2022 Conference Roundup: Where We’ve Been, What We Learned & Where We’re Headed

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IES Abroad
April 18, 2022

After a long hiatus, in-person conferences and events are finally back! 

A highlight of in-person conferences is the opportunity to engage with colleagues authentically, hear new perspectives on key topics impacting our field, collaborate, and share ideas. It’s also been inspiring to see colleagues, inside and outside our organization, shine as presenters at in-person and virtual conference sessions.

Here at IES Abroad, our colleagues have attended a range of key conferences in 2022, and we’re looking forward to all that’s in store for the remainder of the year.

And if there’s one team who will be out and about this spring, it’s our Diversity Recruiting & Advising team! They’re not only attending conferences, but presenting, leading workshops, and sponsoring the Inaugural Global Respectful Disruption Summit by Compear

Check out where we’ve been and our colleague’s reflections and where we’re headed this year on the conference circuit. We also want to share with you what we’ve learned (or maybe relearned) in terms of great tips and tricks for attending in-person conferences.

Reflection | What We’ve Learned (so far) from Conferences in 2022

Matthew Rader headshot

NASPA | March 19-23 | Baltimore, MD

“Student mental health concerns on campus continues to rise. These increases will impact students studying abroad, as well. Looking to telehealth to support students abroad will be extremely beneficial to schools and providers.” - Matthew Rader, Ed.D., Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Read about IES Abroad's win at the NASPA Conference for the Virtual Orienation Program.

International Educators of Illinois (IEI) Annual Conference | March 17 & 18 | Virtual

“I attended 'A Sense of Belonging by Linda Bollivar at the IEI Annual Conference. Her session on how we should be taking the extra step to not only make students of diverse backgrounds feel welcome on campuses, but also to ensure they feel like they belong was eye-opening and inspiring. Furthermore, her explanation of intersectionality was the clearest definition I have ever experienced. As professionals, we need to ensure that students feel welcome, understood, and that they belong no matter what identities they associate with.” — Michaela Kendall, Academic Process Specialist & Chair of the IEI

Lauren Alexander headshot

The Forum on Education Abroad Annual Conference | March 21-25 | Chicago, IL 

"It was absolutely wonderful to represent IES Abroad at the recent Forum conference, connecting with colleagues in-person—both old friends and new connections. As the conference was approaching, though, I heard from many colleagues wondering what it would be like to see everyone after so long and in the midst of one of the most challenging moments in our field. Turns out, it was refreshingly awkward and genuine. There were a mix of emotions— happiness to be reunited with our fellow international educators and excited about sending students again—but at the same time a recognition that we are operating in a different context and that as individuals and as colleagues the last several years have been difficult, isolating, and disorienting. So there was a sense of solidarity, while at the same time respect, that the last two years have been different for everyone, for their institutions, and for their students."  — Lauren Alexander, Associate Vice President, Customized & Faculty-Led Programs

Robin Deering headshot

“I attended several sessions on sustainability and more than one university representative shared that when selecting study abroad providers to partner with, they are really taking into consideration the provider’s sustainability initiatives. It is becoming clear that action on sustainability is not a want, but a need in the field of study abroad." — Robin Deering, Internship Program Advisor  

Learn more about IES Abroad's Global Good Commitment to sustainability, equity, and well-being.

"It was rewarding to attend a number of sessions that focus on leveraging virtual learning to reach more students. From virtual internship placements to more effective pre-orientation sessions, it is exciting to see how the field has in essence validated and elevated the possibilities of virtual modalities. Clearly, in the wake of the pandemic, this ‘trend’ of using technology in study abroad has become an expectation for students and sending institutions that is here to stay—and to be explored and celebrated.”  — Scott Sheridan, International Programs Dean

Tips for Attending Conferences In-person (Again!)

