A showcase of FIGT Members' written work, focusing on the issues we study, the best practices we share, and the strategies we provide to support expatriates and cross cultural individuals and their families. Contributions are a privilege for Small Business and Corporate membership levels only and you can submit up to 3 posts per year. Please use our online form below to submit a blog for consideration or contact blogeditor@figt.org.

  • 19 Nov 2021 3:35 PM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    In our FIGT Focus on Career, FIGT member Nikki Cornfield shares how her global journey uprooted her career path, but led her on a journey to find her authentic self.

    By Nikki Cornfield

    As a newlywed and in the first bloom of pregnancy, the paint was barely dry on the wall in our beloved new home when he dropped the bombshell question- 

    “So how do you fancy living overseas?” 

    The question hung heavy in the air between us. 

    I was in the glorious nesting phase, and finally putting down roots after a career in the skies.  We were still reeling from the shock of 9/11, swiftly followed by the collapse of Enron, and his career; two bowling balls that had been thrown in our path sending us in a spin and the search for work. This was a time before the internet, a time before online working and a time before the term ‘global nomad’ or ‘expat’ were commonly  known.  

    I followed him to The Netherlands with a six-week-old baby, in the middle of winter and to a house I had never seen. Who was that woman? I don’t recognize her now.  

    I was naïve then, I hadn’t put much priority on what I wanted, my own dreams and aspirations I had somehow allowed to be pushed to one side. I remember the grief of leaving everything I loved behind. Without any secure foundations, those delicate first few months of transitions into motherhood were traumatic. This was the slippery slope to post-natal depression and the first layers of unresolved grief to be laid.  In a time before zoom, messenger, and social media, my life in each new country was at the beginning isolating, a blank slate to fill. Communication to friends and family overseas not the ease it is today. Not having a portable career proved my downfall but this was a time before online business was the norm. I took opportunities as they came along, spontaneity opened doors. Often, this happened without me even looking for them.  

    And sometimes, the best opportunities were the ones that didn't feel like "opportunities" at all. The freedom of time and choice meant I didn’t miss a single second of my children growing up. I was there for it all. It also allowed me time to travel, to explore places and be with my family in the long summer hols back home. I had time to study, try new things, just for the hell of it. 

    So, I don't look back with regrets, or wish I’d done things differently. I made decisions with what I had at the time.

    Have there been tears? Bucketfuls. 

    Laughter? So much. 

    New friendships? Too many to count! Some beautiful, some short, some intense and long lasting.  

    Lessons and education? Yes, along with a deep respect for anyone regardless of race, background and education. 

    Sadness and grief? Yes...

    ...but it’s all part of the human experience.

    Loss and a sense of missing out on family, special events, and life back home is an inevitable part of expat life.

    Was it worth it in the end?

    Yes. 100%. 

    I would not be who I am today, if I had stayed put. I love the lenses through which I now view the world. They are clear, wide reaching and have a depth and clarity on the important things that make life special. And I have a memoir written that without my journey would not exist. It is through the journey after all, that we find the road home to our authentic self.

    So where am I now in my career? Right at the beginning and a feeling that I was left behind. A good dose of frustration and a feeling of not quite knowing where I fit in to this new fast paced online world. But, I am building my career, my way, and my unique experiences give me strength, and confidence as I move forward. 

    “So how do you fancy living overseas?” 

    To anyone facing this same question, my message is one of preparation. Don’t do what I did and become unhappier with each move, less and less confident and falling completely off the bottom ring of the career ladder. Instead, ask the questions, voice your needs, they are just as important regardless of your earning capabilities.  

  • 02 Nov 2021 4:10 PM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    FIGT member, Daniela Draugelis, explains how a strategic volunteering can make a difference in someone else's life, while also giving your own career a boost in the right direction. 

    By Daniela Draugelis

    Michelle Obama said, “Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” Making a difference through volunteering is a great way to merge purposeful work while at the same time adding value to your career. 

