ESN: NAFSA Washington Report
Recently, ESN was given a unique new opportunity: to attend NAFSA, the biggest higher education fair in the world, this year held in Washington DC, USA. The Association of International Educators, known as NAFSA, organises an event with the same name, gathering more than 10,000 professionals in the field of international education. Companies, universities, Erasmus+ National Agencies, governments and many more organise their participation many months in advance and all together staff members to promote their services, meet existing partners, and negotiate deals with new partners. NAFSA itself is represented through its Board, members of the many working groups and NAFSA regions, and dozens of volunteers. From the 27th to the 31st of May, ESN was for the first time part of this event, adding NAFSA to many other regional and global education events that are already part of its calendar.
The European Commission, and especially the international unit of the Directorate-General for Education, Culture, Youth, and Sports (DG EAC), was also an important supporter of ESN’s participation in the event. Thanks to this support, ESN could leave business cards and specially designed promotional leaflets at the DG EAC’s booth, increasing ESN’s reach during the week. The Director General of the DG EAC, Themis Christophidou, also got to know more about ESN’s work during a lunch meeting with alumni of several EU exchange programmes. ESN was also invited to attend the reception organised by the European Union Delegation in the United States, which was held at the house of the EU’s ambassador in Washington DC. The collaboration with DG EAC helped ESN anchor its NAFSA campaign as their booth and the friendly faces behind it felt like a piece home in a foreign land.
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