The 2016 NAFSA Region IV Conference: Local Roots, Global Reach will be held October 24-27 in Springfield, Missouri at the University Plaza Hotel. We look forward to connecting with you!


  • Gain knowledge and skills from experts in the field through attendance at pre-conference workshops (October 24-25) and conference sessions (October 25-27).
  • Explore Springfield's local roots with special events including a plenary address by Shawn Askinosie, founder and CEO of Askinosie Chocolate, an Opening Reception at the Historic Firehouse No. 2, a trip to the Bass Pro Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium, and a fun-filled craft beer tour!
  • Connect with other conference attendees through networking events or by signing up as a conference volunteer
  • Attend the Newcomer Session as a conference first-timer or an experienced NAFSAn/mentor. Job seekers: bring copies of your resume if you are interested in resume review by an experienced international educator (offered on a limited basis)
  • Recognition of regional NAFSA Awards during the Awards Luncheon (nominations due October 1)

Conference Schedule & Content

  • Download session handouts (Presenters: email your presentation to [email protected] if you would like your presentation to be publicly available.)
  • View the online schedule
  • Download the complete conference program
  • The 2016 NAFSA Regional Conference app is available to download for free in the App Store and Google Play, and gives you full access to the schedule of events. Log in using your registration confirmation ID, found in your registration confirmation email or on your conference badge.

The following pre-conference workshops will be offered October 24-25 (see CEP workshop descriptions):

  • J-1 Advising: Intermediate
  • F-1 Student Advising for Beginners
  • Collaborative Approaches to Developing Faculty-Led Programs
  • Intercultural Communication in Practice
  • International Credential Evaluation: Understanding the Essentials
  • Branding for Beginners: Marketing Study Abroad on Campus (homegrown non-CEP workshop)

Show your school spirit! You are encouraged to wear your university gear on Thursday, October 27.

Important Dates

May 5: Session proposal open
June 17: Very Motivated Presenter session proposal deadline ($75 off conference registration)
July 15: Session proposal final deadline
August 1: Conference registration open
August 15: Conference grant application deadline (see below)
August 31: Early bird conference registration ends
September 30: Institutional Partner conference program ads due (see below)
September 30: Hotel reservation deadline for conference rate (see below)
October 1: NAFSA Awards nominations due
October 14: Regular conference registration ends 


The following sponsorship opportunities are available:

  • $250 Craft Beer Tour: Sponsorship of our Craft Beer Tour will assist in defraying transportation costs. NAFSA Region IV will recognize sponsors in the conference program and with signage.
  • $250 Bass Pro Wildlife Museum & Aquarium tour: Sponsorship our Bass Pro Wildlife Museum & Aquarium will assist in defraying transportation costs. NAFSA Region IV will recognize sponsors in the conference program and with signage.
  • $500 Coffee Break: Sponsorship includes special recognition at one coffee break.
  • $1,000 Historic Firehouse No 2. Opening Reception Sponsorship: Sponsorship of our Opening Reception will assist in defraying transportation costs. NAFSA Region IV will recognize sponsors in the conference program and with signage. Sponsors will receive two additional reception drink tickets and a photo with plenary speaker Shawn Askinosie.
  • $1,500 Awards Luncheon: Sponsorship includes two conference registrations at no cost, special recognition at the conference luncheon, and one complimentary half-page ad in the conference program.

To make a donation in one of the categories above or in any other amount, please contact NAFSA Region IV Chair, Karen Williams at [email protected].

Hotel & Transportation

The conference will be held at the Springfield University Plaza Hotel. The conference rate is $119 per night but this rate is only guaranteed through Friday, September 30. After that date, the rate will increase. Hotel reservations should be made using this link or by calling 417-864-7333. (If the University Plaza Hotel is full, there are alternative hotels nearby: Hotel Vandivort, Walnut Street Inn, Holiday Inn Express. Note that there is no conference rate for these hotels.)

We encourage you to use the Facebook event page to connect with other conference attendees, arrange carpools, etc.

Conference Grants

Conference Grants are awarded to applicants who demonstrate need in areas of professional development, training, or financial support. Additionally, in 2016 we will be offering a new grant modeled after NAFSA's Diversity Impact Program for Tribal Colleges, Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and Community Colleges within the Region IV area (Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota). The general Conference Grant equals the cost of full conference registration. Diversity Impact Grants cover the full conference registration plus a $500 travel grant. Conference Grants cannot be combined with Very Motivated Presenter (VMP) discounts. Grants are available for individuals in the following categories:

  • Student (seeking entry level ideas to enter International Education field)
  • Seasoned Professional (more than 5 years of International Education and/or NAFSA experience)
  • Newcomer (employed in International Education by new to the field and/or NAFSA)
  • Professional from Tribal College, HBCU, HSI, and/or Community College (preference will be given to institutions that have not attended a Region IV conference previously)

The grant application deadline has been extended to Friday, August 19. APPLY NOW! (NOTE: You must submit the required supplemental documents, i.e. a resume and statement of support, in order for your application to be complete.)