International Education Professional Associations

Professional associations offer people working in international education a network and a source of information and professional development.

Professional associations connect their members through a range of activities to relevant knowledge, industry trends, policies, regulations and workplace support.

They are important for people who are seeking connections with others across institutions, and who are seeking representation for issues of concern.

Professional associations vary in what they offer; prospective members should consider the association that best meets their needs and interests.

We are happy to guide early career international education professionals in choosing the right organisation. Summary information on international education professional associations is below.

For further insight, please make contact.


Two international education professional associations in Australia support professional practice, produce research, report on industry trends and generate knowledge related to international student experience. Membership benefits of these associations include free or reduced-fee access to professional development activities, including conferences.


ISANA: International Education Association was established in 1989. It is the national professional association that represents people working with international students in Australia, with a branch established in 2001 in New Zealand. Members can provide direct input throughthe association into key government strategies and policies that impact on professional work and the lives of international students. ISANA guides and manuals are available online, and members have access to additional resources. Life membership and annual awards acknowledge distinguished contributions by international students and professionals to services and programs.

ISANA has held an annual conference for practitioners working with international students each year since its establishment, providing a rich repository of themed and topical work. Its conference papers are both research and practice-based; emerging researchers are encouraged to present a refereed paper at the annual conference in December. Papers from 2004 are available at and from 1999 at


Formed in 2004, the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) aims to develop professionals and enhance Australia’s international education reputation. IEAA offers an extensive program of activities and much of its research and project information is available online. IEAA prepares to government inquiries and policy consultations.

IEAA and IDP are partners in the annual Australian International Education Conference (AIEC), where current work is presented. IEAA has an award program, recognising outstanding contributions by individuals and teams to international education in Australia. Many AIEC papers are available at

United Kingdom


The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) was formed as The UK Council for Overseas Student Affairs (UKCOSA) in 1965. It is the UK’s national advisory body serving the interests of international students and those who work with them. UKCISA’s membership network spans the education sector,  including every UK university, a range of public and private colleges, schools, students’ unions, and other specialist organisations.

UKCISA members are supported by professional resources, an online manual setting out advice on student support, fees and immigration matters. In addition, UKCISA produces research, conferences, training courses, and a Code of Practice The UKCISA Code of Ethics is intended for all those advising international students, whether or not they have the word adviser in their job title.

UKCISA’s history, Mobility Matters was published in 2008.

United States of America


NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange. NAFSA was founded in 1948 as the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers to promote the professional development of U.S. college and university officials responsible for assisting and advising the 25,000 foreign students who had come to study in the United States after World War II. In 1990, its name changed to NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

NAFSA’s 10,000 members are located at more than 3,500 institutions worldwide, in over 150 countries. NAFSA encourages networking among professionals, convenes conferences and collaborative dialogues. It promotes research and knowledge creation to strengthen and serve the field, supported by policy and professional resources for its members. NAFSA is engaged in advocating issues in immigration, education and foreign policy. It delivers and extensive range of professional training, advisory and outreach programs including a Cuba Engagement Initiative


The Association of International Education Administrators was established in the United States in 1982. It is composed of institutional leaders engaged in advancing the international dimensions of higher education. It is the only association dedicated exclusively to senior leaders, or Senior International Officers (SIO) in the field of international education. AIEA is hosted at the Duke University Center for International and Global Studies (DUCIGS). It holds an annual conference and a Senior Advisers Program that connects experienced and newer advisers.



The Canadian Bureau of International Education dates back to the 1940s and was founded in the postwar years under the banner: Friendly Relations with Overseas Students (FROS) by a group of  students at the University of Toronto. CBIE is the national voice advancing Canadian international education by creating and mobilising expertise, knowledge, opportunity and leadership.

CBIE has a number of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) that comprise individuals with similar interests in international education, including student services, study abroad, research, recruitment and marketing.

CBIE supported the first formal certificate program for international educators in Canada in the 1980s, at the University of British Columbia.



The Japan Association for Foreign Student Affairs (JAFSA) is an association comprised of universities, individuals, and other entities including private firms as supporting members interested in facilitating the internationalisation of education in Japan and around the world. It was established in 1968 as a non-profit, non-governmental, voluntary based organisation. In November 2003, it obtained corporate status from Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Currently, more than 250 universities and organisations, and 40 corporations are members of JAFSA.

The association aims to support professional work in international education, advocates for its members, runs events and activities and works towards building stronger training and networking platforms for international education exchange administrators.



Founded in 1989, the European Association of International Education is a non-profit, member-led organisation serving individuals actively involved in the internationalisation of their institutions through a combination of training, conferences and knowledge acquisition and sharing. We equip academic and non-academic professionals.

EAIE has developed an extensive library of resources for its members. Its training programs cover in-house workshops in leadership, partnerships, student experience, recruitment and admissions, as well as learning, teaching and curriculum. EAIE webinars are available for non-members and have broad relevance for international education professionals.