How to Prepare for NAFSA 2020
Did you just register for NAFSA 2020? Congratulations! You have taken a big step in advancing your career in international education. The next step? Make a plan so you can hit the ground running once you arrive in St. Louis.
Define Your Goals
Take some time to think about your short- and long-term career and personal goals. Consider how these goals can inform your objectives in attending the conference. Plan to attend sessions that address your immediate professional needs, but also make time for sessions that will broaden your perspective of the field.
If your objective is to…
Develop your specialty in the field, find your Knowledge Community (KC), Member Interest Group (MIG) and/or Region. You can find preconference workshops and other events tailored to these different communities.
Learn about the latest innovations and professional development trends, focus on the sessions and posters related to your interests, as well the NAFSA Signature Programs scheduled throughout the week.
Find assistance in navigating the international education job market, visit the NAFSA Career Center. Taking NAFSA’s Career Print assessment before you attend the conference may help you identify your professional development goals and your conference objectives.
Build connections with professionals from across the international education field, pay special attention to the conference's networking events.
Be inspired and learn how international education intersects with social justice and community issues, attend the NAFSA 2020 Plenary Addresses and hear from our Spotlight Presenters. For a local take on these themes, consider participating in one of the NAFSA in St. Louis experiences. Don’t forget about new programming in 2020, including the Seminar on Peace and Social Justice and the Global Issues Forum!
Plan Your Conference Schedule
Sessions, workshops, and poster descriptions are available in the online planner prior to the conference. The online planner allows you to preview the complete NAFSA 2020 schedule before registering. You can search for conference sessions by day, knowledge community, presenter, focus area, or themed track. Once you have registered for NAFSA 2020, you will be able to access the networking and personal schedule functions.
Log into the online planner (using your NAFSA-associated email address and conference badge number) after you have registered to create your personal schedule. It is recommended that you create your personal schedule before you arrive in St. Louis. The NAFSA 2020 app (available in May) will allow you to easily access the online planner and the personal schedule you have created.
Some additional tips to keep in mind:
- Preconference workshops provide you with opportunities to maximize your professional skill set. These require an additional fee. Seats are limited and fill quickly, so register early!
- Poster fairs are presented Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
- If you would like to visit St. Louis attractions in your free time during the conference, don’t forget to include this in your schedule!
What to Pack
- Business cards
- Money: (If you are a Non-U.S. based attendee be sure your credit card works in the United States!)
- Comfortable shoes: You'll be walking a lot and may be on your feet for hours at a time.
- Appropriate clothing: Some attendees dress casually in jeans, others are in suits. The best recommendation is to dress according to your conference goals. If you plan business meetings, you will need business attire.
- The rooms in the convention center will be air conditioned. It is a good idea to bring a sweater or something similar if you get cold.
- Check the weather forecast in St. Louis to help you decide what to pack. Be prepared for rain just in case.
- Mobile Phone
- Check with your mobile service provider to ensure you will have coverage in St. Louis.
- To use the NAFSA 2020 app, you will need a smartphone or tablet with internet access that runs a modern version of the Android or iOS operating system.
Hotel and Transportation Information
The NAFSA 2020 official housing website is now open! Please support NAFSA and the St. Louis economy by booking a hotel in NAFSA's official housing block.
The NAFSA 2020 Housing and Travel page has more information regarding transportation and accommodation options, including a complete list of NAFSA 2020 official hotels.