The 2020 Guide to International Education Conferences

December 04 , 2019

Are you considering attending an international education conference in 2020? Browse through our definitive guide of international education conferences to determine what is the right fit for you or your organization. While a common thread is seen this year influenced by the new decade bringing forth innovation, creativity, and reflection; each conference provides meaningful distinctions in focus and audience. Scroll through to discover the conference that resonates with your needs and goals for this upcoming year.

2020 International Education Conferences Quick Links

UPCEA Annual Conference

APAIE Conference & Exhibition

AACSB International Conference and Annual Meeting

The Forum on Education Abroad Annual Conference

NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo

EMFD Annual Conference

Global Internship Conference

ISTE Conference

Going Global

EAIE Conference and Exhibition


CBIE Annual Conference

AIEA Annual Conference

Annual CCIS Conference

The Forum on Education Abroad European Conference

UPCEA 2020 Annual Conference

Theme: Where the future unfolds.

March 18-20 | Boston, MA, USA

Attendance: 800 | Exhibitors: 50

UPCEA will be hosting its 105th conference this year! At the turn of the decade, this conference is focusing on the leaders of innovation and the changing dynamics of higher education. Transforming the future by uniting to "work together more effectively, share insights more broadly, and face our challenges more cohesively." The annual conference has a high concentration of organization decision-makers, with 76 percent of attendees being deans, directors and other senior officials.

APAIE 2020 Conference & Exhibition

Theme: Bridging Oceans- Internationalization and Higher Education in the Asia-Pacific

March 25-29* | Vancouver, Canada

2,500 Attendees | 200 Exhibitors

The Asia-Pacific Association for International Educators conference will explore the shifting tides of learning and teaching in an internationalized academic environment. Topics include giving access to indigenous people in the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific higher education opportunities, discussing the ever-evolving student body and faculty including newly empowered voices and communities, as well as collaborating and partnerships across the Pacific.

*The conference was postponed due to COVID-19.

AACSB International Conference and Annual Meeting 2020

Theme: Elevating Our Perspectives

April 26-28* | Denver, CO, USA

Attendees: 1,500 | Exhibitors: 52

AACSB aims to guide the next generation of global leaders through business education. This year will be the largest and most diverse conference focusing on heightening and reinvigorating the business school model and addressing new technologies and social impacts.

*The conference was held virtually due to COVID-19.

The Forum on Education Abroad 16th Annual Conference

Theme: Education Abroad at a Crossroads: Actions for a Sustainable Future

March 25-27* | Kansas City, MO, USA

Attendees: Not listed| Exhibitors: 108

The Forum's Annual Conference will highlight the impact that education abroad experiences have not only on the student but on the host communities and institutions, local economies, partners, faculty and program leaders, and the environment. At the conference sessions and workshops will be centered around the theme of making education abroad more sustainable.

*The conference was held virtually on April 21-23, 2020.

NAFSA 2020 Annual Conference & Expo

Theme: Innovate, Influence, Impact

May 24-29** | St. Louis, MO, USA

Attendees: 10,000 | Exhibitors: 350

The NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo is a leader in international education conferences bringing together nearly 10,000 attendees from over 3,500 institutions and organizations from 110+ countries. The scope of the conference targets nearly every sector of international education providing dynamic and pertinent information for all who attend. While the major topics will feature innovations in international education, a new highlight will focus on how international education contributes to and revitalizes local economies.

**The conference was held virtually due to COVID-19.

2020 EMFD Annual Conference

Theme: Embracing the Future: A New Mandate for Business Schools

June 7-9* | Lyon, France

Attendees: 550

EFMD is an international organization that has created a global network for management development in the education sector. The annual conference promotes a dynamic networking community to discuss the challenges of management in education across the globe. Attendees include EFMD members and companies, along with educational institutions from over 90+ countries.

*This conference will now be held virtually on August 31 – September 2.

2020 Global Internship Conference

Theme: Internship Ability: Accessibility, Scalability, Sustainability

June 9-12* | Vancouver, Canada

Attendees: 400 | Exhibitors: Not listed

The Global Internship Conference is an organization committed to broadening the awareness and accessibility of academic work placement and experiential education in an international setting. GIC brings together professionals and researchers to facilitate access to global internships and implementation.

