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Call for Proposals


As the field of international education and cultural exchange seeks to support a more diverse and inclusive student body, the need to identify champions on and off campus and at all levels of the institution- is paramount. How can we drive systemic change so that all students — both domestic and international — can maximize the opportunities that a global educational experience presents towards their academic, interpersonal and career success? Moreover, how can the field become more inclusive and support not only the entry of new and diverse professionals, but encourage progression to leadership positions? Add your voice to the dialogue as we explore these questions at the 8th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference.

The 2020 Diversity Abroad Conference — Amplifying Voices: Moving from Rhetoric to Systemic Change — will be held beginning on Saturday, March 14 and concluding on Tuesday, March 17 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The program will consist primarily of presentations selected through this open call for submissions which include concurrent sessions, deep dives, critical issues sessions, a poster community, as well as invited speakers and panel discussions.


The Diversity Abroad Conference Planning Committee invites session proposals inclusive of diverse perspectives that focus on outbound education abroad, inbound international students, and/or Diversity/Equity/Inclusion with respect to supporting the retention and advancement of professionals from diverse backgrounds and increasing the competencies of all professionals to advance inclusive excellence. Additionally, all sessions present the opportunity for researchers to share their emerging work and how research or theory can inform practice. With this in mind, presenters are expected to identify which track applies to each proposed session:

Inclusive Advising and Student Success

Student success is a shared goal on college campuses as well as within the organizations who support them. To ensure international programs lead to greater student success, academically, interpersonally, and professionally, it’s critical that the advising and support structures in place are inclusive and address the needs of diverse students. This track will explore inclusive practices for advising and support of diverse and underrepresented students before, on-site, and after participating in international programs. Additionally, it explores how various campus units, such as diversity & multicultural offices, career centers, disability or TRiO offices, have a role in supporting on-campus international students and student success through international programs.

Program & Funding Models

Both funding and program development are important to consider as we identify best practices for increasing access and inclusion in global education. Funding is often cited as one of the key challenges students of all backgrounds face to participating in study abroad programming. Furthermore, programs with inclusive curricular and co-curricular activities may be more attractive to students from diverse and underrepresented  backgrounds. In this track, participants will consider what innovative approaches to funding can be employed to provide greater access to encourage students from a broad range of backgrounds to participate in global education opportunities.

Collaborative Leadership & Strategic Partnerships

International education offices and organizations benefit from formalizing current diversity and inclusion efforts into a cohesive plan to broaden access and engender inclusion in global education. This track will examine the process and components of engaging multiple institutional stakeholders to develop a diversity and inclusion strategy, as well as how to develop inclusive and comprehensive strategies in global education.

Outreach, Marketing, & Recruitment

When recruiting, marketing, and conducting outreach to students for international programs opportunities, it is important to consider how the methods and messages we use reach and resonate with students of diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. This track engages in these important considerations by examining how diverse students may have interests or concerns that are not clearly satisfied through existing marketing and recruitment efforts for international programs.

International & Exchange Student Advising and Programming

The number of international & exchange students continues to rise on many college campuses around the country. Some college campuses have been criticized for their lack of support in creating a welcoming climate for these students. Furthermore, many international students may spend years in this country without interacting with or developing an understanding of the many diverse communities that exist in the United States. This track explores ways to  support this cohort in a more impactful manner and how to engage them in education abroad opportunities.

High School Students

As we consider systemic approaches to ensure access and support for diverse and underrepresented student populations in education abroad, it is necessary to include conversations in global education as early as possible in a student’s academic career. This track addresses this need for early action by considering how educators can ensure that students are exposed to global education opportunities throughout the K12 “pipeline.”

Perspectives from Minority Serving Institutions

As international education becomes more ingrained into the fabric of higher education many Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) are engaged in innovative activities to ensure their students have the skills and knowledge to be successful in the global market. This track explores innovative practices, research, program models and current trends from colleagues at MSIs or those who partner with MSIs on inbound and outbound international education.

Hiring, Belonging, & Career Advancement

Aside from the direct work international educators do to reach and support diverse and underrepresented students, the goal of inclusive excellence also impacts the climate within organizations and offices. The field of international education is not nearly as diverse as the students it serves. This track will explore inclusive excellence with respect to hiring practices, training and development, career advancement, mentorship, and allyship within international education as well as balancing career advancement and health/wellness for diverse professionals.

Fundamentals of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Higher Education

This tracks features sessions designed to advance learning and collaborative exchange related to core topics in Diversity/Equity/Inclusion. Example sessions may focus on key theoretical frameworks for supporting under-represented minorities in higher education learning environments (critical race theory, belonging, etc), research supporting diverse learning environments, emerging social movements impacting global LGBTQI+ communities, and historical significance and modern-day goals of Minority-serving Institutions.



These “Tracks” provide a framework for participants of the conference to better understand the content of the session, especially for those seeking to specialize in one or more broad area.

