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Archive for the ‘Guest Post’ Category

By Clare O’Brien

As I mentioned in my last blog post, there are an abundance of wonderful restaurants in Boston. Several of these restaurants have well-known chefs and are frequently featured on TV and in “foodie” magazines. I know some of you may not have much free time to do the tourist thing and travel around the city, but if you make a point to get out for a meal, many of these locations will allow you to see some of the best parts of Boston.

I asked my colleagues from the Local Arrangements Team (LAT) to join in and share some of their favorite eateries. Here are a few of their suggestions:

Photo by 6SN7, under Creative Commons public license

LAT Conference Information and Hospitality Co-Chair Adrienne Nussbaum says her favorite Thai restaurant is the Brown Sugar Café, located a short T ride from the Back Bay. Adrienne recommends the Rama Garden, a specialty dish where you can select your favorite meat or veggies, which are steamed and covered in a lovely peanut sauce. Adrienne also highlights Aquitaine, a favorite French restaurant in the South End, or Tapeo on Newbury Street, right in the Back Bay for fantastic tapas.

LAT Special Events Co-Chair Laurien Romito loves Lineage in Coolidge Corner, a quaint neighborhood in Brookline, down the street from the birthplace of John F. Kennedy. She enjoys the $1 oysters they serve every day from 5:00-7:00 p.m. This farm-to-table restaurant offers modern American cuisine and is easily accessible by public transportation.

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By María José Angel Mex

As an early Christmas present last year, I was appointed by NAFSA as a consular affairs liaison to the Italian consulate in Houston, Texas. At the time, I had an idea of what my responsibilities would be, but I knew I still had a lot to learn. This proved to be true earlier this year when I attended NAFSA’s consular affairs liaison (CAL) training in Washington D.C, along with the 40 other members of the  CAL Subcommittee.

You might be wondering what exactly CALs do. To put it briefly, we try to help. CALs belong to country groups (France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the “World-at-Large”;) and represent the education abroad (EA) community to one of the consulates of those countries in the United States. We gather as much information as possible from our consulate and share it with the EA community, primarily through the Visas for Education Abroad section of http://www.nafsa.org.

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By Leah Newell

My name is Leah Newell. 2015 begins the second year of my serving as chair of the NAFSA Membership Committee.

Wait! Don’t leave! I know you are busy and probably have NO interest in the exciting topic of “The Role of the Membership Committee.” However, give me 5 minutes of your time and I promise you will gain some valuable information. Remember, if you know more, you can do more! So here we go.

Who we are
NAFSA’s Membership Committee is a group of NAFSA professional international educator members from a wide range of regions, focus areas, experience levels, and backgrounds. All of which help us do what we do.

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By Clare O’Brien

My role for the next two weeks is to whet your appetite as you start to plan your time in Boston for the NAFSA 2015 Annual Conference & Expo. I can’t think of a better way to do this than to introduce you to some of the many restaurant options in Boston over the next two blog entries. Get ready, foodies, the possibilities are endless!

In order to get a handle on the variety of cuisines and price ranges, I found it easiest to highlight restaurants according to geographic areas, starting of course with the Seaport neighborhood close to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. For those of you without much time to explore, there are at least a dozen restaurants within walking distance.

Photo by Eric Chan, under Creative Commons public license

Legal Harborside is a three-story seafood eatery offering a casual, family-friendly first-floor restaurant (moderately priced entrees) and a second-floor high-end dining option with fresh catch of the day entrées and floor-to-ceiling views of the Boston Harbor. If you would just like to have a snack or a drink, check out the third-floor rooftop lounge and bar.

Tamo Bistro and Bar is a great place to meet up with friends and share a few small plates because one would not want to miss out on all that is listed on their menu, from sushi to swordfish skewers. Pizza and a tasty variety of sandwiches are also available to patrons.

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Clare O'BrienBy Clare O’Brien

We all know how easy it is to fill one’s schedule with back-to-back meetings, sessions, and events during the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo. But please don’t forget to leave time to explore the beautiful city of Boston during your stay in New England.

The list of things to do in Boston can be overwhelming, so I thought I would try to choose my top 10 favorite activities to share with you in my blog this week. If you can make this trip a family vacation, you will not be disappointed. All the things on my list are perfect for people of all ages!

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Clare O'BrienBy Simon Adams

It’s not every former child soldier who has a memoir on the New York Times bestseller list. Or has the Washington Post’s reviewer declare that, “everyone in the world should read this book.” Ishmael Beah’s A Long Way Gone is a phenomenon, selling 1.5 million copies and even being offered over the counter at Starbucks alongside your morning frappuccino.

