless!
Boston was founded in 1630 by Puritan settlers with a charter from England and quickly became the capital of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1765 the Stamp Act caused things to heat up between the colonists and the British. Five years later, the "Boston Massacre," which many historians consider to be the first battle of the American Revolutionary War, occurred in front of the city's Old Statehouse. This unrest grew and eventually led to the Boston Tea Party in 1773 where Bostonians dumped tea into Boston Harbor to protest Britain's unfair taxation policies. The events occurring in Boston and its environs eventually led to the official beginning of the Revolutionary War in 1775.
The city doubled in size in the late 1800s when mudflats were created from nearby hills. The growth and innovation continues today, driven by the large number of institutions of higher education, world-class medical facilities, and a strong presence in industries such as financial services and software.
Most people will fly into Logan International Airport where there are nonstop flights to all major U.S. and international cities. When you arrive you can use public transportation and take the Silver Line bus directly to the World Trade Center stop. Take a left onto World Trade Center Avenue and the convention center is right in front of you. If you are driving, the convention center is about a 10-minute drive from the airport.
New England Weather
The weather in May offers blooming flowers in the numerous gardens throughout the city, but don't forget a jacket and umbrella since even flowers need their moisture! Temperatures typically range between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the dates of the conference.
- Registration for the NAFSA 2015 Annual Conference & Expo opens March 2, 2015, at 12:00 p.m. (EST). In order to apply the early-bird discount, NAFSA must receive your registration form by April 17, 2015. Registrations received after that date will be processed at the regular rate.
- All hotel reservations must be made directly with the NAFSA 2015 Housing Bureau. All conference hotels offer nonsmoking rooms and suites are available. Visit www.nafsa.org/ac15housing to book your hotel beginning March 2, 2015.
- Have you "liked" NAFSA on Facebook? Get connected! Go to www.facebook.com/nafsa.
Clare O'Brien is the Local Arrangements Team (LAT) communications chair for the NAFSA 2015 Annual Conference & Expo. Originally from Buffalo, New York, Clare has lived in the Boston area for more than 20 years. She spent close to 10 years overseeing international student advising and study abroad at Fitchburg State University in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, and worked as an international educator in Wisconsin, New York, and Massachusetts while she earned both her master's and doctorate degrees. Clare currently works part-time as an international education consultant where she has assisted several local universities and third-party providers. She is also coediting an anthology of short stories titled From Bangkok to Boston: Inspiring Stories of Travel and Adventure from International Educators.