Abroad101 Acquired by Ledra Capital and Education Entrepreneur Mark Shay

Pioneering Study Abroad review website to expand; focus on transparency and outcomes assessment

New York, NY (December 13, 2013) – Abroad101 <http://www.studyabroad101.com/>, the world’s first and largest study abroad review website, has been acquired from the Westonian Group by Ledra Capital <http://ledracapital.com> and education entrepreneur Mark Shay, a team with deep expertise in international higher education and technology.

With more than 20,700 reviews of 7,700 programs, Abroad101 is the leading student review site for study abroad programs. It provides a free service for universities and students to rate, review and rank student experiences in study abroad programs.  Abroad101 grew from one partnership at Tufts University in 2007 to more than 215 college partnerships today. The company was founded by Adam Miller, Mike Stone and Mark Lurie; MIT, Tufts and Harvard graduates, respectively.

Abroad101 is being acquired by Mark Shay and Ledra Capital, both of whom have been on the Advisory Board of the Westonian Group, the owner of Abroad101, since 2008.  Mark Shay was a co-founder of EDU Directories, a successful educational directory business that included the industry-leading StudyAbroad.com. Ledra has played an essential role for over thirty years in building the University of Nicosia system, the leading English language university system in southern Europe. Ledra actively supports technology that increases accessibility to higher education, including the free Abroad Office study abroad office administration software.
“Our goal has always been to increase transparency in the study abroad field and help students research their options more thoroughly,” said Adam Miller, Co-Founder and Chairman of Abroad101.  “I am delighted to know that Abroad101 will be in good hands for the long-term.”
“We congratulate Adam Miller, Mike Stone, Mark Lurie and the whole Abroad101 team in their success in establishing the company as a leader in the field,” said Mark Shay. “As accountability and outcomes assessment become more important in higher education, I look forward to working with host universities to help Abroad101 be at the forefront of this movement.”
 “We are pleased that we can help support the mission of Abroad101 to empower universities and students. We have been breaking down the barriers to international education for over thirty years and are a natural long-term home for Abroad101,” said Antonis Polemitis, Managing Partner at Ledra Capital. “I am excited about Mark Shay joining this effort as he brings decades of expertise in the education abroad space.”
“As study abroad becomes integral to every college student’s experience and more options are offered to students each year, a tool like Abroad101 helps guide both the student and his or her academic advisor,” said Michael N. DiMauro from the American Institute for Foreign Study, one of the largest study abroad providers in the U.S. And a long standing Abroad101 partner. “We are now able to demonstrate our excellent student outcomes to universities, which has been a very effective tool for us. I look forward to working with the new Abroad101 team.”
Financial terms of the transaction were not announced. Miller, Stone and Lurie will be leaving Abroad101 to pursue new startup opportunities. Abroad101 indicated that near-term operational plans for the business would be announced shortly.
About Abroad101
Abroad101’s mission is to promote global citizenship by fostering the most meaningful study abroad experience for all students through technology innovation.  Abroad101 empowers universities with its free market-leading online evaluation tool and provides an advertising and student recruitment platform to global program providers through its website StudyAbroad101.com and back-end subscriber tools.  Abroad101 grew from one partnership at Tufts University in 2007 to more than 215 college partnerships today.  Abroad101 is a 2010 winner of the MassChallenge Global Startup Competition. To learn more, visit www.studyabroad101.com. <http://www.studyabroad101.com.>
About Ledra Capital
Ledra Capital is a privately-held group of companies and foundations whose underlying mission has been to expand accessibility to higher education. It helped found the first university and medical school in Cyprus and, today, holds trusteeships or investments in leading tertiary educational institutions that serve nearly 10,000 students annually. It is an active investor in technology, real estate and business services that support its overall educational mission. To learn more, visit: www.ledracapital.com <http://www.ledracapital.com>


Living with a Host Family

DSCN2281Kellie is an Abroad101 Global Ambassador, who spent the spring of 2013 studying abroad in Paris, France with AIFS.  In this post she tells us why you should consider living with a host family when you study abroad!

“When I chose to live with a host family I knew I would gain cultural and language experience, but I honestly had no idea what I was signing myself up for. Let me start by telling you about my first night in Paris where I started to question whether it was too late to just fly back to Texas. Continue reading

Wellness Wednesday: Intellectually Enhance How & Why You Travel

parisAbroad101’s expert on expat emotional health, Melissa Doman, M.A., LGPC, NCC, brings us another installment of Wellness Wednesday.  Read on to hear what she has to say about intellectual travel!

“The debated official number of how many independent recognized countries exist in the world is anywhere between 189 to 196. For the sake of my point, let’s say there are more than 180. That’s quite a lot! Each of them has their own unique culture, flavor, foods, and people. I don’t know about you, but in my lifetime, I’m hoping to see the same number of countries as the length of my hopefully long life! Continue reading

4 Cheap Places to Stay for Traveling Students


 You’re a cash-strapped study abroad student but want to travel and explore nearby countries and more remote cities. In expensive countries, like those in Western Europe, you might want to consider utilizing a hostel instead of a hotel. This is a less expensive option and it makes your money go much further. However, if you are nervous about staying in a hostel, you can always rent a remarkably inexpensive hotel if you’re staying in Asia. There are plenty of hotels in Kuala Lumpur, for example that are both cheap and safe. You owe it to yourself to go online and investigate what hotels and hostels are available in every area if you plan on traveling the globe

What’s a student with wanderlust to do?

Choose from one of these budget accommodation options to stay cheaply (or even for free) anywhere in the world.

Continue reading

Follow Your Dreams Wherever They May Take You…


Kellie is an Abroad101 Global Ambassador this semester, blogging about her adventures abroad in Paris with AIFS.  Read on to hear how she followed her dreams- all the way to the Eiffel Tower!

“First off, let me start by saying how much of a blessing this whole experience has been. I could not have done this without my friends, family, my boyfriend, AIFS, Abroad 101, and everyone else that had a part in making my Paris dreams come true. So thank you all! Now that I got that out of the way, I will desperately try over the next couple of weeks to articulate how wonderful this adventure has been and why you should experience your own. Continue reading

Wellness Wednesday: Developing a Multicultural View of Human Diversity During Study Abroad


Our expert on expat emotional health Melissa Doman, M.A., LGPC, NCC serves up another informative Wellness Wednesday post!  Read on to learn how study abroad contributes to the important development of a multicultural worldview of human diversity.  Continue reading


Groundbreaking Initiative Announces First Study Abroad Program in Space

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After decades of anticipation, the Center Of Space Management’s Intergalactic College (COSMIC) has announced today that, beginning in 2016, college students will be able to choose between destinations like Cape Town, Shanghai, and… Mars. Continue reading

Meet Abroad101 Global Ambassador, Kellie James


Kellie is an Abroad101 Global Ambassador blogging from Paris, France.

Each semester Abroad101 chooses the most compelling student bloggers, photographers, and videographers to serve as Global Ambassadors.  As GAs, these students are tasked to document their adventures in a way that is inspiring, exciting, honest, and transformative.  Through the well crafted words and images of our Global Ambassadors, our readers are able to travel the world right along with them. Continue reading