World Learning Presents at NAFSA

NAFSA: Association of International Educators held its annual conference for Region II in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the beginning of November. These conferences provide opportunities for institutions in the region to connect and learn from one another about the trends in international students and study abroad. The sessions this year ranged from Increasing Study Abroad Enrollment through New Marketing Practices to Data Visualization Training and Mental Health Awareness for International Students.

This year, Global UGRAD Program Officer, Roya Zahed, was invited to present alongside one of our long-time Global UGRAD host institutions, the University Utah, in a session called Holistic Advising for Sponsored Students: It’s All About Relationships.

At World Learning, we know implementing the Global UGRAD Program requires strong relationships –


relationships between us and our partner host institutions, between participants and our staff, and between our staff and our overseas colleagues, among others. This session dove into strategies and best practices for how to build those relationships of trust. Presenting alongside staff from the University of Utah, we offered practical tips for the attendees, most of whom represented universities looking to expand their sponsored student programs.

A few of the key take-aways we wanted host institution representatives to remember are:

1. Build connections with your Sponsored Student Program (SSP)  community: Get to know SSP students on a personal level – they are often great recruiters for your university!

2. Let the students know that you are here to help them: Be active listeners.

3. Build on-campus connections for tight spots : The relationships you have with on-campus partners could help bend admissions deadlines, assist a student in removing an account hold, resolve misunderstandings, etc.

We were very grateful for the opportunity to join the University of Utah for this conference and would love to partner with other host institutions at future NAFSA conferences!

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