    Many expat spouses find themselves unable to work when they arrive in a new country due to the lack of a work visa or work permit, which can lead to disappointment and frustration, and a sense of loss. However, strategic volunteering offers an opportunity to maintain or even develop new skills while making a difference by giving back to an organization or community. 

    Strategic volunteering is essentially volunteering with a goal in mind. Not only are you giving back to an organization and its constituents by donating your time and energy, but you are also gaining new experience, skills, and connections. This targeted volunteering approach can in turn help propel your career in the right direction when you move to your next destination or repatriate back home. 

    To ensure strategic volunteering benefits your career goals, consider the following:

    Decide what skills you would like to enhance or develop

    Think about your past experiences, research the skills you might need in the future if you were to start your own business or shift careers. It is during volunteer pursuits that you can develop the leadership, public speaking or presentation skills you always longed for. Sometimes expat assignments are great opportunities to pause, explore and try something new. Take advantage of the opportunity that being in a new country gives you to learn a new language! 

    Pick causes that interest you

    If your ultimate goal is to work with a specific constituent (i.e. children, the elderly, etc.) or issue (i.e. mental health, animal rescue, etc.), try to find organizations in your host country that serve those groups. Try to find publications, talk to people at the international schools, embassies, churches, who may be able to help you find these organizations. Some International schools also offer great opportunities for parents to volunteer through their Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) to get involved in activities like fundraising, event planning, hosting events for arriving families, managing the gift shop, etc. Leverage your network to find the opportunities that fit you best. 

    Find an opportunity and organization that fits your goals

    When selecting a volunteer opportunity, take the time to consider other factors like: how much time are you willing to commit? Do you prefer larger or smaller organizations? How much travel is required? Are you willing to take on a leadership role, or do you prefer to be a member of a team where others lead? Whichever option you choose, know that the organization will be grateful for the time and effort you put into it. 

    Start your own volunteer venture

    Maybe you identify an opportunity to serve a segment of the community that is currently not being addressed, or you have a brilliant idea to start your own volunteer organization! You may propose your own passion 

    project or a new volunteer role to an existing nonprofit organization. One of the great benefits of the constant change in the expatriate community is the endless flow of new ideas that help these organizations grow. 

    Ideally, in order to make the most of these strategic volunteer opportunities, you will want to make sure that you are producing measurable outputs that can be translated into accomplishment statements on your resume, so you can add these new skills to your resume and LinkedIn profile.

    In the end, you will find that employers highly value recently gained professional skills and experiences, whether they are acquired from a paid job or in a volunteering role. But the most important thing is that your volunteer experience will allow you to walk away knowing that you made a difference in other people’s lives. 

  • 02 Nov 2021 4:01 PM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    Families in Global Transition would like to thank multi-year Silver Sponsor American Psychologist for their support of our organization and our broader global community.

    Dr. Mark Burdick is a dual-credentialed educational and licensed psychologist in the US, a UK Chartered Psychologist, and an EU Agent and Independent Educational Consultant well versed about services, programs and schools for families living around the globe.

    As founder of American Psychologist / Burdick Psychological and Placement Services, Mark runs a family-based, concierge psychological services provider, consultancy, and education and treatment placement agency that has been providing solutions to expats for over 30 years.

    So what has driven Mark to sponsor at the Silver level?

    “As an adult Third Culture individual myself, and a psychologist conducting international services, I have found FIGT the one and only place where we talk openly about the possible downside of overseas life.”

    During 2020 and 2021, Mark was joined in sponsoring by colleague Steven DeMille, Ph.D. LCMHC. As Executive Director of RedCliff Ascent, Steven specializes in wilderness-based family therapy and has contributed a chapter on the its practical use in Family Therapy with Adolescents in Residential Treatment.

    FIGT is appreciative of Mark, Steven, and American Psychologist as a Silver sponsor, and their work in the world.

  • 09 Oct 2021 1:27 PM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    As part of our FIGT Focus on Career, FIGT member Petra Canan Trudell shares how living internationally caused her to build a career better than she could have imagined. 

