NAFSA's greatest strength is the dedication of its members, not only to their work, but to the association as well. Members' commitment of time and energy to volunteer roles are essential in shaping and driving NAFSA's mission and impact on international education.

Many volunteer opportunities are often commitments of one, two, or three years. However, opportunities exist to get involved in short-term roles. Whether someone is new to NAFSA or a frequent volunteer, the following opportunities require less time and travel than membership on a national committee or a regional team.


Suggest a Collegial Conversation Topic

NAFSA's Collegial Conversations are live, online chats offered free-of-charge that provide practical information and opportunities to ask questions and share ideas on selected topics in the education abroad (EA), international enrollment management (IEM), and international student and scholar services (ISSS) knowledge communities.

NAFSA members can propose a Collegial Conversation topic idea that they would like to help present, and, if accepted, work with KC staff until delivery.

  • Duration: 4 months from acceptance to presentation
  • Openings: Ongoing
  • How to get involved: Send an e-mail with your suggestion to EA, IEM, and ISSS

Annual Conference

Volunteer at the Conference

Volunteer your time at the NAFSA Annual Conference at the end of May and earn a discount on your conference registration. NAFSA always needs volunteers to assist with keeping attendance at sessions, directing crowds, answering questions, and a variety of other helpful duties.

  • Duration: You choose the time and duration from the list of available options.
  • Openings: Positions are made available in late March and continue through the conference dates.
  • How to get involved: Sign up online during the conference season.

Volunteer to Review Session and Workshop Proposals

Every fall, more than 400 peer reviewers work alongside the Annual Conference Committee to shape the content of the upcoming NAFSA Annual Conference and Expo. Learn more about the call for proposals and review how sessions and workshops are evaluated during the proposal selection process.

  • Duration: 5-7 hours over 2 months (short training in July and review period in mid-August to early September)
  • Openings: Available during May and June
  • How to get involved: Sign up online during the summer through the proposal selection process page

Propose a Session or Workshop

Each May, the NAFSA Annual Conference each year typically hosts more than 200 sessions and more than 40 preconference workshops. In the Fall, NAFSA Regional Conferences host between 40 and 75 sessions and up to 10 preconference workshops. Presenters share and deliver content specific knowledge, trends, and best practices.

  • Duration: If accepted, development of the session or workshop is self-paced, with specified deadlines and targets leading up to the conference.
  • Openings: Late May through early August (Annual Conference); Early May through mid-July (Regional Conferences).
  • How to get involved: View the session or workshop submission process for the NAFSA Annual Conference and the NAFSA Regional Conferences.

Propose a Poster

Poster Fairs at the Annual Conference are themed collections of posters, which are visual presentations focused on a particular topic that are displayed on tables and bulletin boards.

Presenters stand next to their displays to explain the content that reflect the best thinking in the field, informed by theory, research, and practice. Learn more about the Poster Fair guidelines and read tips for developing an effective presentation.

  • Duration: Development of the poster leading up to the conference is self-paced. Poster fairs at the conference generally last 90 minutes.
  • Openings: Propose your poster from May through December. Check the Annual Conference website for specific dates.
  • How to get involved: View the poster submission process

Propose to Host an On-Site Core Education Program Workshop

NAFSA’s Core Education Program (CEP) workshops are offered at NAFSA's Annual Conference, Regional Conferences, as well as “on-site” throughout the year. On-site workshops allow you to offer the same quality training to individuals for whom travel is difficult or scheduling is an issue. There are CEP workshops in the EA, IEM, ISSS, and TLS knowledge communities. NAFSA members can propose to host an On-site CEP workshop anytime throughout the year. Once proposed, the workshop coordinator works with NAFSA staff to plan, promote, and host the CEP workshop.

Mentoring Programs

Education Abroad (EA) Connector Program
The Education Abroad (EA) Connector Program matches first-time attendees with study abroad professionals who have experience navigating the NAFSA Annual Conference.

As a "connector" you will help "first-timers'" maneuver the conference schedule of events, target important sessions for study abroad professionals, and meet and get acquainted with colleagues in the field.  

  • Duration: One week
  • Openings: Early April
  • How to get involved: An open call is sent out in the early spring via various NAFSA Networks.

International Enrollment Management (IEM) Knowledge Community (KC) Connector Program
The IEM KC Connector Program matches professionals new to IEM and the NAFSA Annual Conference with professionals who know the field and have attended previous conferences.

As a mentor, you will help the mentees navigate the NAFSA Annual Conference and inform them of networking opportunities.

  • Duration: NAFSA Annual Conference
  • Openings: Early spring
  • How to get involved: An open call is sent out in the early spring via various NAFSA Networks.

Knowledge Community for International Student and Scholar Services (KC ISSS) Connector Program
The KC ISSS Connector Program matches professionals new to the field of international student and scholar services with professionals who know the field and the different offerings at the NAFSA Annual Conference.

  • Duration: NAFSA Annual Conference
  • Openings: Early spring
  • How to get involved: An open call is sent out in the early spring via various NAFSA Networks.

NAFSA Diversity Impact Program Mentor
The NAFSA Diversity Impact program provides international educators from tribal colleges and universities; historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs); Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs); and community colleges and associates colleges, complimentary NAFSA membership, first-time registration to the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo, and yearlong mentoring and professional development opportunities. Apply to be a mentor to a program participant and help them network and navigate the association.

  • Duration: 10-12 months
  • Openings: Early December-February
  • How to get involved: Sign up on the program's web page.

NAFSA Global Dialogue Fellowship Program: Dialogue Partner
The NAFSA Global Dialogue Fellowship Program will provide support to five African higher education professionals who are working to provide greater access to international study and research for their institution; to increase international competence among their students, faculty members, and university administrators; and to strengthen institutional relationships with higher education institutions in other countries.

Apply to be a Dialogue Partner to a program participant, gain insight into African higher education, and help Fellows network and navigate the association.