Study Abroad – See sports you NEVER expected!

A lot of attention is paid to sports in the United States, but the craze for competition goes well beyond American shores. For those of you who love sports and can’t imagine a semester without the sports pages, ESPN or sports talk, don’t worry there’s hope abroad. In America we love our football. In Europe they have..well, football and in Australia they have.. well football. The Aussies may also call it Footie and the Europeans may call it The Beautiful Game and for those of you considering study abroad it is yet another chance to experience cultural immersion.

From Finland to East Asia let’s explore some of the silliest, wackiest, and most outrageous competitions around. At first glance these sports will make your head spin, but pull up a chair, pop open a beverage, stoke up the grill and join the global tailgate, because sports abroad can be as entertaining as it gets!

photo courtesy of The Georgetonian

photo courtesy of The Georgetonian

First stop Finland:

Land of fine chocolates, fiord hockey and cheerful shoes. Finland has been the butt of many jokes about cultures both strange and exotic. But really, she’s a good country and one that plays host to one of the world’s most triumphant competitions known, in Fin-speak, as Eukankanto. Translation: Wife Carrying.

The pictured ‘carry’ is known as Estonian style. Wife Carrying is a heralded sport in it’s European home that not surprisingly has penetrated other cultures across the continents. On competition day, an annual event, wives will enjoy having their husband lunge through sandy, fenced, and wet obstacles all while just inches from their partner’s bum. Ultimately, the prize to gain is not the glory of “World Wife Carrying Champion” but rather the grand prize of your wife’s weight in beer.

mighty-morphin-power-rangers-team-copy

Next stop, Japan where you might have thought Sumo was as strange or bizarre as it gets. No, we found a sport that may have started as a training regiment for Power Rangers. It is called Bo Taoshi and it looks something like this:

 


(YOUTUBE LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNVkXNdH2mA)

The object of the game is for the defending team to keep its pole at full mast for as long as possible. As you can see from the video, there is an attacking team that will scrape, claw, fight, and even walk on you to bring it down. The match ends when the pole is tilted to a 35-degree angle from its 90 degree start. It doesn’t seem like there a lot of regulation but there is surely a lot of participation. It cannot be for the faint of heart since the Japanese military uses it as a training exercise for recruits. This bizarre sport should probably be reserved for adults considering its extremely physical nature, but I for one would love to be in the Fujitsu super box watching this one replayed over and over!

Buzkashi

Moving away from the made for TV sports, our last comes from Central Asia, the region consisting of countries like Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan. There you will find something very out of this world and something that I can assure you the NCAA will never sanction on campuses. It is a very widely played sport in this area and also the national sport of Afghanistan called Buzkashi. Translation: Goat Bashing.

photo found on http://www.ontravelarabia.com

photo found on http://www.ontravelarabia.com

Okay so it isn’t exactly how it sounds. Goat Bashing is more of a relative translation. The sport more so involves the use of a goat and probably more bashing of other riders instead of the goat…which starts the game dead. The fierce competition begins with a dead goat lying on the ground and 10 men on horseback. Basically the object of the game is to snag the goat up from the desert ground and carry it to the goal. Matches can be played as teams or individually where every rider plays for their self. Some of these matches see hundreds, maybe even thousands, of spectators during the season that spans from November to mid-spring. Before anyone gets too judgmental, try to imagine what your typical Central Asian resident would think of the BCS Championship or the Final Four and all of its unbridled enthusiasm. Fun fact about Buzkashi, it was actually banned by the Taliban regime but since their ousting from control, the sport is being enjoyed by Afghanistan’s people once more.

If you love sports like I do, and you want to study abroad, let me assure you that missing one Iron Bowl or Red River Shootout, Holy War or World’s Largest Cocktail Party (all annual rival Football games for you non football lovers) for the likes of Buzkashi, Bo Taoshi or Eukankanto is, as they say, PRICELESS! People everywhere share a love for competition and it can be a way for you to connect with the new environments that lie ahead of you. Competition is in our blood and can often be very healthy, unless you are the goat! If you’re headed for a part of the world that Fox NFL Sunday doesn’t cover then I’d say explore what kinds of sports satisfy the locals. You can bring your culture to them, tailgate and chant and maybe even participate if you try hard enough. If not, then no worries. Kick back, see the sights, and have faith in the thought that you definitely aren’t the only one to do a double take at some of these bizarre events.