    By Petra Canan Trudell

    We all dream of the day we’ll start our first “big kid” job. That first opportunity to showcase our talents and start building a career—and a life—we can be proud of. The culmination of so many years of study and training.

    But what if that first opportunity doesn’t come? Or if it does, what if it doesn’t last very long? 

    For me, graduating into a recession and an industry in freefall made it all that harder to land a role that made me feel like a real adult with real responsibilities. And once I did, I never would have predicted that in less than two years, I would walk away from all of it.

    As a kid, I only ever wanted to be one thing: a journalist. I grew up watching the nightly news with my parents, soaking in every local and national story. My first hero was pioneering female investigative reporter Nellie Bly and it’s safe to say my first love was Peter Jennings of ABC World News Tonight. I imitated Barbara Walters in my bedroom mirror and wrote for my student newspapers from elementary school through college.

    But on the day of my graduation in 2009 from Michigan State University—home to one of the top five journalism schools in the U.S.—I had zero job prospects and fewer plans. In the year and a half that followed, I bounced from city to city and internship to internship hearing the same line: “You’re amazing, but we don’t have any money to hire you.”

    So I moved back to my home state and took a copywriting job, determined to keep writing until something I really wanted came along. And in no time at all, I fell into a comfortable routine. I had a salary and eventually a team of my own to manage. I was finally on a more set path, until an opportunity came along that my new husband and I couldn’t pass up: the chance to move from Detroit, Michigan to Tokyo for a promotion my husband was offered. A fellow journalist, the chance to report from abroad was a dream to come true for him. I was so proud and, if I’m being honest, more than a little jealous.

    Given that my current role wasn’t the one I’d hoped for anyway, the decision to leave was easy, at least at first. I never could have predicted how difficult the transition would be going from working full time—sometimes multiple jobs at the same time—to having nearly nothing to do all day. With no Japanese language skills, I didn’t have a clue what opportunities did or didn’t lay ahead of me in our new home and the pressure quickly overwhelmed me. I spent much of our first year in Japan working through a bout of depression that kept me mostly shut away in our small apartment, insisting to everyone back home I was perfectly fine.

    I felt my identity—the one I’d dreamt up and worked for ever since I was a little girl watching news magazines on Friday nights—had been stripped away, leaving behind a smiling, nodding “trailing spouse.” I was at the beginning of my career, but the moment I collected my visa marked “Dependent” it already felt over.

    Thankfully, I met some amazing women who not only understood the identity crisis I found myself in at only 27 years old, but who extended lifeline after lifeline and opportunity after opportunity wherever they could. One introduction led to another and eventually I found a full-time schedule of contract work for multiple clients, which ended up being the perfect fit. I loved the freedom of managing my own time but also felt I was contributing equally to our household. I ended up building an ideal work-life balance that fulfilled me professionally and personally. 

    But in the three moves that have followed, detaching my identity from my work is something I still struggle with. Especially as a woman, we fight so hard for a place at the table, that to get up and leave it—voluntarily or not—feels terrifying and almost ludicrous. The majority of people who fall under the label “trailing spouse” are women and at times it can feel like we’re constantly fighting against stereotypes like being “kept,” or having our achievements glossed over when standing next to our spouses. 

    But the work we do—in whatever form it takes—matters.

    While I was proud of the work I did in Japan professionally, I was most proud of the confidence I gained in myself throughout my three years living there. I was thankful for the opportunity to forge my own path and glad I decided not to let myself, my talents and everything I’d worked for fade into the background. Now on my second international assignment, I feel better prepared to advocate for myself and make the connections necessary to keep my career moving forward, however nontraditional it may be.

    It’s not the career path I dreamt of, but in a lot of ways it’s better than anything I could have imagined.

  • 07 Oct 2021 1:05 PM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    As a non-profit organization operating worldwide, many people recognize that the survival of Families in Global Transition depends in large part on membership fees and any profits earned from our annual conferences. 

