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NAFSA 2017 is quickly becoming a blurred memory. The week for which we prepare for months, the week that on Tuesday seems like it will never end, quickly comes to an end with the Closing Plenary & Reception, and a glimpse of the following year’s location. We at Terra Dotta thank the many friends, colleagues, and clients who stopped by our booth to learn more about our solutions, to ask a question, to make a suggestion, or just to catch up. You are what make the long hours in the Expo Hall worthwhile. And, of course, congratulations to Derrick Alex (right) of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the lucky winner of an iPad Pro.

Over 9,700 persons representing over 100 countries came together, demonstrating that boundaries are meant to be crossed for educational purposes. The conference theme, Expanding Community, Strengthening Connections, set the tone for a week that rose above politics and division, instead focusing on the multitudinous benefits of student mobility.

To be sure, the hard realities of global living were present. Sessions delving into topics such as immigration regulations, health and safety, financial impediments and risk competed for attendee attention on more hopeful topics such as collaboration, professional development, personal growth and engaging technology. The landscape for international education is, indeed, challenging as noted by Karin Fischer of The Chronicle of Higher Education in her coverage article, International Educators Confront a New Political Reality — and Find a New Resolve.

It is this “new resolve” that seemed to permeate the plenaries and especially the Expo Hall. Here, representatives from universities, organizations and companies worldwide acknowledged the challenges that lay before us, and resolved to move forward. Terra Dotta is included, particularly through our enhanced SEVIS Easy and new AlertTraveler solutions. There have always been, and there always will be, issues – be they political, financial or cultural – that confront international education, seeming to stymie efforts to promote the ideals of student mobility. They do not endure.

As we begin to look to 2018 and the NAFSA Annual Conference in Philadelphia, we are reminded of the conference theme, Diverse Voices, Shared Commitment. Certainly, among the strengths of NAFSA are the diverse voices that lend such rich content to the conferences. However, it is that shared commitment toward fostering global education opportunities, regardless of our workplace, that will draw us back next May for the marathon called NAFSA. At Terra Dotta, our planning has already begun!

Mona Agrawal is a Business Analyst who joined the Terra Dotta family in December of 2015. Her daily responsibilities include managing day to day development for RTI Connect, prioritizing RTI work for SEVIS sprints, guiding QA about what needs to be tested and how to do it, writing specification documents, and working on new improvements and features for the SEVIS module. Prior to joining Terra Dotta, she worked as a Software Engineer for Nestle and also as Business Analyst for Atlas Medical.

Mona graduated from Jiwaji University in India with a Bachelor’s in Science, as well as earning her Master's in Computer Science from Rani Durgavati University(RDVV), also located in India.

Outside of work, Mona enjoys reading, gardening, hiking with her family, and making terrariums with her daughter. One activity she always has wanted to experience is skydiving in Hawaii!

Mona says her favorite part of working at Terra Dotta is that “Dottans have very good sense of humor. It brings charm to working life.”


Presenter: Garrett Lucas

Terra Dotta is introducing a new app for iOS and Android linked to your Terra Dotta software that provides services for the informed traveler - country and city intelligence, safety and security alerts, and an instant check-in option. This webinar will give you a good understanding of this elegant and powerful system's functionality.


4:00 PM EDT


Presenter: Cathi Berberich

We will review the delivered functionality of the initial phase of RTI Connect. We’ll go over the supported lists in RTI, displaying and downloading report data, and comparing and working with individual records, and updating TDS records from RTI Connect data.


11:00 AM EDT


Presenter: Brice Lynn and Vanessa Sterling
(University of Pittsburgh - Study Abroad)

Study abroad offices are inundated with student data, such as disciplinary records, academic records, and medical reports. The amount of information that we collect on our students often means that it is difficult to connect the dots in a meaningful way towards risk mitigation and duty of care. This presentation will explore the importance of managing this data towards building healthy, safe, and secure experiences for students. Additionally, we will discuss the challenges and rewards of using Terra Dotta to collect and work with the data, from both the perspective of a risk manager and program manager responsible for TDS architecture. Finally, we provide a case study of how the University of Pittsburgh Study Abroad Office has used TDS to increase efficiency, raise enrollments, and better serve our students.


4:00 PM EDT


Click here for a list of all upcoming webinars.


Pencil us in for our Study Abroad and ISSS Boot Camps to be held in correlation with the NAFSA Tri-Regional.

We are sponsoring a pre-conference one-day seminar prior to the full URMIA conference on Sunday, September 24. Regulatory Compliance for Education Abroad Risk Management: A NAFSA and URMIA Seminar is designed for pairs of risk management and education abroad professionals to attend together. Learn more and register today.

  • CSU-Fresno
    - Study Abroad
  • Des Moines University
    - Study Abroad
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    - ISSS
  • Pellissippi State Community
    - Study Abroad
  • UNC-Chapel Hill
    - Study Abroad
  • University of Southern Mississippi
    - Study Abroad
  • Alfred University
    - Study Abroad
  • Augusta University
    - Study Abroad
  • The University of Virginia’s
    College at Wise
    - Study Abroad

Look for us at these upcoming conferences.

Forum Standards of Good Practice
in Austin, TX

June 22

Visit site >

IEAA Mobility Forum in Brisbane, AUS
August 9–10

Visit site >

URMIA in Orlando, FL
September 23–27

Visit site >

Between printed and online materials, it can be daunting to keep up with the professional literature. Let us help you. Each month we will list several online articles that we hope you will find interesting.

Find an article that you believe others will want to read? Send the link to

U.S.-Mexico Report Catalogues Academic Ties, Provides Roadmap for Future
American Council on Education

US: three quarters of students say study abroad improves employability
From the PIE News

Going Big Into ‘Microcampuses’
From Inside Higher Ed

Number of mobile students out of, and into, China soars
From University News

SEVIS Data Points to Declining Enrollments From Key Countries
From World Education News & Reviews

Recent Articles by Terra Dotta:


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