Our First Trip to NAFSA

Studycentral’s Director Irina Tchirkova took part in NAFSA's 64th Annual Conference & Expo last week in Houston, Texas.

Here’s what Irina had to say about her trip:
It was my first time to join NAFSA's annual Conference and Expo and I was blown away by the opportunities the event offered. Nearly 9,000 professionals attended the event!

With so many opportunities presented it was quite daunting for the first- time visitor like myself. Luckily, the event offered comprehensive support and advice online before and during the conference.

NAFSA 2012 Event NAFSA gave me the unique opportunity to connect and meet international education professionals face-to-face from across the world as well as through numerous networking events. Some of the countries I was interested to meet with included Japan, Australia, Turkey, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, South Africa and China.

The event gave me a unique opportunity to connect and discuss a possibility of cooperation with those hard to reach regions directly, as well as to understand priorities and challenges of international education in those countries.

My evenings were certainly not dull either and offered many additional networking opportunities. I was invited to a few different receptions, such as those organised by our partners from Brazil and Turkey and various dinners with our other partners.

As for Houston, visitors and participants were conveniently transported from several hotels to the George Bush Convention centre, and the weather was unchangeably hot, with the exception of a day of rain. I also learned that Houston is a very international place and its population comes from various countries, including Europe.

I found the conference was extremely helpful and excellently organised and I look forward to the next NAFSA - in St. Louis, 2013. From this perspective I can admit that I am a happy Nafsaan!