Philadelphia hosted NAFSA’s Region VIII conference last week, and over 500 people registered for the event which took place at the Loews Hotel. We enjoyed talking to all of the members that visited our booth, but being relatively new to NAFSA ourselves, we got a kick out of seeing all of the purple “First Timer” ribbons on attendees' badges. It was great talking to new NAFSAns about what they came to see at the conference and what they hope to get out of their membership.

The newcomers’ sessions got high praise for giving first-time attendees a glimpse into all of NAFSA’s networks and resources. Hopefully they weren't too confused by all of the NAFSA acronyms (confession: we don’t have them memorized yet either). With all of the exhibitors, networking opportunities, informative sessions, and other events, Region VIII did a great job introducing new members into the community and giving them the tools to succeed in the field of international education.

We were also able to take some time away from the booth to attend a session titled “Digital Storytelling and International Education.” Lisa Nelson-Haynes from the Center for Digital Storytelling gave a nice presentation on how institutions can help their students relate their experiences from studying abroad. We came away with a lot of ideas, and we hope to implement some of them into our work at NAFSA in the near future.