Interested in exploring sports abroad? Visit Abroad101.com for programs all over the world.

Winter 2014-2014 Advisor Newsletter

Abroad101-reviews-logo-web

Advisors Update from Abroad101 – Winter 2014-15

Greetings from Abroad101,

It’s the first anniversary of the new management team at Abroad101 and we want to sincerely thank you for your confidence and support.  We’d like to take a few minutes of your time and remind you of the various features of Abroad101, and hope that as the semester ends you will find ways to use it in your work in advancing study abroad.

Abroad101 is all about reviews and ratings, so we thought we’d put you to the test.  Please rate yourself on what kind of Abroad101 advisor you are, and don’t worry we’re not going to publish the results; this is just an exercise to help you understand the full power of our systems and the potential opportunities for you.

The What Kind of Abroad101 Advisor Are You Quiz:

1-Star User:

  • Subscribe to Advisors Newsletter
  • Aware of directories, occasionally refer prospective students to validate their choices

 2-Star User (all of the above, plus):

  • Reference Abroad101 reviews in pre-departure orientation sessions, especially for health and safety and travel tips
  • Refer prospective students to peer reviews in info sessions and campus presentations
  • Have an Abroad101 Advisors account and have logged into your dashboard
  • Encourage students to submit reviews to any review website on their return
  • Include Abroad101 postcards in resource library
  • Follow Abroad101 in Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, Instagram, etc.)

 3-Star User (all of the above, plus):

  • Updated your university profile on Abroad101 though your Advisors account dashboard
  • Use the Invite Tool to encourage some or all of your returning students to submit reviews on Abroad101
  • Encourage students to join “The Study Abroad Advantage” and promote reviews through student’s Linkedin and social media
  • Link to Abroad101 from your department’s web page
  • Include reference and links to Abroad101 in email newsletters to students and parents
  • Re-tweet and Like any of your university’s activity on Abroad101’s social media

 4-Star User (all of the above, plus):

  • Create pre-approved/recommended programs lists through your advisor account dashboard
  • Read and approve/disapprove reviews
  • Encourage students to submit crowd funding initiatives through GoEnnounce the partner in Abroad101 Student of the Week
  • Use Abroad101 University Widget on your department’s web pages
  • Highlight The Study Abroad Advantage in your department’s collaboration with Career Planning and Placement Services
  • Let faculty-led and summer program administrators know about Abroad101, help them secure Provider accounts on Abroad101

 5-Star User (all of the above, plus):

  • Install Abroad101 Program Widget in your department’s own program pages, including Terra Dotta, Horizons and AbroadOffice directories.
  • Use Invite Tool to require reviews of all students making Abroad101 the official program evaluation tool at your institution
  • Submit faculty-led and “in-house” home student only programs to Abroad101 directories for review
  • Export review reports each semester and build statistical archive of student performance
  • Utilize comparison graphs for university accountability and share Abroad101 generated statistics with university’s senior leadership

 5-Star PLUS User (all of the above, plus):

  • Integrate the Abroad101 API tools into your student information system to collect reviews automatically
  • Publish Abroad101 reviews on your website
  • Use Abroad101 data and case studies in presentations at Academic Conferences and include Abroad101 in those sessions

The above exercise was designed to show you that Abroad101 is more than just a pretty website, it is a platform to capture and share the study abroad experience.  It takes a concept as simple as a review, and turns it into something very powerful by taking advantage of a standard set of questions, a sophisticated publishing system and a set of tools built specifically for advisors.  You will get a lot from Abroad101 if you invest some time and effort into harnessing its great potential.  The system is designed to be Fast – Free – Easy.  The rest is up to you.

Now is the time to Send Review Invites
As students from the fall semester return home, now is the perfect time to send the invitation to submit reviews.  It is our experience that students will submit reviews when invited, but rarely on their own.  Over 70% of all reviews on Abroad101 come from the invitation of advisors, so please login to your account, use the Invite Tool and get those reviews flowing.

