Broadening the Circle of Education Abroad

We invite you to participate in a conference that affirms one of our organization’s foundational principles: to provide a forum where every voice is welcome, and a forum where everyone belongs.

We find ourselves living in a time of growing fear of the unfamiliar, as we experience significant global political, economic, and demographic shifts. Simultaneously, international education is permeated by its own unique tensions. We encounter competing voices of students and parents, of faculty and staff, and of colleagues in the home office and on site. These voices are often joined by competing priorities when it comes to resources and budgets, institutional missions and goals, as well as issues of health, safety, security, and risk management.

The goal of The Forum’s 15th Annual Conference is to create a space for shared dialogue to explore the pressing issues of our field for today and for the future. As education evolves, as demographics shift, as resources are redirected, as technology advances, and the world changes, so must our field. Let’s explore these issues and listen to all voices at the table.

As a community of practice, how can we better embrace tough conversations and differing opinions? How can we cultivate a sense of curiosity and wonder in our interactions with colleagues and partners? How can we foster reciprocity in all aspects of program design? How well are we following the advice we give to our students when it comes to engaging with cultures and communities that are different from our own? These are the kinds of questions that the 2019 Call for Proposals seeks to address.

Preference will be given to proposals that include underrepresented voices and perspectives. Voices from outside the U.S., especially those located in low-to-middle income countries and the Global South/Majority World, are strongly encouraged, as well as proposals from U.S. community colleges, minority-serving institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and smaller program providers.

Additionally, we strongly encourage submissions that include thought leaders, experts, and other individuals or organizations from outside the field of education abroad to deepen and broaden our understanding and add value to this important work. In particular, the committee seeks proposals that stimulate discussion and provide tangible takeaways.

Panels with representation crossing multiple countries, institutions, organizations, experience levels, and identities are preferred.


Session Proposal Tips and Suggestions

What makes a session proposal work?

  • Diverse points of view and multiple voices on the session topic: this can mean different institutions and organizations, and/or types of education abroad colleagues and partners, or contributors from outside the field of education abroad;
  • Ample time for comments and/or questions from the attendees;
  • A topic that clearly relates to the conference theme;
  • A balance of theory and practice;
  • Concrete conclusions: sessions offering specific tips, tools, and takeaways;
  • Consideration for the different constituencies in education abroad;
  • Demonstrated professionalism, preparation, and personality.

What doesn’t work?

  • Panels that focus on the accomplishments of only one institution, organization, or program;
  • Panels of more than 4 presenters;
  • Proposals lacking planned audience engagement and interaction;
  • Reading scholarly papers.
Proposal Review Criteria

The Conference Committee will score each proposal based on the following:

  1. Does the proposal add something new to the existing dialogue in the field? (0-5)
  2. Does the proposal relate to the conference theme? (0-5)
  3. How well does the proposal articulate learning objectives? (0-5)
  4. Is there adequate time for questions and discussion? Does it create a forum for dialogue? (0-5)
  5. Do the presenters represent diverse perspectives? (0-5)

*Please note that all presenters must be physically present at the conference. Presenting by Skype or similar platforms is NOT possible.*

The deadline to submit session, workshop and lunchtime conversation proposals for the 15th Annual Conference was September 7, 2018. 



Best Practice Laboratories

In Best Practice Laboratories, we are getting into the weeds, diving in at the operations level, and seeking individual best practice examples to build education abroad’s community of shared knowledge. We’d like you to show your colleagues what works at your organization/institution, and tell them why it works. We invite you to submit practices that are easy to replicate, focused in design, and impactful.


Submit a Best Practice