31st May – 3rd June 2022 — Study in Greece (SiG) participated in the NAFSA2022 exhibition, in Denver, Colorado, USA. Association of International Educators (NAFSA) is the world’s largest and most diverse nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange, working to advance academic policies and practices internationally and inter-continentally. This exhibition provides different opportunities, such as academic networking opportunities and advocating for international education, to all the exhibitors.
There were more than 200 exhibitors who attended this exhibition, presenting all kinds of higher education institutions from more than 50 countries. As the only official representative of Greek Public Higher Education Institutions, Study in Greece (SiG) offered stellar services in order to attract international students to Greek Public higher education institutions, develop international partnerships, and optimize the design of the national higher education strategy for extroversion.
During this exhibition, SiG’s mission was to acquaint the visitors with all the actions, new measures, and possible initiatives that are conducted and considered regarding the internationalization of Greek higher education.
These actions, measures, and initiatives are:
- The new bill on the extroversion and internationalization of Public Higher Education Institutions in Greece.
- More options about joint degrees, internships, and as well as summer schools/short-term study abroad programs.
- The digital platform development by SiG, such as the platform of all English-language Master’s and Bachelor’s programs, the virtual event platform, the academic bridging platform-MatSiG, the Helpdesk ticketing system, and scholarships.
- The promotion of national culture and history, and the national higher education strategies and activities for internationalization and extroversion. These strategies are, but not limited to, recruitment of international students; offering study abroad and foreign language programs; developing alliances, researching partnerships and joint programs; curriculum internationalization; creating remote communications through digital platforms for the academics all over the globe.
- The International Academic Partnership Program (IAPP) and collaboration with the Institute of International Education (IIE)
- Facilitating academic recognition of titles and qualifications awarded by foreign Higher Education Institutions through the Interdisciplinary Organization (NARIC/DOATAP).
Meanwhile, with the effort, Study in Greece attracted lots of exhibition visitors to SiG’s booth. They were not only individual academics, study abroad organizations, and officers from international affairs departments of American universities, but also educational agents from many countries, who showed great interest in Study-in-Greece and were amazed by our work.
The following stood out among them:
- Deputy Assistant Secretary for Academic Affairs from the State Department, USA,
Mr. Ethan Rosenszweig, expressed his unlimited admiration and numerous
support for the work that has been done by SiG.
- Campus France
- Fulbright Foundation
- The US Embassy in Greece
- The mission of Turkiye (Study in Turkiye), which conducted a reconnaissance-
exploratory visit and discussion
Through the interactions with the visitors, important agreements and prospects for cooperation emerged, specifically with education service providers, educational agents and other organizations involved in the promotion of countries and their universities. Among them, special mention is given to the cooperation with Studyportals.com which has undertaken the promotion of countries as it has done so far with The Netherlands, Sweden, Israel, and other countries.
By attending this exhibition, we realized an important strategy followed by many countries (Italy, Portugal, Japan, Spain, Australia, Turkiye etc.) was the participation as a single entity of the country, as a Study in (country) that is, while also having individual booths for every university of the respective country. As a result, visitors had the opportunity to be more informed about the curricula and to be answered their questions, by meeting representatives of each university. Thus, there was a great attendance of visitors at the stands of these countries. This approach is suggested unreservedly to be adopted by Greece, given the large interest that exists, giving Greek universities an even greater competitive advantage.
Another interesting and exciting finding was the fact that Greece is a very popular destination for the American people and the academic community, as many study abroad officers wish to organize, while students of many universities wish to attend study abroad programs in Greece and, in fact, in a Greek university, a possibility that did not exist until now. At the same time, many study abroad officers and academics are in search of alternative European destinations, apart from the traditional ones, with an emphasis on Greece.
With the efforts so far, through the actions that are implemented and the digital systems developed and operated by Study in Greece, Greece is now in a prominent position on the world academic map! That is why it is very important and crucial for Greece to continue to participate in international exhibitions and especially in NAFSA, in the name of promoting the Greek Public Universities with consistency and continuity.
Next NAFSA2023 will be held in Washington DC, from 30-5/2-6, 2023.