Remember, it’s never too late to draw a review so if you’ve not sent an invitation in a while, or you tried other means than the Abroad101 Invite Tool, please come back and use the Invite Tool for summer and even spring of 2014 participants.  The Invite Tool is smart enough not to send invites to student who have already been invited and won’t send a reminder to those who have already completed a review.

Also note that reviews collected in 2014 or the result of an invitation issued from Abroad101 in 2014 will be considered for our annual rankings.  Send your invitations by December 31 and those reviews will automatically be entered into the rankings process.

Improving Review Participation
A few key words will impact participation.  Request/Require is the big one, indicating that you require reviews will likely drive more students to submit reviews.  To help improve the quality of those reviews, your message might also include the idea that submitting a review is good for the student.  Feel free to use or paraphrase this text:

  • Your review will be published on the Abroad101 website and will become its own webpage.  This creates a great place to showcase your experience and use it to open doors to your career.  Employers are looking for people with an international background and your review on Abroad101 is a perfect place to jump-start your career.  We suggest you view the review as a writing sample and a chance to show the real you.  Show future employers and recruiters that you can be constructive in your criticism, take responsibility for your outcomes, be reflective and be forward thinking.  State your new worldview and use the review as your place to shine.

Our experience shows that invites issued directly through our tool have a higher yield rate, perhaps it is the reminders or perhaps it is the link specifically to the submit review form (as opposed to finding the program, then clicking the “review” icon).  When invitations go out from our system, they average 15% completion rates when the request reviews button is selected, much higher if the “require reviews” button is selected.

If using your own means to draw reviews has response rates that are much lower, perhaps you might consider running one set of names through our system and another set through your direct list and do analysis on their conversions; A/B Testing as we like to call this process.  It may also help conversions if, in your external message, you provide a link directly to the page to start submitting a review:
http://www.studyabroad101.com/reviews/new

Reviews Are Social Media:
Like other forms of Social Media, Abroad101 is designed for sharing.  Reviews on Abroad101 are given a unique and permanent web address, provide comment sections and are distributed through a number of outlets.  On Abroad101, reviews are summarized by program, by provider, by home institution and by host institution (if applicable), each with their own fixed web page address.  Reviews are streamed to third parties through electronic feeds, software widgets and our associated community pages on Facebook and Twitter.

As you manage your own marketing and promotion efforts on campus, we hope you will utilize the Abroad101 content as much as possible.  As our “What Kind of Abroad101 Advisor Are You Quiz” highlights, there are ample ways to take data from Abroad101 and filter it to your student audience (web links to your university portal on Abroad101, web links to specific program pages, widgets, RSS feeds and APIs.)  Turning these into Social Media posts of your own is one way to utilize Abroad101 as Social Media content for your office; featuring programs and reviews are others.

Each day Abroad101 pushes several programs and up to half a dozen reviews into our Social Media networks.  The Cool Program of the Week and Student of the Week are two popular items to share with your social media followers.  We also put programs from our advertisers out as Social Media content, we hope that you will share some of these as well.  Reviews with their catchy titles and photos can themselves be fantastic content for your Social Media.  If you aren’t following us, please do.  Then when good material comes across your account, please like it, share it and use it to keep your followers engaged.  Reviews are Social Media and are most beneficial when shared.

Facebook.com/Abroad101
Twitter.com/StudyAbroad101
Pinterest.com/StudyAbroad101
Instagram.com/StudyAbroad101
The Study Abroad Advantage on Linkedin

Check Out Our sessions:
Abroad101’s CEO, Mark Shay presented sessions that outline these topics in further depth.  You can download the session slides from our blog:
ISEP Conference: “Social Media & Web Marketing Tools for Marketing and Advising”
NAFSA Region X/XI: “Why Require Student Reviews”

Working Closer with Abroad101:
We are eager to help you advance study abroad on your campus.  We want to see more students abroad and we want those that go be better informed beforehand and help them turn that experience into a career building stepping stone afterward.  We are delighted to help you do the same and are available to answer any of your questions by email or phone.  We also welcome the opportunity to walk you, and members of your staff though the system with an online demo of the back-end features Abroad101.  Please send an email to support@abroad101.com to take the next step.  Also feel free to use this account to nominate colleagues for our newsletter or offer them a free Advisor account with Abroad101.

And, as always, your comments, questions and feedback are welcome.  Thanks for a great year; the best is yet to come!