Submission Format

Concurrent Session

Please note: Concurrent Session submissions MUST include multiple presenters for full consideration

Concurrent sessions must involve a minimum of two and up to four presenters in the presentation. Concurrent sessions are either 60-minutes or 75-minutes sessions which will be determined by the Conference Planning Committee. Presenters are encouraged to collaborate with colleagues and professionals from different campus units/offices and/or with colleagues from other institutions, both U.S. and non-U.S., for greater consideration.

Deep Dive Session

Deep Dive Session submissions MUST include multiple presenters for full consideration

A Deep Dive session provides an opportunity for the presenter(s) to involve participants in interaction through hands-on activities and discussions. Deep Dive sessions are 120 minutes, including breaks and time for action planning. Deep Dive session submissions are expected to include a chair and have no more than three (3) additional presenters.

Poster Community

The Poster Community is intended to encourage conference attendees to explore emerging themes in global education, diversity, and inclusion through interactive dialogue and visual representations (infographics, pictures, graphs, etc.). Proposals may encompass a broad range of topics such as: Multicultural Student Experiences, Promising Practices/Case Studies, and research. Presenters will present their work concurrently during a 60-minute interactive session.

Critical Issues

Critical Issues will involve multiple 10-12 minute presentations related to one of the overarching themes. Accepted presentations will be assigned to a moderated Critical Issues Session (50 minutes total). Moderators (identified by Diversity Abroad) will facilitate 15 minutes of Q & A to address audience questions after all 3 presentations are finished. Presenters must develop a tool/reading list/resource/framework that can be shared with the attendees. For example, a session focused on inclusive hiring may include a sample interview rubric to mitigate bias.

Click to view topic areas

Target Audience

  • Each submission will be expected to note the anticipated level of understanding and knowledge necessary to meaningfully engage in the session content:
    • Entry level sessions should address basic topics of diversity and inclusion in global education, require little to no experience with the content of the session, and include information that is relevant to entry level professionals.
    • Intermediate level sessions should require some level of understanding or experience with the topics covered in the session and advance the conversation beyond the basics of the topic covered.
    • Advanced level sessions should cover material that require advanced understanding of the topic or theme and include information that is relevant for senior level administrators and educators.


  • Proposal submissions will be accepted through August 23, 2019 at 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time.
  • Participation limits. To promote broad participation in the Annual Conference, an individual may not appear as primary presenter or chair on more than two submissions. An individual may not appear as a participating presenter on more than three submissions
  • All participants whose proposals are accepted for a session (chairs and panelists where applicable) are required to register for the Annual Conference by the early bird deadline and attend the Conference to present their scheduled session. The Diversity Abroad Conference is unable to accommodate virtual presenters.
  • General inquiries regarding the Annual Conference may be addressed to conference@diversityabroad.org or by phone +1-510-982-0635 ext. 707. Confirmation notices are scheduled to be sent in late September.


The 6th annual Global Student Leadership Summit (GSLS), which takes place in conjunction with the 8th Annual Diversity Abroad Conference, March 14-17, 2020, will be accepting external proposals. Sessions should support the growth of our student participants’ identity and leadership development and help them to process their global experience in order to leverage it for their career readiness. We are excited to receive proposals to increase the impact of GSLS in 2020!

GSLS Proposal Information

Target Audience

All program proposals submitted for the Global Student Leadership Summit (GSLS) should be designed for a student audience. Our participants are high achieving and enjoy being challenged. They want to go deep and walk away with tangible skills, action items, or resources to support their on-going learning.

Sessions should focus on Personal Identity, Leadership Identity, or Career Readiness. Global education should be the lens in which all sessions are designed and we ask our students to speak from and engage in all of these conversations with their identities in mind.

Presenter Information

In implementing a Call for Proposals for the 6th Annual GSLS we want to provide the opportunity for professionals who can support our participants growth, personally and professional and help them process how their global experience can support that growth. We are looking for presenters who want to actively engage with student leaders and aid in supporting the next generation in their journeys.

Session Formats

Critical Conversations on Personal Identity

The critical conversations series begins with a group wide foundations session before breaking off into smaller groups to engage in a skill-building session or dialogue around one aspect of personal identity. Sessions should have a minimum of two presenters and are 90 minutes long. Please take into consideration the benefit of having diverse perspectives amongst your facilitators in order to support the many identities participating in this activity.

Critical Conversations on Leadership Identity

The critical conversations series begins with a group wide foundations session before breaking off into smaller groups to engage in a skill-building session or dialogue around one aspect of leadership identity. Sessions should have a minimum of two presenters and are 90 minutes long. Please take into consideration the benefit of having diverse perspectives amongst your facilitators in order to support the many identities participating in this activity.

Concurrent Workshop (Identity, Leadership, Career Readiness)

A concurrent workshop allows time for students to dig deeper into one aspect of identity, leadership, or career readiness through hands-on activities and discussions. Workshops are 60 minutes and should be interactive and go beyond the basics. Submission should have a chair and no more than two presenters (one presenter is acceptable).

Please note the same guidelines and timeline noted above apply for the Global Student Leadership Summit. Proposal submission will be accepted through August 23, 2019 at 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time.