The conference is open to the public and brings together faculty, staff, and international and domestic students, for an interactive dialog. This event is funded by the Faculty Innovations in Diversity and Academic Excellence Grant. The event will feature keynote speakers Dr. Mary Ludden, Professor Terence (Terry) Mughan, Professor Julia Ivy, and Northeastern alumnus Nick Dimitrov.

About this event

The purpose of this conference is to gain a greater understanding of the experiences and needs of international students during adjustment to their host country.

The conference goal is for Northeastern University staff, faculty, and students on all campuses globally to gain a greater understanding of the experiences of our international students in adjusting to academic, cultural, social, and economic conditions as they undertake their studies at Northeastern University campuses. The objective is to develop cutting-edge practices and offer services to assist them in the most effective ways. The international student body encounters diversity challenges and opportunities since students hail from dozens of diverse countries around the globe. These students must navigate many new paths as they pursue their academic programs as well as their integration into the co-op, social, and community activities associated with their broad educational experience at Northeastern University. They need to adapt to the country culture norms as well as academic and social norms and standards of the Northeastern campuses they are affiliated with. Northeastern University has a competent staff offering a wide variety of support services for all students, with many specifically tailored to international students. Yet for various reasons a significant number of international students fail to take full advantage of these services that could help them navigate a new country and a new educational institution more effectively and support their success. The conference is open to the public and will feature keynote speakers from Northeastern and other institutions, research paper presentations, and roundtable discussions.

Organizers of the International Student Experience Conference:

Speakers’ profiles

Keynote speakers include:

Mary Ludden

Mary Ludden

Dr. Ludden serves in the role of senior vice chancellor, leading Northeastern’s global network of campuses in Charlotte, London, Seattle, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Toronto, and Vancouver. As senior vice provost, her portfolio includes the College of Professional Studies. 

Prior to joining Northeastern, Ludden served as vice president and chief operating officer of National Government Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Anthem, Inc. Ludden was responsible for a portfolio of programs and projects in excess of $450 million of annual operating revenue generated from government contracts consisting of both health information technology programs and business process programs. After spending over 20 years in the healthcare industry, Ludden brings a breadth of expertise, including strategic leadership, project management, performance measurement, data analytics, information technology, and strategic planning. She is frequently an invited speaker on these subjects and consults with Fortune 50 organizations on strategic growth initiatives.

Terence (Terry) Mughan

Terence (Terry) Mughan

Professor Mughan, who has taught at several universities around the world, has conducted a number of empirical studies of business internationalization and intercultural competence in companies for a range of policy bodies including the OECD and the European Commission. Current interests include the role of intercultural communication between companies, universities and government support bodies. His work explores the links between foreign language competence, intercultural competence and international management processes. He speaks French and German fluently and endeavors to imbue his research with the insights and perspectives which stem from this. He is currently leading a 10 country, 17 partner research project looking at the international student experience (ISE). Its aim is to provide an understanding of this phenomenon which is not driven by national policy, institutional objectives or forms of ownership of the international student.

Nick Dimitrov

Nick Dimitrov

Mr. Dimitrov is a Northeastern alumnus from Bulgaria who graduated Northeastern with a Bachelor’s degree in 1999. Nick worked in the Xbox Game Studios at Microsoft, first as a Co-op and then full-time after graduation. In 2013, Nick joined Amazon and co-founded Amazon Game Studios in a series of direct pitches to Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos. Amazon has since invested more than one billion dollars in the gaming space, by acquiring the game-streaming platform Twitch and developing its own 3D game engine. Nick also became an Amazon Bar Raiser, one of a small and select number of Amazonians who decide whether the company should hire a job candidate or not. In 2018, Nick left Amazon to start Amazon Bound, a company designed to help prepare job applicants to interview effectively with Amazon and, separately, to help companies to hire as skillfully as Amazon does.

Headshot of Julia Ivy
Julia Ivy

Julia Ivy

Professor Ivy is an Executive Professor of the International Business & Strategy Group at D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University, a Faculty Director for the MS in International Business, and Founder of Dr. Ivy holds PhD in Psychology and PhD in Management, which she joined in her BE-EDGE Method of personal strategy for boutique employability. Her book “Crafting Your Edge for Today’s Job Market” (Emerald Publishing Group, 2019) aims to assist graduates and career changers in crafting their space within an inclusive gig economy.

Conference program

  • 7:45-8:30   Breakfast and registration
  • 8:30-8:45   Welcome and introductions by Professor Sheila Puffer, Dr. Karl Reid, Dr. Mallik Sundharam, Dr. John Armendariz
  • 8:45-9:15    Keynote speech by Dr. Mary Ludden, Senior Vice Chancellor and Senior Vice Provost
  • 9:15-10:00  Keynote speech by Professor Terence Mughan, Founder of the International Student Experience Research Project
  • 10:00-10:30 Coffee Break and Networking
  • 10:30-11:45 Keynote speech by Professor Julia Ivy, Executive Professor, D’Amore-McKim School of Business
  • 11:45-1:30  Lunch and Keynote Presentation by Northeastern University Alumnus Nick Dimitrov
  • 1:30-3:00 Roundtable Discussion I – Enhancing the Employability of International Students
    • Roundtable discussions will be led by facilitators. The facilitators will have been trained in advance on Professor Ivy’s Be-Edge employability technique in an online 1.5 hour training session led by Professor Ivy on October 15 from 2:00-3:30 Boston time. The training session will also be recorded. Participants in the roundtables will be organized into 12 tables of 8 people. Each table will include a trained facilitator, international and domestic students, faculty, and staff. Similar roundtable discussions are being planned on other Northeastern campuses.
  • 3:00-3:20 Coffee Break and Networking
  • 3:20-4:20 Roundtable Discussion II – Enhancing the Satisfaction of International Students in Academic, Social, and Cultural Life.
    • Roundtable discussions will be led by facilitators. Participants will be organized into 12 tables of 8 people. Each table will include a trained facilitator, international and domestic students, faculty, and staff. Similar roundtable discussions are being planned on other Northeastern campuses.
  • 4:20-4:45 Closing Remarks and The Way Forward