"I’m going to NAFSA in Denver and I am hoping that many of our university partners will be there. I really enjoy connecting, especially since it’s been such a long time since we could do this. I try to plan to have nearly all my meals and breaks with our partners. The vibe at a conference seems more relaxed and it’s a great way to connect and get work done." — Michael Green, Senior Associate Vice President for College Relations & Advising at IES Abroad

"My advice for anyone attending a conference soon is to be patient with yourself and try to set aside any expectations; know that everyone is trying to figure it out—you’re not the only one who hasn’t been to a conference in two years. Greeting colleagues—new and old—was one of the more interesting facets of my experience at Forum. Do we hug? Do we fist bump? Do we just wave at each other? The answer is yes. To all. Just do what feels the least awkward and rest assured that your colleague is equally as flummoxed. A nervous laugh works, too." — Lauren Alexander, Associate Vice President, Customized & Faculty-Led Programs

"Don’t be afraid to wear a mask and/or let people know if you are an elbow tapper, a hand shaker, or a hugger. Respect everyone’s boundaries. These are strange days. Everyone is all over the place. Do what keeps you and everyone you interact with healthy!" — Matthew Rader, Ed.D., Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Student

“As crazy and normal and weird as it feels attending conferences in person again, planning for a future one feels just as surreal. As a member of the Program Planning Committee for our upcoming, in-person Annual Conference in October, I’m really feeling that right now! We’ve been conditioned to not count on anything after two years of nothing going to plan. You consider all variations of what could go wrong or what might make you have to pivot. Yet at the same time, the hopefulness and the joy at planning something keeps winning for me. We’ve had the space to think bigger and differently about events we’ve planned for years. New Annual Conference location for the first time in 20+ years? Sure! Integrate the 8th Annual Film Festival into the Conference festivities? Why not?! There is freedom, too, in what feels like starting over as we continue to remind each other (and ourselves!) why we work in this field and why we’ve continued to do so even through the hardest of times.” —  Amy Ruhter McMillan, Senior Associate Vice President of Marketing

Looking Ahead - Where You Can Find Us in 2022

Global Respectful Disruption Summit

April 22 | Virtual 

We are looking forward to being the platinum sponsor of the inaugural Global Respectful Disruption Summit!

COMPEAR and GoAbroad.com have formed a partnership to collaboratively highlight the experiences of the underrepresented around the globe, as well as how all of us can respectfully and actively disrupt practices and policies that make room for inequality and discrimination in international education.

Learn More & Register

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Diversity Abroad Inclusive Learning Institute

April 25-26 | Virtual

We look forward to being a sponsor of the Diversity Abroad Inclusive Learning Institute!

The Inclusive Learning Institute, by Diversity Abroad, is an immersive learning and development event that convenes faculty and other education professionals to explore the intersection of global engagement, diversity, equity, and inclusion in teaching and learning. Attendees will engage in critical discussions, share best practices, and build networks to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and global engagement in pedagogy, curriculum, and cocurricular activities. 

Learn More & Register

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Forum on Education Abroad - Virtual Institute on Online Global Learning

April 27-28, 2022 | Virtual

We're presenting on our IES Virtual Internship Program at this year's Institute! 

International educators from around the globe join for a two-day virtual institute to strengthen skillsets for developing and supporting online global learning experiences. This institute looks ahead to a hybrid future where online global learning experiences and international student mobility work together to deepen the impact on student learning and development.

Robin Deering, IES Internships Program Advisor, and Sydne Cook, IES Internships College Relations Manager, are attending the Forum Virtual Institute and will be giving a presentation on the IES Virtual Internship Program. 

Learn More & Register

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IDEAS Workshop

April & May | Virtual 

We are very excited that IES Abroad's own Noelle Baldwin, Associate Director for Diversity Recruiting & Advising, and Flor Delgado, Student Affairs and Diversity Specialist at IES Abroad Amsterdam, will be particiapting in two separate sessions!

The IDEAS workshop will engage participants in the development of recruitment strategies for students who have traditionally been underrepresented in study abroad and programming aimed at supporting those same students before, during, and after their study abroad experiences. Please note that the event is full, but we aim to share helpful resources with you post workshop. 