*The conference has been canceled, but GIC has announced that during the days the conference was expected to take place, they will be offering content from the conference in a virtual format. This will be offered free to all who want to attend.

ISTE20 Conference & Expo

Theme: Where Dream It Becomes Do It

June 28-July 1* | Anaheim, CA, USA

Attendees: 16,000 | Exhibitors: 550

The International Society for Technology in Education Conference is globally recognized as one of the largest and most comprehensive educational-focused technology conferences in the world. ISTE's vision is to transform education through a focus on rapidly growing technology and following a framework of ISTE Standards for students, educators, administrators, coaches, and computer science educators to rethink education and create innovative learning environments.

*ISTE20 will be held entirely virtually from Nov. 29 through December 5th.

Going Global 2020

Theme: Global learners, global innovation

June 29-30* | QEII Centre, London, England

Attendees: 1000

Going Global provides a unique platform for industry leaders and innovators of international education to debate and bring forth ideas to better the realm of higher education globally. The annual conference will focus on envisioning the journey of the global learner of the future and how institutions might shape that journey. Attendees consist of university senior-level officials, advisers, government representatives, policy and strategy makers, and international education professionals.

*The conference has been canceled due to COVID-19.

2020 EAIE Conference and Exhibition

Theme: Forging Creative Pathways

September 15-18* | Barcelona, Spain

Attendees: 8,000 | Exhibitors: 230

The European Association for International Education annual conference is the largest of its kind in Europe and provides a forum for professionals to strategically exchange best practices and workable solutions to internationalization challenges. The conference leans into creative and forward-thinking ideas as it explores new avenues to innovate design, delivery, and impact of international education programs.

*The conference has been canceled and will be held in Barcelona in 2022. The conference in 2021 will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden on 07–10 September 2021.

AIEC 2020

Theme: 20/20 Vision: Insights for the Decade Ahead

October 15-18* | Broadbeach, Gold Coast, Queensland

Attendees: 1,300 | Exhibitors: 40-50

The Australian International Education Conference provides a platform for international education professionals to grow their network both in Australia and across the globe while discovering emerging industry trends. Influenced by the new decade, the 2020 annual conference will reflect on lessons learned as well as discuss how international education might evolve and transform in the coming decade.

*This conference has been canceled due to COVID-19.

2020 CBIE Annual Conference

Theme: "CBIE 2020 will be a space for creative leaders and collaborators to expose the issues that institutions are facing, explore the possibilities when it comes to design, delivery, and impact, and forge the way for the innovative pathways of the future."

November 15-18* | Toronto, Canada

Attendees: 900 | Exhibitors: 35+

The Canada Bureau for International Education has put on its Annual Conference for over 50 years. The conference spans across all levels of the education system, to connect with educators across the globe and to deepen engagement with the Canadian education sector at an international level.

*The conference will be held virtually November 16 – 20th.

2020 AIEA Annual Conference 

Theme: Rethinking Comprehensive Internationalization for a Global Generation

February 16 – 19 | Washington, DC, USA 

The Association of International Education Administrators 2020 Annual Conference is considered to be one of the only conferences specifically for those in leadership roles in the sector of international education at higher education institutions.

2020 Annual CCIS Conference

Theme: Overcoming Challenges of Access & Opportunity in Education Abroad

March 17 – 19* | New Orleans, LA, USA 

The Annual CCIS Conference considers itself to be a conference, retreat-style hybrid, offering attendees a unique experience. Attendees will explore the theme to gain insights through interactive sessions and networking.

A few themes of focus include:

  • Overcoming common and frustrating challenges to get students abroad
  • Supporting underrepresented students while abroad
  • Research and assessment of underrepresented students in education abroad
  • Developing programs and international partnerships that increase access and opportunity

*The conference has been rescheduled to Spring 2021 due to COVID-19.

The Forum on Education Abroad's 5th European Conference

Theme: Beyond 2020: Innovative Practices for an Evolving Landscape

October 29-31* | Milan, Italy

Attendees: 400 – 500

The Forum's biennial European conference will take place in Milan this year and focus its main messages about innovation in the field of education abroad. Attendees can expect to address important questions such as how the expectations of students, parents, partners, and other stakeholders changing with regard to education abroad and what the industry can do to address these changes.

*The conference will now be held virtually October 26 – 30.

This article was updated on August 24, 2020, to include new information recently released.

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