About HEP 2019

Join international educators, administrators and stakeholders from across the Americas in tropical Guanacaste, Costa Rica,to build strong, new partnerships for internationalization.

“Inclusion and Sustainability”

This year’s Higher Education Partnership conference will focus on how to encourage Inclusion and Sustainability in the field of international education as frameworks for cross-cultural programs and partnerships.

Considering both the social and environmental context of the HEP 2019 conference in Central America as well as Costa Rica’s successful models for international collaboration and ecotourism, we invite conference participants and presenters to engage with this year’s theme and think strategically about how programs in international education can be more inclusive and sustainable. We hope to call attention to the ways in which partnerships and exchange programs between universities, community colleges, technical schools and other higher education institutions can be inclusive of diverse participants, communities, groups, and geographic regions. We encourage a deep exploration of the term “sustainable” both in the temporal sense of successful long-term programs and partnerships, as well as the environmental sense of eco-friendly and “green” initiatives in international education.

We invite interested presenters to submit proposals that resonate with our 2019 theme, with the possibility to address one or some of the key-words below.


  • How can the higher education community promote programs that cover a variety of topics and experiences and also include program participants from diverse regions and communities? How can vulnerable communities gain access to programs in international education? How can programs in international education consider the diverse needs of participating countries?


  • What opportunities in international education are available to women and marginalized groups? How can we promote STEM and international programs for all groups. How can programs in international education be inclusive of people who identify as LGBTQI+?

  • In a region in which woman and children from migrant communities face many challenges, how can the international education community support and provide opportunities for this vulnerable group?


  • How can the international education community be strengthened and expanded across borders to include more communities across the Americas? How do programs in international education foster new leadership opportunities for community members? What sort of innovative spaces can facilitate collaboration between communities across the western hemisphere?


  • How can programs in international education address climate change? How might climate change affect the way in which programs in international education are structured? How can we continue to build programs that are sustainable and respond to the various environmental and social changes of our time.


  • How can we continue to create innovative and pragmatic partnerships for a successful future of international collaboration in the field of higher education? How can we break the traditional model of study abroad programs and create innovative spaces in which a broader and more diverse group of students and faculty can participate?

The conference will also feature a participative, interactive format in which attendees get to share their own experiences and learn directly from their international peers.


  • Develop or maintain partnerships for your institution

  • Lead or advance internationalization on your campus

  • Work in or support any aspect of an international education office

  • Provide services or products that support the field of international education

  • Would like to expand your network of international peers


  • Structured time for one-on-one partnership building meetings scheduled in advance or at the event through a dynamic event app.

  • Support from Partners of the Americas staff to identify potential partners based on your institution’s programs and interests.

  • Unique opportunities to collaborate with peers from across the Americas in a personalized and accessible format.

  • Opportunities to formalize and announce partnerships on the spot, at the event.

  • Renowned keynote speakers, rich panel discussions and impactful sessions and trainings facilitated by leaders in the field of internationalization.

  • A fully bilingual format, with English-Spanish simultaneous interpretation available in all sessions.

  • Over the past two HEP conferences over 200 attendees represented 14 countries in the Western Hemisphere and abroad with an almost 50/50 split of English speaking and Spanish speaking nations.

  • HEP 2018 welcomed a diversity of participants from technical colleges, vocational schools, community colleges, and Universities.