    But did you know that there is a third factor essential to our growth and success? It’s sponsorship: investing financially in FIGT at a higher level.

    First and foremost, sponsoring means partnering with FIGT. 

    It demonstrates your business or organization’s involvement with, commitment to, and investment in our mission, our values, our membership, and the broader worldwide community we support. 

    Sponsorship also offers increased visibility year-round, showcasing you, your mission, and your efforts. Not only being featured and having special privileges at our annual conference, but throughout the entire year.

    Popular Sponsorship packages include the Platinum, Gold and Silver levels. Customized, higher-level corporate packages are available as well. We even offer a lower-cost, digital-only option as a Patron.

    We believe that good sponsorship builds on membership, so each level (with the exception of Patron) includes membership as well as conference attendance. 

    Interested in becoming an FIGT sponsor, or would like to learn more? We welcome you contacting sponsorship@figt.org for a relaxed, no-pressure conversation about how we might partner together. 

    Our sponsors know when they’ve found the right fit, and we do, too.

    Come join us!

  • 05 Oct 2021 3:09 PM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    The FIGT community welcomes new members to its Board, beginning October 1st. In this post, incoming Secretary Maryam Afnan Ahmad answers a few questions about herself and what excites her about her new role.

    Can you please briefly describe your FIGT role?

    The Executive Secretary is part of the four person Executive Committee which oversees the working of the Board so that it is aligned with strategy and bylaws. 

    This role works closely with the Communications team, essentially coordinating between them and the Ex Comm. The Communications Co-Directors and their team are really dynamic people and I look forward to working with them. 

    The secretary is also ‘record keeper’ of minutes for both Ex Comm and Board.

    What inspired you to stand for this particular office?

    A lot of exciting possibilities are opening up for FIGT with the pandemic providing a host of new ideas as well as its challenges. I put in my nomination knowing that I wanted to be involved in strategy and implementation with an organization I loved.

    Anything you particularly hope to accomplish this year? What do you look forward to?

    My predecessor, Trisha Carter, is amazing, and has set very high standards. My first year will be a learning year, to learn about how I can add value to the organization. There are some exciting initiatives taking place and it will be wonderful being involved. 

    Additionally I would particularly love to contribute to increasing our inclusivity and reach, both for our audience and members. 

    Your favorite thing about being a part of FIGT? 

    It is always inspiring to meet people who encountered obstacles and challenges and chose to use their experiences to make something better so that those who follow them have an easier time with the same challenges. FIGT is built around such intentions and people. Being involved at FIGT is my source of inspiration and also a safe space of belonging.

    Can you share a random piece of info about yourself?

    I hated cooking and never learned it growing up. I first started cooking when we arrived in Beijing. In a year or so, one of my first initiatives was to organize a Pakistani cooking class along with a friend. It was quite the surprise for family and friends since I was very new to cooking myself! 

    I actually did quite well at it and it was one of my favorite Beijing memories, though I am still not too fond of cooking.

    Please share some words of wisdom for FIGT members and globally mobile people in general.

    Step out of your silo, empathise, listen to others’ stories and also tell your own. 


    Do you have any thoughts on how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the global community?

    Before Covid 19 it was inconceivable to millions that collaboration and learning could take place online. This unique event has opened up possibilities for making both more cost effective and therefore hopefully a little more inclusive. The challenge is for us to capitalize on that opportunity to invite more people and voices to every forum.

  • 03 Oct 2021 3:05 PM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    The FIGT community welcomes new members to its Board, beginning October 1st. In this post, incoming Scholarship Director Adam Geller answers a few questions about himself and the important role of Pollock Scholars. 

    Can you please briefly describe your FIGT role?

    I choose the Pollock Scholars for our Conference and get to listen to all the amazing stories they have to share! We shepherd them through a productive year with FIGT. That way, they can make the best use of our platform, and we can really get to know them. Throughout the year, I support the scholars as they integrate with FIGT and become part of our community.

