The Ultimate NAFSA 2016 Bucket List


NAFSA 2016 Bucket List


NAFSA is an international educator’s most favorite time of the year: not only do we get to hang out / learn from inspirational people and call it work, but it indicates the beginning of summer and a fresh start to a new season. It reignites our passion for the field, charges us to continue creating opportunities that benefit students, and gives us space for necessary reflections on critiques of what we do.

We may sacrifice our Memorial Day barbecues and boat parties, but we gain so much more (and we don’t just mean ribbons and stickers for your name tag!).


Tick each of these items off of the ultimate NAFSA 2016 bucket list and we’re pretty sure that you’ll have the best week of your life.

  • Pose for a selfie with a new friend
  • Buy your colleague a drink you’ve both never tried – might we suggest New Belgium’s best sour beer La Folie?
  • Share a post online with the #NAFSA16 hashtag to show your support
  • Attend a pre-conference workshop
  • Befriend a newbie or NAFSA first-timer; impart your wisdom 🙂
  • Everyone loves Tina Turner – sing your fave tune at karaoke!
  • Spend one day talking to everyone wearing RED in the Expo Hall
  • Experience Casa Bonita
  • Learn new phrases in as many languages as possible
  • Shake hands with David Brooks
  • Join a special interest group, such as the Rainbow SIG!
  • Pop by the Career Center
  • Cast your vote for a GoAbroad Innovation Award Winner!
  • Sit in on a session outside of your expertise
  • Drink up! We dare you to consume 1 gallon of water daily
  • Wear polka dots just because
  • Have a meaningful conversation about diversity in education abroad
  • Grab your friends and take a group photo with the GoAbroad Bus! (tag #GoAbroadCom & #NAFSA16)
  • Sample wild western fare (like buffalo and rattlesnake!) at the Buckhorn Exchange
  • Sip Stranahan’s Colorado whiskey
  • Strrrrreeeetch it real-good at NAFSA Yoga oon Wednesday morning
  • Watch He Named Me Malala and prepare to be utterly inspired
  • Revel in ice cream perfection at Little Man (Two scoops? Three? No judging)
  • Visit all even numbered booths and ask them how their day is going?
  • Visit all odd numbered booths and ask them what they love about their job?
  • Check out the city views from City Park
  • Personally thank Bryan Stevenson for his contributions to education
  • Find a NAFSA staff member, give ‘em a hug
  • Eat Rocky Mountain oysters (you daredevil, you!)
  • Take an artsy photo of/with Troy Peden’s beard
  • Meet someone from a country you’ve never been to
  • Thank a volunteer for their time and effort!
  • Donate money to a worthy cause
  • Drop your business card into 7 raffles to maximize luck
  • Listen to Gayle Tzemach Lemmon speak about her experiences as a journalist in Afghanistan
  • Race your heart out in TEAN’s annual 5K
  • Put on a brave face and introduce yourself to someone you secretly admire
  • Learn something new about Latin America and the educational opportunities there
  • Take flight!… with a beer sampler from Great Divide Brewing
  • Put your phone away for a day (okay, half the day) and just enjoy your surroundings
  • Ask a question at the end of a session
  • Swing by the Poster Fairs and give feedback to 4 presentations
  • Fight for children’s rights with Kailash Satyarthi!
  • Snag the swag! No limits necessary
  • Arrange a casual meeting with an individual in a similar role at a different company/institution – learn more about their perspectives of the field, their jobs, and what their organization rocks at/can improve upon
  • Keep it healthy! Opt for a salad when you really want a burger
  • Start a flash mob
  • Drink a warm, refreshing (and largely necessary) latte at Novo Coffee
  • Make a point to connect with an organization or person you don’t quite understand
  • Visit booth #1219 and say hi to your friends at GoAbroad!


Be sure to read our top 11 list of things to do in Denver when you aren’t NAFSA-ing and why water should be your BFF during the conference.

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