The Boston Area Study Abroad Association was formed in 1994 as an informal group put together by a small group of staff in the Boston University Office of Global Programs. The group was founded out of a need for local collaboration, a desire to share ideas and best practices, and an opportunity to talk about issues in the field. The first meetings were informal; there were no agendas, no expectations, no membership. The goal was to gather anyone who was interested in having a conversation! The first two meetings were held at Boston University but the group quickly grew in numbers and started meeting at institutions around the Boston area. As the years went on, meetings grew larger and a need to formalize the group became evident.
In the 2000’s BASAA continued to grow as it served the needs of international educators that wanted to focus on issues and best practices in study abroad. The group, now slightly more formal, was led by an elected chairperson who took responsibility for communication and planning meetings. But, the goal remained the same – to gather anyone who was interested in having a conversation. Formal membership has never been required.
As BASAA continued to grow into the late 2000’s and today, the group is now led by two elected co-chairs. Together, the co-chairs maintain BASAA communications and plan seasonal meetings, which have now become more formalized to include guest speakers and focused topics. Additionally, the co-chairs along with the help of volunteers plan and execute the annual BASAA Spring Conference, a local conference that brings together graduate students, new professionals and seasoned professionals to share knowledge and network. Currently, BASAA also supports the efforts of the New England Study Abroad Returnee Conference as well as fundraising events in collaboration with The Fund for Education Abroad.