Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My Declining Presence at International Education Conferences

Over the past few years my attendance at international education conferences has dwindled.  I have missed the past three Forum on Education Abroad conferences (my last one was Portland in 2009) and the past two NAFSA: Association of International Educators conferences (my last one was Kansas City in 2010) and the past four CIEE conferences (my last one was Toronto in 2007).  I did manage to make it to the CIES conference in Chicago in 2010 to present but my time at this conference consisted of arriving 30 minutes before my presentation and leaving 30 minutes after my presentation ended so I really can’t say I attended the conference (my only CIES conference I have seen) as I only presented at the Chicago CIES conference.  This also sums up the amount of time I spent at the 2011 NAFSA Region V conference in Champaign, Illinois (my last NAFSA Region V conference was in 2004 in Ann Arbor, Michigan) as I was also in and out of the conference venue only to present and say hello to a few friends and colleagues.  I did attend the entire 2010 U.S. Summit for Global Citizen Diplomacy in Washington, D.C. and it was a worthwhile event.
There are several reasons for this decline such as dissertation conflicts, lack of funds (almost all of my previous conference participation was self-funded) or lack of support.
I do hope to attend the 2013 Forum on Education Abroad conference as it will be in Chicago and perhaps the NAFSA conference in St. Louis in 2013.  CIEE 2012 in Shanghai is definitely out for me but who knows about 2013 in Minneapolis!?!?!
I will attend the annual conference of the Partnership in International Management (PIM) in Lima, Peru in late October (in many ways PIM has become my new NAFSA) and next week I will attend the Peer Schools International Educators [group of top business schools in the U.S.]  meeting at Stanford Graduate School of Business for a couple of days (in many ways Peer Schools has become my new Forum although on a much, much smaller scale] so I’m not totally out of the conference/meeting circuit…it’s just changing!  Last month I attended my first Chicago NAFSA Roundtable meeting since I worked in the Office of International Affairs at The University of Chicago seven years ago.
Originally posted to my International Higher Education Consulting website on June 11, 2012.


  1. Travel expenses are always a hindrance. I'm currently in Maine and meals alone have me burning through more money than I'd imagine. I can't imagine taking trips with any regularity. Meanwhile, my mom's cousin is visiting from Portugal, and apparently they don't tip more than 5% over there, so having to tip 20% in restaurants is driving her mad.

  2. Attendance at conferences in all areas is decreasing due to other mechanisms for people to connect, establish relationships with colleagues and exchange information. In addition, the cost and time away from work plays a role in the decision to participate in a conference. The work world has also changed dramatically. Fast-paced expectations and other and less expensive ways of exchanging information and knowledge can now be easily transmitted through an email.

    Julie Gallanty