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.

Developed with the NAFSA 2020 conference theme in mind, these programs are an important part of NAFSA's commitment to learn from the St. Louis community and bring a positive impact to our host city.

Local Learning Experiences

Small groups have the opportunity to explore St. Louis in a unique way, guided by local experts who provide cultural and historical context. Each experience combines learning and networking. Space is limited. Advance registration is required.

Choose from one of four memorable experiences. All events take place on Wednesday, May 27th in the evening.

National Blues Museum Guided Tour

Day/Time: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 | 5:30 p.m.–7:00 p.m
Address: 615 Washington Ave, St Louis, MO 63101
Price: $30

The brand-new National Blues Museum in downtown St. Louis explores and preserves the historic significance of the Blues as the foundation of American music, celebrates the genre's various styles and recognizes the musicians who created, sustain, and continue to advance the art form. Join us for a private guided tour of the museum's interactive exhibit by Kirk Zimmerman, Manager of Education and Exhibits, and an inspiring talk with Erin Mahoney, Deputy Director, on the history of blues music and its role and impact in bridging cultures and differences in St. Louis and beyond.

Limited space is available and preregistration is required. The National Blues Museum is located across the street from the America's Center and within walking distance.

Dinner at International Institute of St. Louis

Day/Time: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 | 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m
Address: 3401 Arsenal St., St. Louis, MO 63118
Price: $50

The International Institute of St. Louis (IISTL) has been offering comprehensive adjustment services for refugees and immigrants in the St. Louis community for over 100 years. Please join us for a dinner prepared by chef Aymen Almala, a 2016 Syrian refugee who received entrepreneurship training from IISTL. Learn about the chef's refugee experience and hear from IISTL President, Anna Crosslin, about the historical role that the IISTL has played in fostering a welcoming and supportive community in St. Louis.

Space is limited and preregistration is required. Ticket price includes a three-course buffet meal and transportation to and from the IISTL from the America’s Center.

The Gateway Arch and Museum Guided Experience

Day/Time: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 | 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m
Address: 11 North 4th Street, St. Louis, MO 63102
Price: $30

Shaped by the inspired design of Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, the Gateway Arch commemorates the Louisiana Purchase and St. Louis' role in the westward expansion of the United States. The Gateway Arch Museum features 201 years of history in an innovative and interactive exhibit that traces the story of the Native Americans, explorers, pioneers, and rebels who made St. Louis area their home. Join us for a guided tour of the museum led by Ranger Erin Hilligoss-Volkmann, a movie about the history of the tallest man-made monument in the United States, and a tram ride 630 feet up to the top of the Arch.

Space is limited and pre-registration is required. The Gateway Arch is located walking distance from the America’s Center (15 minute walk/ less than 1 mile away).

Please Note: The Tram Ride to the Top of the Gateway Arch is not fully accessible for guests with mobility impairments, as no wheelchairs, scooters or strollers are permitted on the Observation Deck. To reach the top and return, you must be able to manage at least 96 steps, divided into six flights, and you may need to stand for 30-60 minutes. No seating or restrooms are located at the top of the Arch.

Sustainability Talk and Tour of the Missouri Botanical Garden

Day/Time: Wednesday, May 27, 2020 | 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Address: 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110
Price: $30

Founded in 1859, Missouri Botanical Garden is the oldest botanical garden in the United States and an oasis in the city of St. Louis. The Garden is also a center for science, conservation, education and horticultural display. Join us for a talk on how Missouri Botanical Garden’s graduate program and international partnerships are fostering sustainability efforts around the world, and a tour of the Garden’s world-renowned research facility and rare books collection.

Space is limited and preregistration is required. Ticket price includes round-trip transportation to and from the Botanical Garden from the America’s Center.

Service Projects

NAFSA is partnering with the International Institute of St. Louis (IISTL) to offer NAFSA 2020 attendees an opportunity to volunteer their postconference time and effort in the local St. Louis community. IISTL has been offering comprehensive adjustment services for refugees and immigrants in the St. Louis community for over 100 years.

Choose from two programs. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Registrants need to arrange their own transportation to and from service project location. Both events take place on Friday, May 29th from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Donated Goods Room

Day/Time: Friday, May 29, 2020 | 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Address: 3401 Arsenal St., St. Louis, MO 63118

The primary beneficiaries of goods donated to the International Institute of St. Louis are refugees, asylees, and immigrants from all over the world. The ability to provide a warm and welcoming home upon their arrival in the U.S. is paramount to their comfort and security. In the International Institute's donation room we have the essentials for a new home.  These items come in as new and used. Learn more about the impact of this program while helping to sort and organize donated goods and resources.

Light lifting and closed toe shoes suggested.

Global Farms Program

Day/Time: Friday, May 29, 2020 | 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Address: 12050 Riverview Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138

The International Institute Global Farms program helps immigrants and refugees provide fresh, healthy food for their families, decrease household expenditures on groceries, and achieve greater financial independence. This program delivers technical assistance as they acclimate to farming in Missouri and learn how to grow for American tastes and markets. Farmers come from a variety of countries including Burundi, Bhutan, Burma, Liberia, Morocco, Nepal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Rwanda, Sudan, Honduras, Mexico, and Somalia. They participate in an intensive season of growing and marketing to help launch their individual careers as farmers. After completing the Global Farms Program, refugees who wish to make farming their career are eligible to apply for a loan from the International Institute Community Development Corporation to lease or buy their own land for farming.

You will have a chance to hear from our farm manager about the program, who will lead the volunteers in a project supporting the farm.

Volunteering on the farm is physical work.  We recommend comfortable clothes and closed toe shoes.