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Archive for the ‘Annual Conference’ Category

By Andy Fraher & John Wilkerson

“We’d like to invite our business class cabin to board now. We’ll begin our general boarding process in just a few minutes; please wait for your zone number to be called before approaching the boarding gate.”

Does this announcement leave you feeling anxious and stressed out? How about angry that, in our society, class distinctions still exist? Are you preparing to throw elbows with the rest of the masses to ensure that you can get to your cramped seat and have space to store your carry-on in the overhead bin?

Your reaction likely depends on a number of things, including your comfort level with large groups, your ability to pack items efficiently, and your level of zen in trusting that the airline will deliver you and your belongings to the appropriate place in a reasonable amount of time. As you travel more often, you may even become one of the lucky few who get to board early due to your mileage-based upgrade to business class!

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By Bradley Moon

Greetings, international educators, from sunny San Diego! The NAFSA 2014 Annual Conference is less than two months away! If you have not already registered, don’t forget that early-bird registration for the conference ends April 18.

This year’s conference includes a very special session designed to provide conference goers with  unique insights into the cross-border and cross-cultural issues and initiatives facing San Diego and Southern California. Inspired by the spirit of the innovative educational format of TED Talks, this session, I-Engage Talks, will be offered on Wednesday, May 28, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Organized by Local Arrangements Team (LAT) Co-Chairs Jane Kalionzes, San Diego State University, and Susan Atkins, CAPA International, and LAT member Malou Amparo, University of California-San Diego, this locally focused session will provide a series of short, crisp, provocative, entertaining presentations highlighting stories from a variety of local organizations, nonprofits, and community leaders.

The not-to-be-missed I-Engage Talks session will offer a fascinating and entertaining local San Diego perspective from a diversity of topics and community agents of change.

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By Ellen H. Badger and Shawna Szabo

Networking with professionals can be a daunting task. However, informational interviews can lead to that “foot in the door” we all need when it comes to starting or advancing a career in international education. The truth is that people love to talk about themselves and their career path. Use this to your advantage. Compile a list of professionals in the field that you can contact to arrange a 15- to 20-minute informational interview. Be sure to utilize your college alumni network, former and current colleagues, as well as friends and family members.

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By Bradley Moon

Greetings international educators! For those of you planning to come explore San Diego a little early, or to stick around the weekend after the conference, this blog post is for you! If you are someone who prefers wines and a sophisticated nosh, you can head north of San Diego to check out Southern California’s wine region near the town of Temecula. More adventurous individuals fancying mariachis and margaritas can consider crossing the border to take in the sights and sounds of Tijuana, while baseball fans should not miss heading over to Petco Park to cheer on the Padres!

Exploring Wine Country

Just 60 miles north of San Diego up Interstate 15 lies Temecula Valley Wine Country, the heart of California’s South Coast wine region. Rolling hills covered with vineyards, expansive views reaching to 11,000-foot-high mountains, and world-class wines make Temecula Valley Wine Country a terrific day trip for visitors to sunny San Diego. The unique Temecula microclimate and well-drained granite soils are famous for producing award-winning California wines. Information about Temecula’s winery tours and tastings can be found by visiting Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association.

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By Bradley Moon

Attention NAFSA foodies! San Diego has no shortage of Food Network Star, Top Chef and local Mom and Pop eateries prepared to satisfy the pallets of food aficionados from around the world. There is an exciting food culture in San Diego that goes well beyond the obligatory coastal question, “Where is the best seafood restaurant?”

World travelling international educators know the best culinary finds are discovered when you “ask a local.” This blog post is devoted to sharing the favorite culinary haunts of some members of the Local Arrangements Team. The following are a few of our “must eat” restaurant recommendations. And, for those of you interested in finding the perfect happy hour, stay tuned for an upcoming blog post exploring the best in San Diego libations.

The Prado at Balboa Park recommended by Sue Atkins (Local Arrangement Team co-chair)

At The Prado, smack dab in the heart of world famous Balboa Park, the argument is which is better… the view or the food? A truly unique spot for lunch, happy hour or dinner, The Prado knocks it “out of the park” with delicious food and the best atmosphere you could ask for. This is also provides a great excuse for exploring the beautiful museums and gardens of Balboa Park. Try the Kobe Beef Sushi Roll and the calamari!

