“At some point during each crisis, we worry about the long-term impact on international education”
I remember the feeling, writes Kerry Geffert, product evangelist for Terra Dotta. Restless, hard to focus, antsy, anxious, neither depressed nor positive. It was right after 9/11. Our world had turned upside down and, when we got past the immediate personal implications, those of us in international education wondered what the future held for the work that was near and dear to our hearts.
At that time I was also Conference Chair for the 2002 NAFSA Annual Conference. When we held our first meeting of the planning committee following 9/11, I started by admitting that I had had trouble focusing on our tasks. There was an immediate collective sigh of relief. Turns out I was not alone.
Two lessons from that experience: We are not alone in our feelings of uncertainty. And our professional/industry peers and colleagues are an important part of self-care and mutual support.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues its spread, international educators are in month three of the crisis. First, dealing with the impacts in China, then fear and impacts as the virus spread abroad and now, here at home.