NAFSA 2019 is just a few days away, and we've got you covered on the top things you need to know before you arrive in Washington, D.C.


Whether you're flying in, driving or arriving by train, please be aware of the Metro map and schedule. A great app for smartphone users when getting around is Citymapper. This app has a map of the Metro, real-time bus schedules based on your location, and it can even show you travel routes to your destination by car, Metro train, bike or even walking! It also updates based on the city you're in, so if you're planning to make a day trip somewhere, it'll definitely come in handy.

Check out our recent blog post that takes a further look at getting around Washington, DC.

For those that plan on taking the Yellow and Blue Lines of the Metro, please be advised that the following stops will be closed starting May 25, 2019:

  • Braddock Road
  • King Street
  • Eisenhower Avenue
  • Huntington
  • Van Dorn Street
  • Franconia-Springfield

If you are staying by any of these stops. WMATA will run three express shuttles bringing riders directly to the Pentagon stop, which is the meeting point for both the Blue and Yellow lines that lead into the city. These shuttles will run every 5-10 minutes during commuting hours but less frequently during the midday and evenings. The schedule as follows:

  • Franconia-Pentagon Express Shuttle (Mon-Sun)
  • Huntington-Pentagon Express Shuttle (Mon-Sun)
  • Landmark-Pentagon Express: (Mon-Fri, 4:45 AM – 8:15 PM)

Don't hesitate to visit the WMATA website for more details and help planning alternative route options, we don't want anyone getting lost!

Fist-Time Conference Attendees

For first-time conference attendees, here are some quick tips on how to make the most of your time at NAFSA 2019:

  • What to pack: Business cards, money (Cash, Visa or Mastercard credit card), comfortable shoes, casual and business clothes, a sweater (in case you get cold easily), and a travel umbrella
  • NAFSA 2019 app – Be sure to download the NAFSA 2019 mobile app to plan your schedule and contacting attendees
  • Look up individuals you want to connect with – Find their contact information beforehand.
  • Set up specific meeting places beforehand  -  the conference is huge and it's easy to get lost in the crowds of people. Good places to suggest to meet are at your hotel reception desk, a particular exhibit booth number, or at a nearby restaurant.
  • Special Event tickets – put these in the back of your badge so you don't lose them!
  • Networking – when you receive a business card, remember to write on the back of how you met that person in case you want to follow up with them later. Also, download CamCard, an app that lets you take a picture of and store others' business cards in case they run out!

There is more information for first-timers on the NAFSA website, and we hope you enjoy first NAFSA!

We hope that everyone travels safely and is able to get the most out of their NAFSA experience and time in D.C. We hope that you enjoy exploring the city, travel somewhere close by (only if you have time) and eat, drink and be merry, while also making great connections.

Happy NAFSA 2019 and we hope to meet some of you at the conference!

Laurel Brooks is the program coordinator for the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program at Howard University and Local Arrangements Team (LAT) communications co-chair for the NAFSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo.

Michelle Morris is the program coordinator for the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University (@HUBuncheCenter) and Local Arrangements Team (LAT) communications co-chair for the NAFSA 2019 Annual Conference & Expo.