GoAbroad Innovation Award Nominations


Nominations for the 2024 GoAbroad Innovation Awards have officially closed

Winners in all categories, except Innovation Student Video and People’s Choice, will be selected by a committee of international education professionals known as the GoAbroad Innovation Award Academy.

You may nominate an individual (including yourself), or an office, institution, or organization.

You and/or your office, institution, or organization do not need to be NAFSA members to be nominated or to win. Additionally, you do not need to be present at the conference to win, but we hope you will be there!

The top five finalists in each category will be provided with a “GoAbroad Innovation Awards Finalist” badge to display on their NAFSA booth and website (if applicable).

The purpose of the Innovation Awards is to:

  1. Commend leaders. There are incredible individuals working hard every single day to move our field forward. We not only want to honor them, we aspire to uphold their work ethic and creativity in our own professional lives.
  2. Recognize excellence. Some of our colleagues set the bar for our field. Let’s recognize and honor those high standards!
  3. Throw a party. Who doesn’t love to clink glasses, shout “Cheers!”, dance, and laugh for hours with our colleagues turned friends? After a long week of networking and sitting in on presentations, we don’t mind using our reception as an excuse to let loose and relax with other professionals in the field.
  4. Say thank you. We wouldn’t be who we are—as a business, as professionals, as individuals—without the ongoing support from our partners. Thank you ALL for your contributions to our field and the success of GoAbroad. It’s fun to connect users to programs when they’re as awesome as our partners’ programs are.


The GoAbroad Innovation Awards are divided into the following categories (see detailed criteria below):

  1. Innovation in Diversity
  2. Innovation in Marketing & Digital Media, Sponsored by Travolucion
  3. Innovative Intern Abroad Program
  4. Innovative Study Abroad Program
  5. Innovative Volunteer Abroad Program
  6. Innovative TEFL / Teach Abroad Program
  7. Innovative Technology
  8. Innovation in Sustainability
  9. Innovation in Philanthropy, Sponsored by the GoAbroad Foundation
  10. Innovation in Alumni Engagement
  11. Innovative Student Video
  12. People’s Choice, Sponsored by Medjet

Nominations are evaluated on their originality, creativity, and contribution of exceptional ideas. An institution or organization may nominate themselves. We encourage your organization and participants to apply for these prestigious awards.

Award Criteria

Innovation in Diversity
This award recognizes strategic efforts to expand international educational opportunities to traditionally underrepresented groups. We encourage submissions from organizations focusing on providing equal access and services to a wide variety of communities including LGBTQIA, diverse abilities, minorities, and other non-traditional groups. Nominations are evaluated on their creativity and scope to promote, provide equal access, and give specialized support to these groups.

Innovation in Marketing & Digital Media, Sponsored by Travolucion
This award recognizes a creative and groundbreaking marketing, advertising, or digital media campaign. The academy will pay special attention to visionary approaches and original ideas. Your submission must detail a specific outreach campaign, social media campaign (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogging, etc.), change in website design or user experience, new print materials, videos, or other strategy. Nominees are evaluated based on originality of campaigns, creativity, and overall success.

Innovative Program (Intern Abroad, Study Abroad, Volunteer Abroad, or TEFL / Teach Abroad)
This award honors an inventive program in study, internships, volunteering, and TEFL or teach abroad that provides a unique opportunity for participant learning and cultural engagement. Evaluation will focus on successful program development and execution, as well as overall creativity. A winner will be chosen for each type of program (study, intern, volunteer, and TEFL / teach abroad). Nominations for virtual/online or hybrid programming will also be accepted.

Innovative Technology
This award recognizes the creation and/or use of an innovative technology or tool specific to international education. This tool may be a technical advancement, a resource, or a device that demonstrates an innovative approach. Nominees are evaluated based on the success of implementing the technology, how it stands out from other resources in the field, and its overall impact to the staff or student experience.

Innovation in Sustainability
This award honors commitment to environmental conservation and/or sustainable community development projects through an organization’s programs and day-to-day operations. Nominees are assessed on overall impact, groundbreaking strategies, and integration of their message.

Innovation in Philanthropy, Sponsored by the GoAbroad Foundation
This award recognizes philanthropic efforts that have impacted an individual, group, or local or global community. Sponsored by the GoAbroad Foundation, the award seeks to honor organizations that demonstrate innovative corporate responsibility and philanthropy. We encourage submissions that profile significant charitable donations, corporate volunteer programs, unique philanthropic campaigns, or any event or program that demonstrates an organization’s philanthropic commitments. Nominations will be evaluated based on originality and the estimated impact on an individual, group or community.

Innovation in Alumni Engagement
This award acknowledges those that prioritize offering creative and effective programs that tap into the enthusiasm of returned participants. What strategies are in place for re-entry programming? Does the organization have a student ambassador program? How engaged are alumni in their post-program personal development or the organization’s marketing initiatives (online reviews, interviews, etc)? Nominations will be evaluated based on successful implementation and a balanced focus on student development and overall impact on business growth.

Innovative Student Video 
This award recognizes a student-created video that captures the true essence of an international education program. Videos should demonstrate highlights of the program, an understanding of global awareness, and active student participation. Unlike the other Innovation Awards, the student video is selected based on the number of votes it receives through an online poll. Nominees will also be evaluated on the quality of video content, creativity, and artistic merit. Videos that exceed this time limit are subject to disqualification. 

People’s Choice, Sponsored by Medjet

This award honors the top international education organization as selected by study abroad professionals and students. The top five finalists in this category are nominated by study abroad advisers from colleges and universities, or other partner organizations. The winner will be determined by popular vote from the GoAbroad community. We would like to thank Medjet for sponsoring this award.