Session 1: Social Identities and Study Abroad- Friday, April 29, 2022 (11:30AM ET-1:30PM ET)

  • Noelle Baldwin (IES Abroad)
  • Dr. Nicole Webster (Penn State University)
  • Cindy Schaarschmidt (University of Washington Tacoma)

Session 2: Supporting Underrepresented Students-Friday, May 6, 2022 (11:30AM ET-1:30PM ET)

  • Karli Webster (Marquette University)
  • Flor Delgado (IES Abroad)
  • Courtney Kroll (University of Washington Tacoma)


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NAFSA Annual Conference

May 4-5 | Virtual & May 31-June 3 | Denver, CO

The global international education community unites at NAFSA 2022 to discover the latest innovations, new strategies, and best practices. It will be great to see so many colleagues and partners in the field come together in person after so long.

We are excited that IES Abroad, IES InternshipsCustomized & Faculty-Led Programs, and the Study Abroad Foundation will be in attendance. Be sure to visit us at our booth (#210), too!


NACE 2022 Conference + Expo

June 7-9 In Person | June 28-29 Virtual | Portland, OR

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) is a professional association that connects more than 13,000 college career services professionals, university relations, and recruiting professionals, and the business solution providers that serve this community. NACE is the leading source of information on the employment of the college educated, and forecasts hiring and trends in the job market; tracks starting salaries, recruiting and hiring practices, and student attitudes and outcomes; and identifies best practices and benchmarks. IES Internships will have an exhibitor booth at the conference. Visit them at booth #521 to discuss all things international internships, career readiness, and intercultural competence. 


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The Forum’s 13th Annual Institute on Health, Safety, Security and Risk Management

June 23 - 24 | Washington, D.C.

IES Abroad's Matthew Rader, Ed.D., Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, is the co-chair for this year’s conference along with Margaret Wiedenhoeft from Kalamazoo College. Matt says that this year’s Institute is shaping up to be excellent space for learning and engaging in a diverse array of programs with presenters from across the United States and some international locations. 

The keynote presenter is Dr. Kevin Kruger from NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, a highly respected and much sought-after expert on students in higher education. 

This will be a great opportuntiy to connect with colleagues who are focused on student welfare from many different lenses!


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Global Inclusion - Diversity Abroad Conference

October 3-7 | San Francisco, CA

We look forward to joining Diversity Abroad's Global Inclusion 2022 conference.

Since 2013 Diversity Abroad’s annual conference has constituted the most comprehensive forum for education professionals, students, and stakeholders committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in global education and cultural exchange.

In Fall 2022, the tradition continues in San Francisco, CA as Diversity Abroad celebrates its 10th annual conference. As in prior years, Global Inclusion 2022 will embody Diversity Abroad and its member community’s holistic approach to addressing and accelerating systemic and equitable change in all aspects of global education and cultural exchange. Global Inclusion 2022 will be an opportunity to share innovations, build community, and collaborate to make progress towards a more sustainable and equitable future.


illustration of the Chicago skyline with details about Annual Conference 2022

IES Abroad Annual Conference

October 12-14 | Chicago, IL

We are excited to welcome colleagues back to Chicago for our in-person Annual Conference in October! This year's theme is "Navigating the New Landscape," and conference highlights will include:

  • A NEW conference location at the University Club of Chicago
  • Access to our free Pre-Conference Workshop(s) on October 11
  • A ticket to our 8th Annual Film Festrival, which will be our welcome event
  • A chance to network and catch up with all your favorite Center Directors and IES Abroad staff, as well as meeting our "new" CEO & President, Greg Hess!

Stay tuned for more details!

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From fireside chats with Center staff around the globe, to the Study Abroad Film Festival, IES Abroad hosts events for everyone. If you're interested in studying abroad, have already studied abroad, or just want to learn more about international education, you've come to the right place. 

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IES Abroad regularly publishes news stories, articles, student stories, and other helpful study abroad content. Stay up to date on the latest from IES Abroad by reading our recent posts.

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