    What inspired you to stand for office?

    I wanted to stand for this role because I am very confident in FIGT as an awesome force for connection, unity, and friendship in a discombobulated age. I am grateful for what Mr. Pollock and FIGT gave me. I'm sure many readers share this feeling. We have words to describe unbelievable experiences. We have friends to share them with. We have drawn from a deep and refreshing well of benefit-of-the-doubt. I'm here because of the Pollock Scholarship, so it's only right to do a bit in return.

    What’s your favourite thing about being a part of FIGT?

    My favourite thing about FIGT is that I can use both spellings of "favorite" without raising eyebrows.

    Random piece of info about yourself?

    My hairstyle is neither a fashion choice nor a cultural statement. It is the sad result of over-exposure to musical instruments. Happily, I save enough on barbershop visits to make up for it. 

    Any wisdom you can share with other FIGT members, or globally mobile people in general?  

    Nobody has a very good idea of where they are or what happens next. Travelers are distinct only because we are made aware of this more often.

    Any thoughts to share regarding how the pandemic has impacted our community?

     I have often wished to have an easier time explaining my troubles with geography. Turns out, I was not at all comforted by the discovery that others shared my frustrations. Being "at home" eventually becomes troubling for everyone if it goes on long enough. FIGT helps me immensely by keeping me more focused on community than my own troubles.

    On the plus side, the next wave of technical growth is already here. Companies went remote and governments distributed tablets at mass scale to keep people home. Even more surprising, I've learned to use Zoom.

  • 03 Oct 2021 2:29 PM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    The FIGT community welcomes new members to its Board, beginning October 1st. In this post, incoming Membership Director Kathleen Smith answers a few questions about herself and who she wants to 'invite to the table' in her new role.

    Can you please briefly describe your FIGT role?

    My FIGT role will be Membership Director on the Board of Directors, starting in October 2021. My work involves developing strategies for inviting people to the FIGT table, and doing my best to serve them well.

    What inspired you to stand for office?

    Standing in front of a Piet Bekaert (Dutch) signed print, in an antique shop on the Gulf of Mexico, I just couldn’t move. I was mesmerised by the colours, the design of a table with wine and bread just waiting for the empty chairs to be filled with people. As I couldn’t stop looking at this print, two of the shopkeepers came up to me and said, “All artwork is 50 percent of today, dear.” Sold!

    The hard part was getting the artwork on the airplane to the UK. The customs agent didn’t look happy. “It’s a cm over size,” he said. I replied that I had to take the print with me! Hovering around the desk as the agent made a decision, I was thrilled when he smashed some of my bubble wrapping, “OK. It can go!”

    There was just something about the table in this print, a table welcoming and waiting for people to take their place. This has been my inspiration for every family Thanksgiving (and most of us are not American), looking at the place settings and asking myself “who is missing?” Often we know immediately who is missing around our kitchen tables, but this scene has me wanting to look deeper and further to see who is missing around our FIGT kitchen tables, and then invite them to join us- even if there are days when we need to squeeze in a little.

    Anything you particularly hope to accomplish this year? What do you look forward to?

    I hope to enable greater diversity around our kitchen tables, as we Zoom, WhatsApp, phone chat; and I look forward to someday meeting everyone in person!

    What’s your favourite thing about being a part of FIGT?

    My favourite thing about being a part of FIGT is the privilege of meeting and getting to know people from all over the world who are living this life outside our passport countries. We are a people of shared values.

    Random piece of info about yourself?

    I’m learning Biblical Hebrew! My new craft project (I’m not that crafty) is to make slate signs of Hebrew names of my grandkids.

    Any words of wisdom or thoughts on the impact that Covid has had on our community?

    As a member of the British National Health A&E (ER) youth support, I’ve seen first hand the impact Covid has produced in increased rates of stress. Connection with all generations is increasingly important as we look at new ways of connecting locally, regionally and globally. In all our calls, global coffees and Zooms we say “I see you!”

