e-Learning Seminar
Student Members

Every year, thousands of university representatives attend the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo, the largest international education event of its kind. Much of their time consists of building new partnerships and maintaining long-standing relationships with colleagues from around the world. After the conference ends, navigating and managing successful international partner relations, though, is as much about cross-cultural fluency as it is about logistics and academic coursework.

In this NAFSA e-Learning Seminar, presenters will elaborate on how to effectively use intercultural communication skills for successful partnerships and how to train staff to bring the same perspectives to their communication with partners. Presenters will also discuss best practices for cross-cultural communication.

Learning Outcomes

After attending this NAFSA e-Learning Seminar, participants will be able to:

  • Identify multiple perspectives that influence international relationships;
  • Effectively communicate and articulate shared expectations with overseas partners; and
  • Develop a list of strategies for cross-cultural competency.

The content of this seminar will be relevant to international educators in all fields and departments.


Eylem Atakav, PhD
University of East Anglia

Eylem Atakav, PhD, is senior lecturer in film and television studies and associate dean for internationalization at the University of East Anglia, where she teaches courses on women, Islam, and media, as well as Middle Eastern media. She was recently elected chair of NAFSA's Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship Knowledge Community and will begin serving in that role in January 2019. She is the recipient of the 2016 Society for Cinema and Media Studies Outstanding Contribution to Pedagogy Award and was recently selected as a Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellow. She is the author of Women and Turkish Cinema: Gender Politics, Cultural Identity and Representation and editor of Directory of World Cinema: Turkey. In addition, she is the director of "Growing Up Married," an internationally acclaimed documentary about forced marriage and child brides in Turkey.

Gbemi Disu, MBA
George Mason University

Gbemi Disu, MBA, is the chief business officer for George Mason University’s (GMU) Korea campus, where she oversees all finance, administration, operations, and external relations functions for the institution. Prior to this role, she was executive director for global strategy, where she was responsible for driving campus internationalization efforts including study abroad and institutional partnerships. She has also served as special assistant to the president, where she supported key initiatives that were central to achieving the university's strategic goals. Disu teaches for GMU’s Business School and serves on the executive committee for the Association of Public and Land-grant University’s Commission on International Initiatives. Prior to her higher education career, Disu worked for several Fortune 500 companies, including HSBC Bank and Chevron, after receiving her master of business administration (MBA) degree in global finance from Thunderbird School of Global Management. She is also a Crans-Montana New Leaders for Tomorrow fellow.

Scott Manning, PhD
Susquehanna University

Scott Manning, PhD, is dean of global programs and associate professor of French at Susquehanna University. He is the founding director of the Susquehanna Global Opportunities program: a graduation requirement for all students that includes a cross-cultural immersion experience bookended by course work on campus before and after. He has written and presented on a range of international education topics, including program assessment; student preparation and choices; and domestic study away. His current research focuses on student strengths and universal access to study abroad and study away.

Ready to start learning?

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