2023 Annual Conference & Expo

The 75th NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo was held May 30–June 2 in Washington, DC. Together, we learned and connected with peers and experts dedicated to "Inspiring an Inclusive Future." Thank you for being a part of the most diverse, comprehensive, and exciting international education conference and exposition! 

Join us at the NAFSA 2024 Annual Conference & Expo in New Orleans, Louisiana.


In celebration of NAFSA’s 75th anniversary, NAFSA is proud to be an official signatory of the Climate Action Network for International Education (CANIE) Accord, a grassroots initiative to foster environmentally sustainable practices throughout the international education sector.

NAFSA’s commitment to sustainability at the 2023 annual conference begins with the location itself. Washington, D.C., is the first LEED Platinum city in the word, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. Additionally, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center implements many sustainable practices and initiatives.

Within Washington, D.C., NAFSA encourages conference attendees to take advantage of the city’s extensive public transportation options, including transportation to and from the Opening Celebration at Nationals Park, which is easily accessible on the Metro. Please note: we will continue to provide an accessible shuttlebus upon request. The NAFSA headquarters hotel during the week of conference is also LEED Silver Certified building.

Sustainability also extends to the vendors who help make the conference happen. NAFSA’s longtime events partner, Freeman, has its own commitment to sustainability, including the materials they use and recycling practices. Additionally, much of the furniture and other booth materials in the expo hall are donated to local organizations after the conference has concluded.

There are many small ways NAFSA strives to implement sustainable practices. A tote bag and reusable water bottle will be available to all attendees at registration; the tote bags are sourced from natural, sustainable materials. Many printed materials at previous NAFSA conferences are now only available digitally, including the conference program and items that were added to tote bags. Starting in 2022, signage at the conference is almost all digital. 

Sustainability is a year-round pursuit, and NAFSA is committed to proactively developing, supporting, and integrating sustainable practices into our work as international educators. We accept the shared responsibility to protect, preserve, and wherever possible, improve our environment by integrating this commitment into our programming, teaching, research, scholarship, and other practices.

NAFSA Sustainability Events at Annual Conference

Meetings and Sessions

Climate Justice and Action in Education Abroad
Wednesday, May 31 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM
This session provides a framework to understand how sustainability and climate action intertwine with social and economic justice. Presenters share examples of strategies and case studies to incorporate climate justice goals into all aspects of education abroad and engage participants in discussion to devise their own strategies.

Supporting Comprehensive Internationalization: National Government Perspectives
Wednesday, May 31 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM
Comprehensive internationalization is a widely understood concept in higher education, but how can a government approach internationalization? Moderated by the American Council on Education, this in-depth discussion with government representatives from the United States and New Zealand covers goals, challenges, and proposed outcomes of national internationalization strategies.

Creating a Sustainable World Through International Education
Wednesday, May 31 2:30 PM – 3:20 PM
Preserving the earth’s biodiversity and combating climate change are fundamental to equitable society and economic prosperity—important tenants of international education as well. This session aligns the field’s best practices with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and guides participants in creating action plans for their institutions.

Synergies and Impact: Europe’s International Education Objectives
Wednesday, May 31 2:30 PM – 3:20 PM
European higher education actors are actively pursuing distinct yet interconnected objectives, focused on innovative collaborations, inclusion, well-being, digitalization, climate action, and more. Presenters provide an update on European efforts to advance key objectives and support synergies across the international higher education sector in Europe.

Addressing Climate Change in International Student Recruitment
Thursday, June 1 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM
The global pandemic and escalating climate crisis have driven many international education professionals to rethink internationalization activities that are traditionally dependent on traveling. This session considers best practices in environmentally sustainable international student recruitment, including discussion on actionable strategies.

SDGs in Higher Education Marketing: Essential or Just Another Ingredient?
Thursday, June 1 9:30 AM – 10:20 AM
Can sustainable development goals (SDGs) become a differentiator in higher education marketing? Do younger generations have higher expectations on social responsibility and the importance of the SDGs? In this session, participants explore the role of SDGs in higher education marketing, with a particular focus on employability and student recruitment.

Diversifying International Recruitment: Sustainability and Efficiency in a Rapidly Changing World
Thursday, June 1 1:00 PM – 1:50 PM
Panelists discuss the impact that factors like changes in macro-economics, geopolitics, market dynamics, rising costs, and declining government funding have on international student recruitment. This session also explores options to diversify markets, reduce cost of acquisition, and enhance student outcomes, highlighting data-driven approaches that establish financial, operational, academic, and climate sustainability.

Sustainability at the Center: In-Person, Hybrid, and Virtual Education Abroad Programs
Thursday, June 1 3:00 PM – 3:50 PM
As climate change impacts us all, the international education field becomes more cognizant of social, environmental, and economic responsibility. The presenters of this session share how to expertly design in-person, hybrid, and virtual programs that center environmental and social sustainability.

Integrating SDGs in (Co)Curricular Development
Friday, June 2 10:30 AM – 11:20 AM 
Join us for this discussion about innovative ways in which universities are constructing programs for students to learn about and apply the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework for addressing local and global challenges.

Poster Fair

Embedding Sustainable Practices in International Conferences: Individual and Collective Action
Wednesday, May 31 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Conferences bring together international colleagues, providing valuable networking, learning, and partnership opportunities. But they come at a high environmental cost. This poster identifies strategies and actions taken by both educational professionals and conference organizers to make conferences and their attendance more sustainable.

Impactful Approaches to Integrating United Nations Sustainable Development Goals into International Education
Wednesday, May 31 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM 
While we recognize the impact of international education on students, the potential for global impact through integrating the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into International Education programs is significant. In this poster, institutions learn how to successfully integrate the SDG's into individual and group programs abroad.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup: Connecting Sports, UN-SDGs and International Education
Wednesday, May 31 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
High Profile Sports like the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games gain the attention of people around the world and engages their curiosity in other cultures and societies. FIFA and the International Olympic Committee also provide a connection to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Engaged Everywhere: Incorporating Sustainability into Global Learning
Thursday, June 1 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
This poster highlights Pennsylvania State University’s commitment to sustainable action projects through an overview of our new Global Sustainability Conference. Gain insight on building cross-disciplinary and multi-unit programming partnerships, elevating student voices, and incorporating the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals into programming.

SIG Meetings

Sustainability Special Interest Group
Wednesday, May 31 10:30 AM – 11:20 AM