NAFSA 2020 Annual Conference & Expo

After careful consideration, and in deep concern for the health and safety of our attendees, the NAFSA board of directors has decided to cancel the 2020 NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo scheduled to take place on May 24-29 in St. Louis, Missouri.

The NAFSA annual conference brings together more than 9,500 professionals in the field of international education for six packed days of training workshops, educational sessions, networking opportunities, and special events.

Have questions about NAFSA's 2020 Annual Conference in St. Louis, Missouri? Check back regularly as this page will continue to be updated.

When & Where

What are the official dates of the Annual Conference?
The conference begins Sunday, May 24 and ends Friday, May 29, 2020.

When does conference registration begin on site?
Registration opens on Saturday, May 23 at 4:30 p.m.

What is the address, telephone number, and web address of the Convention Center?
America’s Center Convention Complex
701 Convention Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63101
(314) 342-5036
Web address:


When does registration for NAFSA 2020 open?
Registration for the NAFSA 2020 Annual Conference & Expo opens on March 2, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern.

What is part of registration?
When you register for the conference, you receive access to over 200 sessions, 15 poster fairs, and 4 plenary speakers. You will also get unlimited access to the International Education Expo Hall, as well as all the networking opportunities that we provide, including dedicated networking events and opening and closing celebrations. Signature Programs, certain Special Events, and all Preconference Workshops, as well as everything you see in the online planner that has a $ next to it is an additional fee.

What is NAFSA's cancellation, refund, and change policy?

  • Cancellations and requests for changes to conference registration, workshop registration, and registration for signature programs and special events must be made in writing and received no later than Friday, May 22, 2020. Any cancellations received after May 22 will not be refunded.
  • Refunds, if approved, may be processed 4 to 6 weeks after our conference.
  • If payment is made by credit card, a credit will be issued to your credit card account; otherwise, a refund check will be issued.
  • There are no refunds for special event registrations unless the event is sold out or canceled.
  • A $100 cancellation fee will be deducted from an attendees’ conference registration refunds and a $100 cancellation fee will be deducted from workshop, signature program, and special event registration refunds up to a $200 maximum deduction for multiple cancellations. Changes to a preconference workshop registration will result in a $25 change fee per workshop. If NAFSA cancels a workshop, you will receive notification of the cancellation and a full refund.
  • All requests for cancellations, changes, and refunds must be made in writing, emailed to [email protected], and received no later than Friday, May 22, 2020.
  • NAFSA will waive the cancellation fee if an attendee is unable to: obtain a visa for travel to the United States, travel to the United States due to a travel ban initiated by the Unites States or the attendee’s home country, or travel to St. Louis due to an institutional travel ban.
  • Should NAFSA cancel the 2020 annual conference, cancellation fees will be waived and full refunds for registration fees will be processed. Note: full refunds include registration fees, workshop fees, signature program fees, and special event fees.
Sessions & Workshops

Where are the conference sessions and workshops being held?
Conference sessions and workshops are held at the America’s Center from Sunday, May 24 through Friday, May 29, 2020.

Can I still register for a preconference workshop on site?
Many preconference workshops will be filled. Please check with the registration desk on Level 1 of the America’s Center.

What types of sessions or workshops are being offered?
Check the conference website and online planner in coming months for more information on the conference offerings, descriptions, schedule and locations. The 2020 mobile app will be available in late April 2020.

Transportation & Visas

Does NAFSA provide shuttle transportation from the hotels to the America’s Center?
Limited, shuttle transportation is provided for a few hotels in NAFSA’s room block to and from the America’s Center. Hotels in walking distance to the America’s Center will not be on the hotel shuttle route.

How do I obtain a visa letter of invitation?
To obtain a letter of invitation, please click the link to request a letter. Requests for visa support cannot be accommodated after April 30, 2020. Please check with your local U.S. Consulate to allow sufficient time for visa processing. Your request for a letter of invitation to attend the NAFSA Annual Conference does not guarantee you will obtain a visa.

Networking & Socializing

Where can I message or locate someone attending the conference?
Conference participants will be able to contact colleagues using the online planner and conference mobile app.

How can I find out about visiting attractions in St. Louis and the surrounding area, and what restaurants are open and within walking distance?
You can visit the conference website, or the Conference Information and Hospitality Center located on Level 1 of the America’s Center on-site in St. Louis.

Where does transportation depart from and return to for the pre- and post-conference tours, special events, and workshops?
All transportation departs from and returns to the plaza entrance of the America’s Center.


What are the benefits to being a volunteer?
Based on documented hours worked, volunteers may be reimbursed 50%-100% of the general conference registration fee paid.

40 or more 100% reimbursment
30-39 75% reimbursment
20-29 50% reimbursment
1-19 No reimbursment

How do I become a volunteer?
The first step is to enroll as a volunteer via Shiftboard, NAFSA’s online scheduling tool, when it opens in March 2020. Once you complete your enrollment, you will be contacted via email with a confirmation of your status as a volunteer for NAFSA Annual Conference and will also receive login information to use the Shiftboard system.

Note: This is NOT the same as registering for the conference. Conference registration opens March 2, 2020.

What are the requirements to be a volunteer?
You must be a conference attendee in order to serve as a conference volunteer.

What jobs will I perform as a volunteer?
Examples of shifts are as follows:

  • Working at the NAFSA Pavilion in the Expo Hall to answer questions and assist attendees in discovering information on NAFSA’s products and services
  • Working at the Expo Information Center assisting attendees in locating specific exhibitors and booths
  • Taking tickets and directing traffic at plenaries and special events
  • Assisting with exhibitor check-in at registration
  • Working registration area to hand out materials and tote bags
  • Providing local information and conference directions at Conference Information and Hospitality Center
  • Working as a monitor for sessions, handing out and collecting session evaluations.

How long are the shifts?
Shifts range from 2 hours to 6+ hours, so plan your schedule accordingly and be sure you are able to commit to shifts you take.

Can I choose my shifts?
Yes. All available shifts will be in the calendar section of the Shiftboard webpage. Volunteers will be able to add shifts to their calendar based on their own availability and interest. Check back for further instructions once volunteer enrollment opens.

Will additional shifts be added?
Additional shifts will be added throughout March and April as the conference schedule and needs develop.

What will I be required to wear?
When you check in at the LAT office at the convention center for your first volunteer shift, you will be given an identifier to wear when on duty, to show that you are a volunteer. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, as most shifts require you to be on your feet for long periods of time.

Volunteer FAQs

Support Services

What kind of accessibility arrangements are available?
NAFSA is willing to assist with accessible needs; please indicate what your needs are on the appropriate line provided on the registration form. When making hotel reservations, please specify your needs under the “Room Type Requested” section of the hotel reservation form. Please note that all conference hotels are wheelchair accessible.

What kind of child care services are available?
Please inquire about child care services with the concierge at your selected hotel. Be certain to make arrangements prior to your arrival in St. Louis.


What meals are included with conference registration?
There are no actual meals included with conference registration, however the networking, opening, and closing receptions are complimentary with conference registration.

Where can I find out about general conference and program information?
Check with volunteers at the Conference Information and Hospitality Center located on the Level 1 of the America’s Center.

Where is the location of the Lost and Found?
Check with volunteers at the Conference Information and Hospitality Center located on Level 1 of the America’s Center.

Does NAFSA have a event safety and security policy?
NAFSA: Association of International Educators is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all meeting participants and NAFSA staff. All participants, including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, NAFSA staff, service providers, and others are expected to abide by this Meeting Safety & Responsibility Policy.

Can't find an answer? Please contact the NAFSA Conference team.