Hello Readers! Greetings from the NAFSA Bi-Regional Conference in Reno/Sparks, Nevada!
NAFSA: Association of International Educators brings members from the international education industry together and holds workshops in all topics from “SEVIS Coordinating” to “American Culture 101.” Having worked in this industry for a short seven months, I was very excited to attend my very first conference!!!
Having worked at Hult for the first six months as a Visa Coordinator, I was more than ecstatic to meet coordinators and student advisers from other schools who work in similar fields as the Hult SF Student Services Team. Here are some of the things I took away from this week’s conference:
- The international education industry is quite small, but it is growing. While there are international advisers and educators all over the country, it is inevitable that you will work with many of them one day. With that being said, it is important to establish a common ground with one other. While each school/institution has its own system and procedures, it is good to remember that we all have one common goal: To advise international students.
- International advisers and educators come from all types of backgrounds, with all types of experiences. Some work very closely with their Academics Department. Some of them ARE the Academics Department. Some have been in this industry for 30+ years, and some only 3 months. No matter who you are talking to, be sure that you can always learn (or even teach) something from the conversation.
- Learn by Doing. While it’s important to understand the rules and regulations of Immigration and International Student Advising, you always learn better by doing. From creating I-20s to preparing our students for their Visa interviews at the consulate, I have learned so much in so little time. The more I see and do, the more confidence I gain in advising our students.
- I didn’t think I could love my job more than I already do. This industry is so amazing and interesting! Changes are made constantly, making this job very challenging, but exciting!