Explore 5 Trending Topics in the Field of Education Abroad

The field of education abroad continues to adapt to the emerging challenges and opportunities that arise globally. To stay on top of these ever-changing topics, it is important for the international education community to seek professional development opportunities that allow them to gain knowledge and skills that will best prepare them and their students for successful experiences abroad.

The Forum on Education Abroad is committed to cultivating educators who champion high-quality education abroad experiences that ignite curiosity, impact lives, and contribute to a better world. In planning for their 2023 Annual Conference in Seattle from March 22-24 and online from March 14-15, The Forum asked the education abroad community what they saw as the most important themes and topics to address this year. 

Here’s five of the 10 themes that are emerging as trending topics in education abroad in 2023:

5 trending topics in education abroad in 2023 

1. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)

From thoughtful program development to inclusive internal strategies, and everywhere in between, EDI needs to be embedded within the structure of our organizations. This year, consider how you and your organization can better support historically marginalized students and colleagues in education abroad.

Dive deeper into specific aspects of EDI with half-day pre-conference workshops on First Generation and Education Abroad: Strategy, Support, and Asset Based Pedagogy, Mental Health Through the Lens of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and more concurrent sessions both in Seattle and online.

2. Student Learning and Development

It is no surprise to see student learning and development as a popular topic for sessions on The Forum’s Annual Conference schedule. Beyond the classroom, education abroad professionals are focused on creating high-quality global academic experiences.

The schedule includes sessions such as Cultures of Change: How Pre-Freshman and Freshman Year Abroad Diversifies Campus Culture and International Education’s Big Ambitions: Designing New Venues for Effective Global Learning.

While student learning and development goals may vary depending on your institution, the UN’s fourth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) “to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” is core to the work our field does. 

Learn more about Using SDG4 to Advance Learning for Sustainable Development in Education Abroad with a half-day pre-conference workshop.

3. Health, Safety, and Well-Being

In our post-pandemic world, we’re entering a new era of global health awareness in international education. Stay up to date on the latest best practices for supporting your students’ physical and mental health and safety while abroad.

The Forum’s Annual Conference includes sessions A Public Health Approach to Student Mental Health and Wellness Planning and Sleepless in Seattle: What Keeps You Up at Night? – Creating an Action Plan to Conquer Your Fears.

Register for the Health, Safety & Well-Being pre-conference workshop to learn more about mitigating risk. As a bonus, you can use this workshop towards your Professional Certification in Education Abroad.

4. Mission, Goals, Strategy, and Advocacy

Intentionally taking time to step away from your day-to-day work can often provide the mental space to think about higher level mission, goals, strategy, and advocacy. Whether you’re creating physical space by traveling to Seattle or blocking off two days to attend the virtually, The Forum’s Annual Conference provides ample opportunity to back away from the nitty-gritty and examine the larger picture. 

Tune in for The State of The Forum and the Field during the virtual conference or attend in-person sessions such as Re-imagining Internships through the Lens of Social Justice and Pathways Forward and Portfolio Pandemonium: an objective and strategic approach to reviewing, selecting, and adding to your institutional education abroad program portfolio to learn from and alongside strategic leaders in the field.

5. Professional Development and Training

In a competitive talent landscape, education abroad leaders are considering how they can continue to invest in current employees to retain talent and how to diversify the education abroad talent pipeline. Individual professionals are also thinking about how to develop their personal brand and upskill in their careers through trainings and workshops.

Kick-start your professional development in 2023, and register today for The Forum on Education Abroad Annual Conference! With more than 60+ sessions that explore these five trending topics and more, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to upskill with fellow attendees. Don’t delay—registration rates increase after February 17, 2023.

We get it: Sometimes advocating for the opportunity to participate in professional development and conference experiences can be difficult…but you’re worth it! Download this Word doc template that includes an email to help you make the ask to your manager.

More About The Forum’s Annual Conference

Held every year, this multi-day event includes an ideal mix of upskilling and networking opportunities, complete with plenary sessions, concurrent sessions, community connections, and more.

The Annual Conference is esteemed for its high-quality content, its critical conversations focused exclusively on education abroad, and the pathways it presents for partnership-building (view our list of 80+ exhibitors and become one!). This must-attend event also includes a celebration of colleagues and students with the presentation of Forum awards. 

Learn more about the Annual Conference!

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