Event Program | HI USA Study Abroad & Global Citizenship Influencer Summit 2019

An invite-only event for travel’s top bloggers and social influencers

October 1-3 2019 | HI NYC | #StudyAbroadBecause

2019 Summit Schedule

Check out the event schedule below and our current list of speakers. Learn more about our speakers here and check back often to see who’s been added to the lineup! All events take place at the HI New York City hostel.

Schedule is subject to change.

Tinabeth Piña, Emcee, October 1 & 2

Tinabeth Piña is an EMMY award winning broadcast journalist and travel vlogger who has worked in front of the camera and behind the scenes for ABC, FOX, A&E, The History Channel & Oxygen, to name a few. When she isn’t vlogging at TinabethTravels.com, Tinabeth is the creator and executive producer of Globe Scholars, a travel show and web series that follows students on their study abroad trips around the world.

Tinabeth is also the Managing Editor at CUNY-TV in New York City and the author of CHA-CHIING! The Unemployed's Guide to Finding Your Next TV Production Job. Follow her @tinabethpina.


October 1: Welcome and Introductions

2:00 pm
Registration opens


4-4:20 pm
Opening Remarks
Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President
Lisa Jordan, HI USA
Tinabeth Piña, Globe Scholars


4:20-4:45 pm
Maximizing Your Experience & Impact
Haley Woods, Girls Love Travel
Brooke Roberts, Inside Study Abroad
Netanya Trimboli, HI USA, Moderator

This Summit is filled with opportunity to make a lasting impact for others – and yourself! Hear from a veteran Summit attendee, as well as a former educator and cultural exchange provider turned influencer, on how to make the most of your time here. This session will help you navigate the landscape and develop meaningful exchanges with sponsors, exhibitors and influencers alike.


4:45-5:45 pm
Inspiration Hour
Kevin Collymore, HI USA Explore the World scholarship recipient
Natalie Jesionka, Fulbright Scholar
Danielle Fossett, Gap Year Participant
Gabby Beckford, Multi-Scholarship Award Recipient

Hear the inspiring personal stories from four individuals who proved study abroad and cultural immersion is achievable for everyone and anyone. You’ll hear about their unique experiences in persevering to make their study abroad dreams come true. Start off the Summit with a big dose of inspiration on what’s possible, no matter who you are or where you’re from – or where you want to go.


5:45 pm
Introduction to Exhibit Hall


6:00-8:00 pm
Social Event


October 2: Study Abroad & Travel Opportunities

8:00 am
Registration Opens


8:45-9:15 am
9:15-9:30 am
Opening Remarks
Russ Hedge, HI USA


9:30-10:30 am
The State of Travel: A Domestic and Global Perspective
Erik Hansen, US Travel Association
Russ Hedge, HI USA and representing World Youth, Student and Educational Travel Confederation
Ilir Zherka, Alliance for International Exchange
Talia Salem, Urban Nomad, Moderator

Setting the framework for the day’s conversation, this panel features leaders in travel and cultural exchange sharing the latest trends, challenges and opportunities within the greater travel economy. Learn valuable insights about USA and global travel markets, how youth travelers are leading the way, and the influence of the cultural exchange segment, empowering you to inspire the next generation of global citizens.


10:30-11:00 am
Break & Vendor Booths


11:00-11:15 pm
The Case for Study Abroad
Amelia Dietrich, Forum on Education Abroad

Let’s talk data. How does study abroad impact employability? What about language skills? Does it really give you an edge, statistically speaking? As the standards-setter for all things study abroad, The Forum on Education Abroad also conducts and publishes in-depth research on the long-term effects of international education. Hear what the latest findings have to say and why the Summit’s purpose has never been more relevant.


11:15-12:00 pm
Sports Diplomacy: An Easy Win For Cultural Exchange
Zak Ivkovic, CUNY Athletic Conference
Stephen Revetria, SF Giants Enterprises
Luisa Mendoza, The Brooklyn Nets
Lawrence Cann, Street Soccer USA
Tinabeth Piña, Globe Scholars, Moderator

Sports have the power to transcend language, religion, politics and everything in between. They bring people together and create community and are a great tool for immersing in another country. With males comprising just 30% of study abroad participants, sports diplomacy is a unique opportunity to attract this underrepresented demographic. Hear from professional sports teams and other sports-focused organizations about how they are inspiring youth and underserved populations to bridge cultural divides, as well as learn about opportunities to get involved.


