By Yocasta Brens-Watson
My involvement with NAFSA began when I became director of international services at Philadelphia University (at the time it was still known as Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science). I was fresh out of graduate school and had only a vague idea of what I was doing. At that time, my boss gave me the names of three individuals in Region VIII whom he insisted I meet. They in turn put me in touch with the Philadelphia Area International Educators Network (PAIEN).
While PAIEN was not officially affiliated with NAFSA, it was clear that most of its members were also NAFSA members. I was overwhelmed by the willingness of those individuals to share information, resources, and knowledge so freely. Those who took me under their wings had two pieces of advice for me: become a NAFSA member and get your hands on a NAFSA Adviser’s Manual. I am so glad that I listened.
Ever since then, NAFSA has been my number one source for guidance and information on best practices in the field of international education. It is thanks to the input of my NAFSA colleagues through practice advisories, workshops, and everyday informal interactions that I am able to advance my institution’s mission toward internationalization. Being part of NAFSA is an affirmation that I am part of a profession.
International educators change the world, and NAFSA membership offers resources, tools, networking, and learning opportunities to help professionals perform their jobs exceptionally well. Being part of NAFSA means joining nearly 10,000 other members to share knowledge and make life-long connections with others who are dedicated to international education.
The next NAFSA membership year is about to begin, and I would like to encourage all of you to renew and continue being the strength of this association. The experience, expertise, and enthusiasm of our members make NAFSA the leading organization in the field of international education.
Please renew your membership with NAFSA and be part of something great in international education. Thank you!
Yocasta Brens-Watson is the director of international services at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey. She is the chair of the Membership Committee, and she has been an active member of NAFSA since 1997.