NAFSA22: Looking Back on a Great Week of Making Global Connections

The Long-Awaited NAFSA Conference

After 2020’s cancellation, and the remote conference of 2021, this year’s NAFSA in Denver, Colorado, was highly anticipated by all who attended. Finally, we had the chance to see our friends and colleagues in person and connect to share stories and best practices across the global education spectrum. 

The sessions were lively, the exhibition hall was buzzing, and the evening receptions and events were numerous and welcoming.


The Virtual Internships Line-Up at NAFSA22

The Virtual Internships team of attendees included 11 members of staff: our two founders: Daniel Nivern and Ed Holroyd Pearce, our Chief Academic Officer, Jillian Low, our Partnerships Development team, and various supporting staff.

Meetings –both scheduled and spontaneous– kept booth P914 lively and engaged and many great conversations took place!

NAFSA22 Booth

The Virtual Internships booth in action at NAFSA22


The Lucky Raffle Winner at NAFSA22

We encouraged everyone who stopped by the exhibitor’s booth to enter our raffle for a wonderful work-from-home prize that included AirPods among several other goodies to enhance remote working. Samantha Lui from the University of York was the lucky winner (pictured below).

NAFSA22 Raffle Winner

Raffle prize winner, Samantha Lui, with VI’s Deborah Morrison and Shaun Butcher


Virtual Internships’ Favourite Sessions at NAFSA

Our Head of Internship Experience, Allison Ross, who supports interns throughout their internships to maximize their communication with their host company and overall internship success, attended several sessions. A couple of her favorites were:

Virtual Global Experiences – Designs, Outcomes, and Long Term Opportunities 

Presented by Lisa Loberg and Daniel Marschener of Loyola Marymount, Jessica Calhoun from IAU, and Sabrina Starke, representing Absolute Internship, the panel discussed the challenges of a Virtual Internship, touching on time management, the juggling of several projects, the potential lack of experience in the field, and the independent nature of remote work.

They also offered some solutions to the above challenges, suggesting that remote interns should make a list of projects and tasks and then prioritize the most important ones. They also suggested asking questions and doing research, and always being proactive and self-sufficient when they are in a situation of receiving minimal direction.

Virtual International Hackathons: Blending Technology and Partners

Presented by Elisabeth Dellegrazie from Concordia University Chicago and Maria Luisa Gutierrez Pearl from Universidad Catolica de Santa Fe.

This was a great NAFSA session because it was interactive and encouraged participants to engage directly with each other, brainstorming the practical applications of a Hackathon. Elisabeth Dellegrazi and Maria Luisa Gutierrez Pearl walked attendees through how they each established a Hackathon at their respective universities. They cited who the key stakeholders were, what setup and/or buy-in was needed from all participants, and what the overall event looked like.

The idea of a Hackathon is common in the tech sector, but to see the application for business students at the university level was interesting and it could be used with all types of students.  


The Rooftop Reception – Were You There?

On the second evening of the conference, we held our rooftop reception in the co-working space called Roof 16. The weather cooperated and we all enjoyed some food, beverages, and relaxed conversation with colleagues and friends –old and new– in a stunning open rooftop space overlooking Denver.


Stay Tuned For NAFSA23 – Will We See You There?

NAFSA 2023 will be in Washington DC! We cannot wait to see everyone again and continue the huge momentum that Virtual Internships has in terms of brand recognition and partnership interest. 

Many thanks to the hard-working NAFSA organizers who managed to successfully pull off this huge event each year!


Did We Miss You At NAFSA22? Connect with Us Here!

Whether or not you attended NAFSA, we’d love to connect with you. You’ll find a list of all of the Virtual Internships team who attended NAFSA, what they can help with, and their contact details to connect here.

Find Out More

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