Congratulations on your recent voyage abroad!  We know you are excited and brimming with stories of your experiences abroad and insights into your host country’s culture.  Might you be looking for a captive audience with whom to share those experiences, or are you seeking new ways to study, travel, or work abroad again?  If so, then we invite you to attend the Lessons From Abroad Returnee Conference on February 3, 2018 at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia!

Here is the 2017 Conference Schedule for reference. We will post the 2018 schedule closer to the event:

Check-In and Registration 9:00 – 10:00 am

Welcome and Plenary Panel 10:00 – 11:00 am

Networking / Opportunities Fair 11:00 – 11:30 am

Concurrent Sessions I 11:30 – 12:15 pm
Field of TESOL / Teaching English Abroad
          Matt Birgy – International TEFL Academy
          Ben Taylor – JMU Study Group
Showcasing your Experiences: Resume, Cover Letters, Interviews
          Elli Reese – International Studies Abroad
Travel Writing Conference
          Bryan Duncan – Bridgewater College
Graduate School & Opportunities Abroad
          Nkenge Ransom-Friday – SIT Graduate Institute
          Jason Via – Kings College London
          Shannon Farrelly – University College Dublin

Lunch and Opportunities Fair 12:15 – 1:30 pm

Concurrent Sessions II 1:30 – 2:15 pm
Internationally Focused Careers
          Matthew Merritt – Peace Corps
Sarah Carrier – Virginia Commonwealth University
          KC Collazo & Peggy Brozi – State Dept.
Internships Showcasing your Experiences: Resume, Cover Letters, Interviews
          Elli Reese – International Studies Abroad
Working in the Field of International Education
          Sonya Henry – George Mason University
          Karen Wrightsman – George Mason University
          Margaret Walter – University of Virginia

Networking / Opportunities Fair 2:15 – 2:45 pm

Concurrent Sessions III 2:45 – 3:30 pm
Peace Corps Careers
          Matthew Merritt – Peace Corps
Articulating your Study Abroad Experience
          Emily Kane – Longwood University
          Taryn Roberts – James Madison University
          Sarah Carrier – Virginia Commonwealth University
Navigating Reverse Culture Shock Conference
          Larry Hogan – CEA Study Abroad
Identities Abroad
          Martha Sadler – University of Virginia
          Pernell Whitfield – James Madison University
          Sonya Henry – George Mason

University Closing Remarks / Raffle 3:30 – 4:00 pm

Conference highlights include:

  • Meeting other recent study abroad returnees from all over Virginia
  • Hearing from dynamic and motivating keynote speakers
  • Learning how to talk about your newly acquired global skills in a job interview
  • Discovering how you can work or study abroad after graduation
  • Networking with professionals working in internationally-focused jobs
  • Staying connected to and sharing stories about your study abroad experience

This is a great opportunity to network with other students and professionals.  We ask that you dress business casual and bring several copies of your resume.


Registration will open a few months before the event. Students, staff, exhibitors and sponsors are encouraged to check back in early 2018 to register online.

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We hope to see you there! If you have any questions, please email us at

The Lessons From Abroad Virginia Planning Committee


Past LFA Virginia Conferences

03/21/2015, University of Virginia
01/30/2016, Virginia Commonwealth University
02/04/2017, James Madison University

More Links

Virginia Conference Sponsors
Virginia Local Resources