Quite a few years ago, I wrote this list. I return to it as I prepare for another conference and it still makes sense to me. I repeat it here and hope that some of the reasons speak to you as well.
This actually changed for me over the years. In the beginning I was new to the field and hungry for help in conceptualizing how to revamp the US Navy’s intercultural program. So I was looking for ideas both old and new and in those days the field wasn’t very old so most of the ideas were new—at least to me because I was so new to this new field. But as I became part of the fabric of SIETAR by giving presentations at the conferences that lead to volunteering and serving on committees and task forces, I came to realize how much the conferences satisfied my need for belonging. SIETAR conferences also helped me develop my identity as an interculturalist. If you hang out with interculturalists (even just once a year) you do eventually become one. Another thing about coming back is that you develop favorites among the presenters so you keep going to their sessions and finding more enjoyment each time from them. So here are my ten top reasons for coming back to SIETAR conferences:
10. To get new ideas.
9. To learn more about the old ideas.
8. To find resources—written, video, and living.
7. To hone my presentation skills.
6. To establish my identity as an interculturalist.
5. To satisfy my need for belonging.
4. To give back.
3. To attend sessions by great presenters.
2. To make new friends.
1. To spend time with and catch up with old friends.
Sandra M. Fowler
SIETAR USA President