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By Bradley Moon

Warm greetings from sunny San Diego! Whether NAFSA’s 2014 Annual Conference & Expo is your inaugural trip to San Diego or you are a return visitor, I am confident that you will quickly discover why it is no secret that San Diego has been given the distinction of “America’s Finest City.”

Over the next few months, I look forward to sharing with you some of the must-sees of this great city, which just may convince you to come for the conference and stay for a vacation!

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By Joël Gallegos
It’s that time of year again – the time has come for the Annual Conference Committee (ACC) to select content for NAFSA’s 2014 Annual Conference in San Diego, California. This weekend, the ACC is off to San Diego to select the sessions and current topics workshops for the conference, and we must say, we’re impressed with what we’ve seen so far. We received nearly 650 proposals this year and had more than 200 reviewers help us make our decisions. As we dive into creating the San Diego program, we’re especially looking to highlight this year’s theme, Pathways to Global Competence. We’re looking forward to this process, but we can’t do it without you! We want to hear what YOU want to see from this year’s conference.

What are you looking for at this year’s conference? What was missing from session or workshop content in St. Louis? Add your comments to this post and let us know how we can make the conference even better for you. You can always tweet me at @ItsJoelGallegos also.

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“Where’s the beach?” “What health insurance?” “Do I need to bring any spending money?”

Do these questions sound familiar? If so, you may be one of the many study abroad advisers who work with “Generation Z” students, a group of young people born anywhere from the early 1990s to the present day.

Because they suffer from information overload, tend to be overcommitted to activities, and rely extensively on their parents, Generation Z students typically do not take the time to read materials, such as predeparture packets, checklists, or even e-mails, in advance.  This can be a challenge for advisers working with high school or college students who are getting ready to go abroad, noted a panel of international educators recently at a session during NAFSA’s 2013 Annual Conference in St. Louis titled “How Study Abroad Advisers Reach Generation Z.”

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The type of study abroad program that institutions and providers plan often reveals hidden perceptions of the destinations and cultures they intend to visit, says Julie Ficarra, an education abroad advisor at the University of South Florida. Ficarra was joined by Elaine Acacio, resident director of a Council for International Educational Exchange (CIEE) program in Santiago, Dominican Republic, and Jeane d’Arc Gomis, director of International Student Exchange Programs (ISEP) Africa and Middle East Programs, to present a session at NAFSA’s annual conference titled “First Do No Harm: Exploring the Impact of Short-Term Study Abroad Programs on Host Communities.”

Ficarra explained that programs to Europe often focus on art, history, and politics while the majority of programs to the developing world often center on service learning. This differentiation may lead students to develop negative or false notions about the host culture and society while at the same time doing more harm than good for the community. Ficarra mentioned slum tourists and afternoon visits to orphanages as examples of exchange that have few long-term benefits for either party.

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As NAFSA’s 2013 Annual Conference started to wind to its conclusion, Oscar Arias, former two-time president of Costa Rica and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, addressed attendees as the guest speaker during the International Plenary and Luncheon. Arias is a world-renowned advocate for peace, and in front of a crowd of international educators, he spoke fondly of his time as an foreign student in England and the powerful impact that educators can have on future generations. “In many ways, the process of forming moral leaders can only be done in the classroom,” said Arias, adding that moments of epiphany are rare once opinions and priorities are decided.

Arias then presented three moral principles that he views as fundamental for developing and sustaining a peaceful world. For citizens and countries to attain a future free of conflict, leaders must know no boundaries, governments must place people before profits, and we must recognize that leaders can come from anywhere.

Concerning his first point about boundaries, Arias stated that leaders cannot serve their people well if they only focus on their own community. “Any one that refuses to take a global perspective is not serving in the best interest of his own people,” he added. Even as the world becomes more connected through technology, ignorance about the struggles in other parts of the world and how our actions affect those issues still persists. Citizens must become more aware of their place in the world and make decisions that benefit the whole rather than the few.

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