NAFSA 2020 Annual Conference & Expo

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

Innovate, Influence, and Impact with new program offerings

The NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo has been providing premier professional development opportunities for international educators for more than 70 years. In 2020, we are pleased to present a number of exciting new offerings, designed to highlight this year's theme, provide a platform for dialogue on social and environmental justice, and encourage new ways of learning and sharing information.

Themed Tracks

Deepen your knowledge as you reflect on this year's conference theme: Innovate, Influence, Impact. Choose from three curated programming tracks that will feature conference sessions, spotlight presenters, Open Meetings, and NAFSA Pavilion events.

View the complete schedules for each track


This track features examples of how international educators are responding to challenges and opportunities in innovative ways. Speakers and sessions look at innovations in programs, curricula, research approaches and strategies, and new communication technologies.

Sponsored by USML Global


This track highlights how international educators influence and inspire their peers and future generations, provide leadership, use links to local communities, promote social justice on campus, and work with private sector groups to further international interchange.


This track showcases the impact of international educators, at home and abroad. Sessions in this track advance ideas and trends to scale for global and local impact and explore ways to impact decisionmaking using data, advocacy, and dialogue.

Sponsored by Missouri State University Office of International Programs

New Programs

Global Issues Forum - Higher Education and Sustainability

Day/Time: Wednesday, May 27 | 9:00 a.m.-1:00 a.m.

This inaugural forum will bring together international education professionals, students, and researchers from around the world to explore best practices in collaboration on sustainable development and the environment. The discussion will focus on cultivating a global mindset and perspective to find large-scale solutions and campuswide initiatives to address this most pressing global challenge.

Sponsored by Education in Ireland

Learn more about the Global Issues Forum

Seminar on Peace and Social Justice

Day/Time: Thursday, May 28 | 12:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

The inaugural Seminar on Peace and Social Justice will bring together scholars and practitioners in peacebuilding and international education. This half-day event will focus attention on the worldwide refugee crisis, highlighting the role, both globally and locally, that higher education institutions play in addressing this issue.

Sponsored by Education in Ireland

Learn more about the Seminar on Peace and Social Justice

NAFSA in St. Louis Programs

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.

Learn more about these opportunities

NAFSA in St. Louis: Local Learning Experiences

Day/Time: Wednesday, May 27 | 5:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m.

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. Choose one from the options below; space is limited. Advance registration is required.

  • The Gateway Arch and Museum Guided Experience
  • Dinner at International Institute of St. Louis
  • Sustainability Talk and Tour of the Missouri Botanical Garden
  • National Blues Museum Guided Tour

NAFSA in St. Louis: Service Projects

Day/Time: Friday, May 29 | 2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

NAFSA is partnering with the International Institute of St. Louis to offer NAFSA 2020 attendees an opportunity to volunteer their postconference time and effort in the local St. Louis community. Choose from two special programs. Advance registration is required.

  • Donated Goods Room: The primary beneficiaries of goods donated to the International Institute of St. Louis are refugees, asylees, and immigrants from all over the world. Learn more about the impact of this program while helping to sort and organize donated goods and resources.
  • Global Farms Program: This program helps immigrants and refugees provide fresh, healthy food for their families.

Innovative Session Formats

Circle Sets

The setup of these sessions - with chairs arranged in a circle and without technology – is designed to facilitate deeper conversations with the presenters and among session attendees. Try to get there early, because these sessions will fill up quickly! (Maximum 50 people each.)

Express Sessions

Super busy? New this year, the Annual Conference Committee is piloting a new session format with “Express Sessions” that will last 25 minutes. Stop by and learn from these short-form, cutting edge sessions offered Wednesday and Thursday at 1:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Satellite Registration

New! Preregistered attendees will be able to pick up their badges in two locations: the main registration desk at the America's Center Convention Complex and the satellite registration desk located opposite of the hotel check-in desk in the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch (Address: 315 Chestnut Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63102).

Satellite Registration Hours:

Sunday, May 24 | 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday, May 25 | 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 26 | 7:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

If you have not preregistered, please pick up your badge and materials at America's Center.