Prep for ISLC 2022 in Miami With Us

Prep for ISLC 2022 in Miami With Us ISLC 2022 will be here before you know it here are some tips and tricks to help you prepare for the Miami heat and all the activities we have planned for you!

Prep for ISLC 2022 in Miami With Us

ISLC 2022 will be here before you know it here are some tips and tricks to help you prepare for the Miami heat and all the activities we have planned for you! To ensure you have the best experience while attending ISLC.

By Jordan Griffith, Student programs media Intern

Congratulations you’ve decided to attend ISLC in Miami! This is a great resource to go to for preparation. Whether this is your first ISLC or you’ve lost count, prepping for any conference is essential to get what you want out of it. In previous years, the conference has taken place at a university around the world during this time of year; however, due to the pandemic in the last few years, Student Programs made the decision to host the conference virtually. To ensure the safety of our staff and participants. While there is still an ongoing pandemic your safety still remains our number one priority. With that in mind we will continue to monitor the virus at the conference, by having all participants and staff take an antigen test upon their arrival in Florida read more here in our “Emergency Action Plan for ISLC 2022”. We hope you all are ready for our trip to Miami! We hope that during this conference you are able to connect with others who share the same passion for Operation Smile’s mission, learn something new, and leave the conference feeling more inspired!

What to Pack: Here you’ll find a list of items to pack to ensure a successful conference. Whether you pack in advance, the night before or the day of it is something we all dread; however, it is important to make sure you are prepared in case of an emergency. In the meantime here is a few reminders with that being said make sure to pack for the warm humid weather. While keeping in mind to wear appropriate clothing that is tasteful and modest. Avoid packing low cut tops, shorts above your fingertips, open toes shoes, and shirts that expose midriff. I recommend packing light airy clothes that are comfortable especially in the Miami heat. Don’t forget to pack your outfit for 90’s night, a black and white outfit, your team colors, an outfit for your favorite 90’s movie character, any Operation Smile swag, and your country/state sport jersey.

Personal Bag/Carry On (suggested)

  • Phone charger/portable charger
  • Phone
  • Book
  • Headphones
  • Travel size toiletries
  • Wallet/Cash
  • Passport/Real Photo ID/Visa’s
  • Boarding Pass
  •  Sunglasses
  • Light sweater
  • Umbrella
  • Rain jacket
  • Personal care products
  • COVID-19 vaccination card
  • Any medications and records

Plan Ahead: Make sure to not only pack before hand but also make sure you have your Operation Smile check in information. One helpful tip I used before arriving to ISLC in 2019, upon check in was to save all my emails regarding ISLC to a folder in my inbox. This way it would be easy to find any information if needed. Other things to keep track of your passport and boarding pass (if flying in). I recommend keeping all your important essentials in your personal bag or carry on bag. You should have received your arrival and departure forms already, if not email us . Whatever your means of transportation make sure you leave a couple hours ahead of time before you are scheduled to arrive and depart from the conference. It is also important to make sure all your travel arrangements are in place before you arrive in Miami with us.

Packing Tips:

Try using space bags, rolling your clothes instead of folding, or pack outfits and other items into separate bags in your suitcase. This will help to conserve space. I recommend packing your clothes by outfits to keep them all together. I also recommend packing an extra set of clothes incase you want to change on the flight or your luggage is lost.  If your checking your bag the amount liquids you carry doesn’t matter but if you are carrying a bag on the plane you are limited to a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. make sure you weight your luggage before hand so you don’t have to over pay for checking your bag.

Be open-minded: We understand that being away from your home, family, and friends even for a short length of time can be difficult at times. I can remember times where I felt out of place at my first ISLC. My advice to you would be if you don’t know anyone or you think you’re the only one who who is feeling some unease about the whole process. I promise you you are not the only one. Take it from someone who has been there herself. Think about some ways you can reduce your anxiety while being away from home. If it helps to bring something from home maybe it’s your favorite snack or a blanket.

I know it can be uncomfortable opening up to a new group of people, but the more open-minded you are about this experience, the more you will take away with you. You will be put into a small group of students from all over the world and have a team leader to support you. This person will be in charge of helping you and your teammates compete in challenges as well as adhere to any questions you might have throughout the duration of the conference. Don’t be afraid of being bold by asking questions or commenting on another person’s idea. In fact, think of one question to ask each speaker about their experience (other people may be wondering the same thing!) Get to know people outside of your group. Most likely your roommate will be someone from a different area of the country or from a whole other country. I live in Virginia and my roommate was from Ecuador! Meet as many people as you can in your short time at this conference. It will truly broaden your horizons speaking from personal experience.

Remain Respectable: Remember that there are multiple countries present in this event. Please refrain from using any language or demonstrating any behavior that would be considered disrespectful and offensive to someone of another culture. Also, when wanting to participate, please remember to raise your hand. Remember, you are representing Operation Smile on this campus, so please remember to stay engaged and respectful when others are speaking as you would want them to do for you. I know that sitting in chairs for hours listening to keynote speakers can be tiring, but please continue to be attentive and refrain from chatting with your neighbors.

Engage and follow us @osstudpro on Instagram and Tik Tok by using #operationsmile #ISLC2022. While enjoying your time at the conference, make sure to tag us in any of the pictures you post so we can feature them on our story! Fill free to direct message us any of your photos as well so we can post them on our account. Also, make sure to have your post notifications on so you can stay up to date on any ISLC updates!

Jordan is a Student Programs’ media intern and president of  Virginia Tech’s Operation Smile chapter. She has been involved with Operation Smile for almost six years; she first learned about the organization through one of her best friends when she lived in Southern California. Since then, she has found a passion for assisting others and engaging with individuals who share an interest in being leaders in their communities.