Last week, the three of us road tripped down to DC to attend the annual culminating event in International Education: NAFSA 2008. When people asked what I was doing in DC, the conversation consistently sounded something like this:
Me: I’m here for the NAFSA conference-
Friend: WHOA! You’re at a space conference? That’s amazing. I can’t believe you are building space ships!
Me: Well, actually it’s a conference for-
Friend: So, are you going to space?
Me: …Yes. Yes I am.
Not only was it refreshing to be around others who were aware of the actual meaning of NAFSA*, but it was exciting to meet such a diverse range of individuals from all over the world (Scotland, South Africa, Australia, Hong Kong…Texas) and learn about the issues and advancements in the constantly evolving study abroad industry. One pertinent issue that was widely publicized is the pending Simon Study Abroad Bill, which can be signed here.
To all of the people who we met at the conference- we look forward to keeping in touch and working with you as Abroad101 grows. See you in LA in ’09!
*Fun fact: Apparently, when NAFSA was founded in 1948 it stood for the “National Association of Foreign Student Advisers.” However, the acronym has since changed and currently does not stand for anything, but NAFSA wanted to maintain their recognized name. They are now known as “NAFSA: Association of International Educators.” Planning a career in study abroad? Take this tip from the Abroad101 team: one woman at the conference was so adamant about NAFSA’s name change that she refuses to hire anyone whose resume references the old meaning. Don’t be that applicant!