12:00-1:15 pm
Lunch (vendor floor open)


1:15-2:00 pm
Over-Tourism and Its Antidote

Andrew Sheivachman, Skift
Laura Brown, Lonely Planet
Kelly Louise, Impact Travel Alliance, Moderator

Travel is a good thing…right? It is why we’re all here, but now more than ever, it has to be done responsibly, which can mean avoiding places that are becoming overrun with tourists or visiting at different times and in different ways. And it’s up to us – the travel influencers – to share the good and the bad. These experts reveal the realities of over-tourism in today’s travel climate, as well as reveal some of the best kept secrets in destinations that are begging to be explored.


2-2:20 pm
Q&A with a Gen Z Expert
Tinabeth Pina, Globe Scholars, Moderator
Matthew Chen, HVS Executive Search

Step aside, Millennials, today’s future world travelers are Gen Z! And they are in sharp contrast to the preferences and attitudes we’ve come to appreciate from their predecessor. From photography no-no’s to lifestyle must-have’s, Gen Z has their own list of demands. This dialogue will delve deep into what motivates and inspires this next generation and how to adapt our messaging accordingly.


2:20-3:05 pm
Global Citizenship IRL
Tinabeth Pina, Globe Scholars, Moderator

Narrowing in on specific opportunities in real life to make cultural exchange a reality, these speakers represent leading organizations in cultural exchange programs with distinct examples to share. Each will provide a short talk and answer questions as a group at the end.

Career Exchange and Its Vast Potential
Mark Overmann, InterExchange

Diversifying the Reach of Collegiate Programs Abroad
Andrew Gordon, Diversity Abroad

Getting Air Travelers REAL ID Ready
Erik Hansen, US Travel Association




Content Share & Tweet Up: #studyabroadbecause
Co-hosted by Lonely Planet

Nothing goes viral faster than 100 top influencers all using the same hashtag at the same time! Schedule a tweet in advance or post off-the-cuff something that inspired you – just be sure to post at 3pm and use #studyabroadbecause. A power Tweet Up will follow, featuring a 30-minute Twitter Chat to explore topics we addressed throughout the Summit and engage your followers in a meaningful dialogue.

Thanks to Wanderful, we’ll be tracking our collective impressions, as well as the influencers with the biggest reach. Prizes from our sponsors will be awarded based on reach, impressions, and/or frequency of using #studyabroadbecause.


Networking Appointments


Social Event



Beth Santos, Emcee, October 3

Beth Santos is founder and CEO of Wanderful, a global community that connects over 40,000 women together through events in 45 global cities, an international homesharing network, dynamic online content and forums, and inspired, focused campaigns with international travel brands. She is the creator and host of the Women in Travel Summit, a leading event for women travel influencers and industry members, happening on two continents each year, and co-founder of #AtTheTable, a national dinner series and community for female founders. She is a graduate of the Kellogg School of Management and Wellesley College, and is an acclaimed thought leader in entrepreneurship and travel. She lives in Boston.


October 3: Maximizing Your Influence


Thursday, October 3

Pete Bryant, Steller
Jordan Foy, Steller

Sponsored by Steller, the world’s largest travel storytelling platform and community reimagined for today’s mobile-first travelers, this breakfast will give you an up close and interactive look at this innovative tool. Steller lets everyone capture and share personal stories with expressive and elegant design, simply and conveniently on your mobile device or at www.steller.co.




Lonely Planet Master Class

Come learn about new and better ways to monetize your travel content. Led by Eric Shepard, Lonely Planet Venture VP and former CEO of Trill.


Facebook Workshop: Building Ideas that Thrive in a Connected World
Michael Shafrir, Facebook

There has never been a better time to have a good idea because in our connected world, the distance between a good idea and the people it serves has never been shorter. And the shortest path to market is now the fastest path to growth. So how can influencers build for the future? They must embrace 4 key shifts shaping our marketplace, the 4Cs: Curation, Community, Conversation and Commerce. Join us as we dive into the 4Cs and discuss how to embrace these key shifts and build people-first.


Closing Remarks


Networking Appointments