Campus Life

Texas A&M Hosts Conference To Advance International Education

Statewide NAFSA meeting will explore navigating through tightening immigration regulations and providing more inclusive education abroad opportunities.
By Caleb Chapman, Texas A&M University Education Abroad February 24, 2020

Six students pose with thumbs up in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Texas A&M sends more students abroad than any other public university in the nation.

Texas A&M University Education Abroad and International Student Services are teaming up to host the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Texas State Conference Feb. 27-28 in the Memorial Student Center. The conference offers training, discussion, and networking opportunities to international education professionals at colleges and universities across the Lone Star State.

Texas A&M has been the #1 public university in the nation in number of students studying abroad for the past four years in a row.

More than 100 participants are expected to attend and will share ideas about various topics and issues affecting international education, including tightened immigration regulations, academic integrity standards, and collaborating across campus to enhance inclusivity.

“We are delighted to host the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Texas State Conference,” said Holly Hudson, executive director of Education Abroad at Texas A&M. “The conference provides us with an opportunity to share how our university’s commitment to global engagement aligns with the mission of NAFSA – supporting international education to develop globally competent citizens and foster understanding and respect among people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives.”

Special guests and speakers include Michael J. Benedik, vice provost and chief international officer at Texas A&M, and Jose Luis Zelaya, an educational consultant and motivational speaker who earned bachelor’s (’11), master’s (M.Ed. ’14) and doctoral (urban education (Ph.D. ’19) degrees at Texas A&M. Zelaya will talk about his immigrant journey to the U.S. at age 13, and how education has shaped his life and his plans for the future.

The conference will also feature student performances from the Aggie Wranglers, Nepalese Student Association, and the China Hong Dance Society. Reveille is also expected to make a special appearance.

Katy Lane ‘02, ‘10 (M.S.), associate director of Education Abroad at Texas A&M, is currently serving as the South Texas representative for NASFA Region III and is heading up the efforts to plan and host the event.

About Education Abroad

Education Abroad promotes and facilitates more than 5,600 international experiences for Aggies annually, making Texas A&M University the nationally-recognized leader among American colleges and universities in the number of students participating in education abroad. Our office is dedicated to developing global citizens and fostering intercultural knowledge and competence by immersing students in foreign cultures.

About International Student Services

Texas A&M University is home to more than 6,000 international students representing nearly 130 nations. International Student Services (ISS) administers a wide variety of services to the Aggie international community that include facilitating U.S. admittance, assisting students during their transition, and accommodating special needs of international students. ISS works to foster international awareness and an appreciation of all cultures by promoting cultural exchange between Texas A&M domestic and international populations.


With more than 10,000 members, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education. NAFSA provides programs, products, services, and a physical and virtual meeting space for the worldwide community of international educators. The association provides leadership to its varied constituencies through establishing principles of good practice and providing professional development opportunities. NAFSA encourages networking among professionals, convenes conferences and collaborative dialogues, and promotes research and knowledge creation to strengthen and serve the field. NAFSA leads the way in advocating for international education opportunities.

Media contact: Katy Lane, Education Abroad, 979-845-0544,

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