A Long Way Gone tells the story of the day the civil war in Sierra Leone came to Beah’s home town. Displaced and separated from his family, he wanders from village to village with his boyhood friends trying to stay ahead of the rebels who are laying waste to everything in their path. Beah eventually becomes a child soldier and, by his own admission, partakes of acts of bloodthirsty revenge against Revolutionary United Front rebels and their supporters. He is then rescued by UNICEF who help him rehabilitate himself. Finally, through luck, talent, and sheer determination, he makes his way to a new life, and high school, in New York in 1998.

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Clare O'BrienBy Clare O’Brien

Greetings from Boston, a city renowned for being the epicenter of American history and a preeminent higher education location where tens of thousands of international students choose to study. I look forward to sharing fun facts, must-sees, and must-eats in and around this vibrant and multifaceted city in the coming months as you prepare for your stay in Boston for the NAFSA 2015 Annual Conference & Expo.

Conference Location: Downtown Boston

You are certain to fall in love with Boston, whether you are a sports fanatic; enjoy art and theater; or just want the opportunity to walk and admire the history, beautiful architecture, and greenery.

The conference will take place at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, located close to the waterfront and the famous Boston Harbor. You will find amazing restaurants, museums, and historical landmarks just a short walk from the convention center.

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By Ivor Emmanuel

Through my many connections with NAFSA colleagues spanning over 30 years, I have come to appreciate the deep sense of meaning and commitment that so many international education professionals have brought to our profession. Through countless hours they have given of themselves, not only on their campus, but also to the association and our field at large.

They have attended committee meetings, organized workshops, delivered presentations, held leadership posts, mentored colleagues, engaged in advocacy and the list goes on. I personally have benefited from some of our finest leaders through all that I have learned from them. They have shaped our association and the nature of our work. A few have already been honored for their contributions. Many still toil quietly in the background. Their recognition will come one day…or perhaps now it is time!

Do you know someone whom you admire in a similar way? Someone you may recognize as having shaped our profession at the local and national level. Perhaps they are a trusted mentor or a long-time colleague about to retire. Are there outstanding young professionals who are in the early trajectory of their careers and you see a bright future for them in the field of international education?

Take this opportunity to nominate them today for a NAFSA national award!

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By Qianlei Li

President Barack Obama recently announced that the United States and China will increase the validity of student and exchange visitor visas from 1 to 5 years, and the validity of short-term tourist and business visas from 1 to 10 years. This is really great news and I’m glad to share why this agreement is important from a student perspective.

To begin with, it saves time, money, and energy for Chinese students studying in the United States. Previously, Chinese students applying for an F-1 visa were only granted an entry visa that was valid for a year. If our visa expired and if we planned to travel outside the United States (perhaps for an internship or study opportunity, or to visit family back home for the holidays), we needed to renew our visa annually, outside of the United States, either in China, Mexico, or Canada, before returning to continue our studies.

Because it’s difficult to figure out the visa renewal process in Mexico without having a strong command of Spanish, and also this year, Canada temporarily suspended processing of all non-Canadian visa applications, we have to go back to China and start the visa application all over again, including paying the $160 visa application fee and waiting hours outside of a U.S. consulate for an interview. Depending on the time of year, it can take up to a month to get your visa renewed. Therefore, most students choose to get their visas renewed during summer vacation. However, it costs at least $1,000 to get a round-trip air ticket to China, and the summer is a precious period of time to gain additional education and professional experience in the United States or somewhere else in the world.

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fanta awBy Fanta Aw

As I complete my first term as President and Chair of the Board of Directors, I wish to express my deep gratitude to all for your commitment to the association and the important work of international education. It has been an honor serving the association and together, through NAFSA, we have achieved a great deal over the past 2 years.

In 2014, NAFSA launched many new and important programs and increased efforts to complete long-range goals. Those include the “100,000 Strong in the Americas” initiative to expand educational exchange in the western hemisphere, continually advocating for commonsense immigration reform, and providing even more tools and programs aimed at growing campus internationalization.

As an association, NAFSA has a social responsibility to ensure that our programs and services and our campuses reflect an equitable, just, and inclusive agenda, and that underrepresented institutions and groups are included in all facets of our work if we are to achieve meaningful internationalization. In addition, we need to engage with parts of the world that have been significantly absent – Africa and South America – to ensure that marginalized voices are represented and reflected in our work.

We are making progress and need to stay the course.

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