Thanks!

Mark Shay
CEO, Abroad101
mark@abroad101.com
+1-212-321-0928

3 Reasons Why Studying Abroad Enhances Your Job Prospects

All over townIf you’re like me, your parents and professors were skeptical about your decision to study abroad during college. After all, it’s a daunting prospect to go through the immense task of immersing yourself in an entirely new language and culture. And for all this trouble, what is spending a few months overseas going to do for your job prospects? Incidentally, studying abroad — and the invaluable language skills and cultural knowledge that come with it — can end up being one of the most career-defining decisions you could make. Having spent a summer in Argentina, I can personally attest to this: studying abroad is a great way to enrich yourself — personally, professionally, and linguistically.

1. Learning a language gives you problem-solving skills

When you are living in a country that speaks a foreign language, you are forced to leave your comfort zone. Suddenly, even seemingly mundane, everyday tasks become challenges that require patience and creativity to overcome. In my case, the day after I arrived in Argentina, I was forced to confront one of these challenges: I realized that I had fallen ill with Lyme disease, an illness that exists only in North America and Europe! Despite the language barrier between us, my doctor and I were eventually able to communicate, and I received proper treatment.

Despite its difficulty, learning language through this type of experience is crucial in developing real-life language skills. But more than improving your language skills, your trials in communication are great fodder for cover letters, application essays, and interviews. Studying abroad is guaranteed to give you a plethora of answers to those dreaded and ubiquitous application and interview questions about conflict resolution and problem-solving.

2. Being bilingual helps you make international connections

As your language skills progress on your trip abroad, you will undoubtedly find it easier to make friends internationally. While making friends is great on a personal level, it’s also a fantastic start to building an international professional network. The relationships that you build on your trip abroad are an excellent way not only to expand your own horizons, but also enhance your ability to be a serious contender in an increasingly global workplace.

Since my trip to Argentina, my knowledge of Argentinean Spanish has helped me greatly in making connections in the Spanish-speaking world. For example, when an Argentinian author visited my college the year after I studied abroad, I struck up a conversation with him in Spanish, showcasing my knowledge of Argentinean idiomatic expressions and slang. Impressed with my knowledge of his language and culture, he offered me a job in translating some of his work, and I continue to work for him to this day.

3. Bilingualism is a huge plus for prospective employers

Perhaps the most important career bonus to studying abroad is that it gives you constant exposure to native speakers of a foreign language, which is the only way to really learn the intricacies and complexities of a new language. In addition to the chic factor of bilingualism, fluency in a foreign language gets you jobs. Indeed, learning a language abroad demonstrates a host of positive qualities to prospective employers — it highlights your independence, your intellectual flexibility, your resourcefulness, and your ability to thrive in unfamiliar environments.

In my case, only by immersing myself in a Spanish-speaking culture was I able to truly acquire proficient Spanish-language skills, which has opened countless doors for me professionally. In fact, my bilingualism is the reason that I have the job that I do now, which requires me speak in both English and Spanish on a daily basis. My job allows me to write about what I love, and sustain myself while I study Spanish and plan the next destination on my list of travels.

As my journey shows, today’s job market is as much about networking as it is about skills and where you got your degree. Being in the market, making personal contacts and connecting with people proved to be the answer for me, if you really want to work overseas, I suggest you go for it. Showcase your time abroad by creating a review, demonstrate your ability to offer constructive criticism, take ownership of adversity and grow to have a enviable world view. Submit your education abroad review here then use in in networking groups like The Study Abroad Advantage to find opportunities.

Don’t listen to the skeptics: studying abroad is one of the best career moves that you can make. And if you have reservations about jumping head-first into a new language and culture, you can prepare yourself with some free online resources that help you practice the language you’ll be using overseas. Studying abroad allows you to engage your curiosity, expand your worldview, and experience a new culture. Most of all, it grants you the gift of bilingualism, which has proven time and time again to be a serious advantage in terms of both bragging rights and job prospects. For those looking to embark on an exciting adventure and advance their careers at the same time, I couldn’t recommend studying abroad more highly.

 

paul_thumbnailPaul currently lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he teaches English and writes for Language Trainers, a worldwide language teaching service for individuals and professionals. You can visit their website or email paul@languagetrainers.com for more information.