    FIGT has great impact in the way we speak to and about each other. Have you ever noticed how members of FIGT speak about other members? So positive! This positive encouragement is increasingly rare in the world, so let’s continue to enjoy and encourage each other!

  • 02 Oct 2021 4:34 PM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    The FIGT community welcomes new members to its Board, beginning October 1st. In this post, incoming Nominations Director Daniela Draugelis answers a few questions about herself and what her new role means to her.

    Can you please briefly describe your FIGT role?

    I am the incoming Nominations Director. As such, I will be responsible for overseeing the FIGT volunteer community. This includes following up with individuals who reach out about volunteer vacancy positions and liaising with FIGT Directors who have volunteer needs. I also support Directors in crafting committee role descriptions and following volunteer standard operating procedures, as well as maintaining the volunteer community records and placements. 

    I don't do this alone. I will work with four Nominations Committee members who will help me identify, screen, and select individuals to serve in open Director roles and contribute to creating the Board development and onboarding strategy.

    What inspired you to stand for this particular office?

    As it is common in our globally global lives, my family will be relocating from Washington DC, USA to Islamabad, Pakistan later this year. After spending the last four years building the FIGT-DC Affiliate and getting to know the amazing FIGT community, I was looking for a way to remain involved in FIGT and continue to contribute to the organization from my new location. 

    I have been volunteering for different organizations from a very early age and strongly believe that volunteering provides many benefits - physical, mental, social and emotional. It provides you with an opportunity to explore skills, creativity, motivation, and vision that you can carry into your professional life. It can also provide a sense of accomplishment, increase your self-esteem, self-confidence and life satisfaction. But most importantly, volunteers are sometimes the glue that hold a community together and make it a better place, where even the smallest task can make a big difference. I am hoping that through my role as Nominations Director overseeing the volunteer community I can make a positive impact in the greater FIGT community. 

    Anything you particularly hope to accomplish this year? What do you look forward to?

    I am looking forward to motivating members to volunteer and engaging with them throughout the year, showing them the value of their work and their contributions to the FIGT community. I am also looking forward to working with the FIGT Board members, learning from them, developing relationships, friendships and contributing to the growth and betterment of FIGT. 

    Your favorite thing about being a part of FIGT? 

    It has been said many times that FIGT has been “life-changing” for many people, and I couldn’t agree more. Since I found FIGT, I finally found a place where I belonged. My favorite thing? The personal and virtual connections I’ve made with people who “get me”, that don’t look at me strangely when I tell them my “long story”, or that I have three passports, and I’ve lived in five countries, and speak four languages. It is that sense of belonging to a community of like-minded people who share a common background, a common sense of identity that brings us together and bonds us. Where geographic distances do not matter; where age and gender do not matter. Where all that matters is that we can all lean on each other even during the hardest times without needing to explain why, because we’ve all traveled down the same road and know what it means to live “in global transition”. 

    Can you share a random piece of info about yourself?

    Growing up in Argentina, I did not have a telephone in my house until I was 17 years old, which was quite challenging as a teenager when boys started asking me for my phone number after a first date! So what did I do? I had to say “I don’t have a phone at home, but you can give me yours, and I can call you!”. So if I liked the boy I would go to the closest payphone and call him to arrange the next date. Alternatively, I would say “Or you can call my mom at work and leave her a message and I will call you back.” Some brave souls did… I believe this might have contributed to my bold and assertive personality. 

    Please share some words of wisdom for FIGT members and globally mobile people in general.

    Don’t be shy to connect with people, listen to their stories, ask questions. There are invaluable resources in the FIGT website produced by incredibly talented professionals and people who’ve walked the same walks of life as you have. Take the time to explore and follow us on social media because you might find a connection, that a-ha moment that you were searching for, or the inspiration to start something new - a business, a book, or an affiliate in your own city. The energy of FIGT is contagious! 

