How to Prepare for NAFSA 2022
Did you just register for NAFSA 2022? 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 the event begins, no matter whether you’ll be joining us virtually or in person.
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 sessions, pan-NAFSA talks, workshops, and other programs tailored to these different communities.
Learn about the latest innovations and professional development trends, focus on the sessions and posters related to your interests, and visit the NAFSA Bookstore for latest resources and publications.
Develop institutional partnerships, check out the online exhibitors listings, visit the International Education Expo, and attend the Industry Insights session.
Find assistance in navigating the international education job market, access career-focused sessions and resources and meet with career advisers to advance your professional objectives even further.
Build connections with professionals from across the international education field, pay special attention to the conference's networking and engagement programs. Meet new colleagues at the opening celebration, in sessions, or in the expo hall.
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 2022 schedule before registering. You can search for conference sessions by day, knowledge community, presenter, or focus area. Once you have registered for NAFSA 2022, 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. The NAFSA 2022 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:
- 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!
- The poster fair is available online throughout May and in person from June 1 - 3.
- The Opening Plenary begins our program in the morning on Tuesday, May 31. Be sure to arrive on time!
- If you would like to visit Denver attractions in your free time during the conference, don’t forget to include this in your schedule!
What to Pack
- Business cards
- Money: Cash will not be accepted on site. (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, while others wear 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 Denver 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 Denver.
- To use the NAFSA 2022 app, you will need a smartphone or tablet with internet access that runs a modern version of the Android or iOS operating system.
- Travel plug adapter: (If you will be bringing personal electronics that do not have a U.S.-style plug.)
- COVID-19 safety materials: You’ll need to wear a mask at all times (we recommend a well-fitting KN95 or N95 mask) and some local business may require proof of vaccination.
Hotel and Transportation Information
The NAFSA 2022 official housing website is now open! Please support NAFSA and the Denver economy by booking a hotel in NAFSA’s official housing block. The NAFSA 2022 Housing and Travel page has more information regarding transportation and accommodation options, including a complete list of NAFSA 2022 official hotels.
Information for Non-U.S.-based Attendees
Each year, a substantial group of NAFSA annual conference attendees joins us from outside of the United States. NAFSA is proud that our conference is reflective of the international collaboration that is the foundation of the international education field. Check out the tips below to ensure you are ready to make the most out of NAFSA 2022.
Top 5 tips for non-U.S.-based attendees:
- Double-check your visa requirements and ESTA status well in advance of your departure to the conference! They may have changed since the last time you traveled to the United States. Also check travel health and safety guidelines issued by the CDC and WHO.
- If you need an invitation letter from NAFSA for your visa, be sure to submit the form by April 30.
- Be sure to attend the virtual conference orientation.
- Find programs with the globe icon in our online planner and conference app. These are specifically tailored to non-U.S. audiences.
- If you need a negative test to return home, make use of the COVID-19 testing available at the convention center through the end of the conference.
Information for First-Time Attendees
Whether you are new to the international education field or simply new to NAFSA, we are glad to have you join us in Denver! It is important to us that you have the tools and knowledge to cultivate a strong relationship with the international education community and make your first annual conference a success. Check out the tips below to learn how you can use your NAFSA 2022 experience to build connections that will enrich your career for years to come.
Top 10 tips for conference first-timers:
- Wear your first-timer ribbon with pride! Get it at the ribbon wall near registration on site. (Also be sure to add your virtual first-timer ribbon to your conference profile!)
- Don’t be shy about starting conversations – online or in person. True to the spirit of international education, the atmosphere at NAFSA conferences is always warm and welcoming.
- Attend the virtual conference orientation.
- Get social! Share your #NAFSA2022 experience on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
- Create your conference schedule ahead of time by using the online planner and the NAFSA 2022 app.
- Want to follow up with a new connection? Use the NAFSA 2022 app to send messages to conference attendees.
- Got a business card? Make a note on the back of how you met the person or what you discussed so following up is a breeze.
- Attend at least one event or session outside your usual area of interest or expertise.
- Explore the online exhibitor listings and visit the expo hall to meet new institutional partners.
- Review NAFSA’s conference health and safety policies and recommendations before you arrive.
Upload COVID-19 Proof of Vaccination: All onsite participants joining us in Denver (including all service providers, NAFSA staff and guests) are required to upload proof of vaccination in advance to gain access to the Colorado Convention Center. If you have not yet uploaded your proof of vaccination, please do so here. A COVID-19 booster shot is strongly encouraged as extra protection.