Abroad101 Student of the Week #0031 – Grace Andrews

Grace Andrews-Tasmania

Grace Andrews Abroad101 Student of the Week

Grace Andrews Abroad101 Student of the Week

This weeks Abroad101 student of the week winner is Grace Andrews from Colorado State University. Grace is a junior who is studying zoology with a minor in conservation biology. She has a love for all animals, is a member of the zoology club at her school, and her favorite subject is biology. Grace also likes to be outdoors, as she enjoys hiking, biking, running and playing sports. On top of that, she is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta honor society and has made Dean’s List. Grace hopes to eventually get her masters in zoology and travel the world working with animals.

Grace has been given the opportunity to study abroad in Tasmania and work with animals, which we think could not be a better experience for her! She is looking forward to going and has even started a fundraising Mission to help finance some of the cost of her trip.

The Abroad101 Student of the Week initiative awards a student who created a Mission for a study abroad program on GoEnnounce with a donation to their fundraiser. Learn more about this partnership from Abroad101 CEO Mark Shay and GoEnnounce co-founder Melissa Davis here.

We’re making weekly donations to studyabroad fundraisers! We hope you can help us assist these students in reaching their goals to make their travel dreams a reality. To find out more about studying in Tasmania, like Grace, visit the Abroad101 program page.

Stay tuned for our next Abroad101 Student of the Week!

– See more at: http://blog.goennounce.com/abroad101-student-of-the-week-0031-grace-andrews/

Top 20 Education Abroad Providers

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Who is the leading study abroad provider?  Review scores are one indicator, the number of reviews is another.  Organizations that encourage or even require their students to complete reviews understand the value of listing to their customers (students) and using that to better inform future students as to what to expect in their programs.  Progressive providers also help students promote their own stories and success in education abroad by publishing their first hand accounts through a review.  As the old saying goes, “an educated consumer is the best kind” so we hope that you’ll use these reviews to better educate yourself on your options in education abroad.  Here you will find the latest update in the Abroad101 Providers Derby – the index of published reviews on Abroad101.

How To Budget Whilst Studying Abroad

Préparatifs de voyageHow To Budget Whilst Studying Abroad

Your dream has finally come true – you’ve decided that you’re going to go and study abroad. You’re bound to feel a little excited about your future, but it’s important that you take the time to start planning the details and preparing yourself for your adventure overseas. As your departure date draws closer, you’ll be thinking not only about where you will be and what you’ll be studying, but also your budget too.

Budgeting may sound like you’re restricting yourself, but it will actually help you to make the most out of your time and money. We’re going to look at some simple ways you can budget your time and money in order to improve your experience whilst studying abroad. Yes, whilst studying abroad!

Your Welcome Budget

When you arrive you’re probably going to feel excitement and enthusiasm to get out there and enjoy yourself. During the first few weeks, don’t be afraid to allow yourself some extra cash to try local delicacies, go to bars and restaurants and get comfortable in your new surroundings. Chances are that you’ll be busy during this period but try to keep a daily record of how much food, drinks, and other items are costing you. As students will tell you in their  study abroad reviews, save the souvenirs for later in your trip, once you find out where the best deals are.

Budgeting Week By Week

After a few weeks, you should have an understanding of the local currency, what is good value and what’s extortionate. You’ll have been to the supermarket numerous times and stocked up on daily essentials. This is the best time for you to sit down and work out your average expenditure per week. Is there anything you could cut out of your routine? Perhaps you go to a coffee shop every day, how much could you save if you had a coffee at home instead? Think about what is essential for your day-to-day life and what is a treat.

Optimize Your Free Time

Some abroad experiences like volunteer or internships don’t include much in the way of classroom time, they suggest you learn outside the classroom. There will be spare time, sometimes downtime and this time abroad is a brilliant opportunity for you to think about self-improvement. You will be around new people and you’ll be free of many of the distractions you had back at home, both of which make it the perfect time for you to improve your personal skill set. Whilst abroad, you’ll likely be spending time on a computer at some point nearly every day. Instead of just sending Social Media updates, you might want to consider an online course to keep your academic skills sharp and to advance your career potential. Have a look MOOC’s for some options, or consider onlineitcourses.com for a wide selection of practical training courses that’ll help you to confidently use your computer, and your free time, to their full potential.