    To other globally mobile families and individuals - you are not alone! You don’t have to embark on this journey alone. FIGT is a community of people who have “been there, done that ''. We understand the challenges that come with living a globally mobile life - from moving, parenting, career obstacles, social and emotional difficulties, cultural adaptation, school choice, to repatriation and reverse culture shock. We also understand the amazing benefits and rewards that come with living a culturally rich and diverse globally mobile life, and how difficult it could be to sometimes balance it all! You are not alone. The FIGT community can offer a place where you may find like-minded people to lean on and resources to help you make sense of it all. Come join us - there is a place for you here!  

  • 30 Sep 2021 4:52 PM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    FIGT held its Annual Members Meeting on September 11, 2021. Below is outgoing FIGT Executive Secretary, Trisha Carter's report from that virtual meeting.

    The FIGT Annual Members Meeting was held on the 11th September 2021.  It was only the second time the meeting has been held virtually and again was supported by Members around the globe. 

    FIGT President, Dawn Bryan, described this past year for the organization as one of “momentum and change” and presented her Annual Report. [You can download the whole PDF here.]

    Our Membership, “the glue that holds us together”,  includes people in over 50 countries and provides critical income that enables FIGT to exist. The announcement of a new category of membership with a lower price point for those who may have difficulty paying the full membership rate, was a welcome commitment to building a more inclusive community.

    Our Sponsors have also been a critical part of FIGT supporting our on-going work throughout each year and playing a vital role in the conference.  Dawn thanked each of our Sponsors for their contribution to our work.

    News from the Research Network, was shared by Research and Education Director, Anastasia Lidaji.  The FRN are currently supported by over 230 researchers, and have held a highly successful webinar series throughout this year.  These webinars shared knowledge and supported networking and mentoring.  The E-Posters soon to be shared on the FIGT website are a vital record of the FIGT2021 conference that Anastasia initiated and managed. 

    Affiliates have again played a vital role in creating safe meeting spaces around the world for FIGT Members and Supporters to gather, learn and share experiences. New Affiliates have launched including the interest based, International Education Affiliate and the Melbourne Affiliate has become ANZA (the Australia, New Zealand Affiliate) after a year of virtual meetings supporting people virtually far beyond the initial Melbourne location. 

    Our Communications Team – the largest group of volunteers within FIGT – shared the results of launching on Instagram, gaining over 300 followers in the first month and continuing to grow over 110% since.  While also maintaining information and engagement  on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. 

    Our first virtual conference held in 2021 had the highest attendance of any of our conferences and was positively evaluated by the attendees. 

    Planning for FIGT2022 is underway and Program Director, Stephen Toole, announced the theme and new session formats, with many comments and questions from meeting attendees.  Applications are now open for speakers so learn all about it here.  Stephen also asked for help from Volunteers able to assist with the work in assessing Applications and planning the Conference Program.

    Other exciting developments to come in the months ahead shared by Dawn include: 

    • New FIGT website in 2022

    • Rearticulated Values

    • New ways to donate to and sustain the organization

    • Strategic changes to our Pollock scholarship program

    Most importantly our Treasurer, LaShell Tinder, shared a positive fiscal outlook, thanks to “stewarding resources wisely” and positive income results from conference, membership and sponsorship. She also announced a new way to support FIGT through becoming a Sustaining Donor.

    Dawn acknowledged that the work of FIGT would not be possible without the more than 100 volunteers, who fill roles from Board Members, to Committees and to the Communications Team. Dawn welcomed the new Board Directors who will take up their roles in October and thanked and farewelled the Board members who will be rotating off the Board.

    The past year has been a challenging one for many of us globally.  It was encouraging to look back and review the work of FIGT over that time and to look ahead with hope and positivity for the year ahead. 

    Executive Secretary 

    Trisha Carter (until September 30th)

    If you’re not yet an FIGT member, we would love you to join us and be a part of our supportive, learning community of globally minded individuals around the world. Find out more at Membership.

    And please join us on FacebookLinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter and sign up to our newsletter to get updates!

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