Budget your Studying too!

Remember, you are still a student and you can’t just spend all of your time outside the classroom. Living in a foreign country is such an awesome experience that provides endless opportunities; just don’t loose your study habits. There’s so much to see and do you’ll need to budget your time well. By applying these easy tips above, you’ll have worry-free money to spend on whatever you see as a treat. Make a list of exciting experiences you’d love to have during your time abroad, and then write a rough price for each experience. Keep this list visible, on your wall or as wallpaper on your phone or laptop. Constantly looking at this wish list will keep you in check during your day-to-day life and it will give you loads to look forward to.

These tips are designed to help you get the most out of your upcoming adventure by ensuring that you really think about how you spend your time and money. Budgeting may seem boring and unnecessary, but when it’s done correctly, it could literally save you hundreds of dollars and hours and help you get the most out of your experience abroad and afterward. Lastly, speaking about budgets, don’t forget to budget some time after your experience abroad to complete a review and then use it to get an edge in the career market by joining “The Study Abroad Advantage“.

 

Guest Posting from Victoria Moretti, a professional writer from the UK who contributes to Abroad101 from time to time. Victoria loves to write about businesses and macro economic affairs that move the needle. Her other loves include travel, long walks and flat whites.

Abroad101 Newsletter – For Providers – Late Fall 2014

Abroad101-reviews-logo-webGreetings from Abroad101,

The first anniversary of the new management team at Abroad101 is upon us, a sincere thank you for your confidence and support.  For our audience of American clients, warm Thanksgiving wishes.  In this update we want to highlight the role of a review in today’s market and also highlight some creative ways to utilize them in your work with students.  Reviews not only in draw interest in your programs, they also get students engaged, enrolled, and better prepared.  In the full-circle view, reviews ultimately turn today’s prospects into successful advocates upon their return.

Reviews Are Social Media:
Perhaps you associate Social Media with websites like Facebook or Twitter, but Social Media is much broader and farther reaching than a few web sites.  Social Media is the modern phenomenon of “social interaction among people in which they create, share or exchange information, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks”  according to Wikipedia, which is a social media site; Abroad101 is a social media site too.

In today’s consumer market, having volumes of information online is not enough; the trend is to engage with your users publicly.  Successful engagement and loyalty comes from building a sense of community that is fueled by an ongoing interactive dialog. Anonymous testimonials have lost their effectiveness. To be effective in reaching the young and tech savvy crowd, you need to be open, share and receive commentary and offer lots of interaction.

Like other forms of Social Media, Abroad101 is designed to share.  Reviews on Abroad101 are given a unique and permanent web address, provide comment sections and are distributed through a number of outlets.  On the site, reviews are summarized by program, by provider, by home institution and by host institution (if applicable).  Reviews are streamed to third parties through electronic feeds, software widgets and our associated community pages on Facebook and Twitter.  Universities and providers are encouraged to share these reviews with their communities, adding power to the sharing concept.

Reviews Are Not Only For Marketing:
Reviews have a number of uses beyond building a first impression, which is why a number of universities incorporate reviews in all aspects of the study abroad process.  Reviews help in:

  • Measuring the “fit” – Each program has its own identity, not only in the stated objectives, but also in the personality of the students.  By seeing where students come from and reading their comments, future students can get a sense of how they might (or might not) fit.
  • Assuring the Choice with Family and Friends – Reviews and their first hand accounts can help anxious parents and concerned friends understand and grow comfortable with the student’s choice.
  • Setting Expectations – Often overlooked, but nothing will help communicate the reality of a program more than a review.  Brochures can’t highlight safety concerns, but reviews can.  Web sites won’t discuss the realities of the setting or economic conditions of the local community, but reviews do.  As the saying goes, “an educated consumer is the best kind.”
  • Gathering Support for the Student – In addition to assurance, students share reviews with others to gain support, sometimes literally through the recent phenomenon of crowd funding.
  • Pre-Departure Orientation – Nothing can better prepare a student than the first hand accounts of previous students, especially if the former students came from the same home institution.  If you create a Facebook Group for new students, start the dialog off with links to reviews to get discussions going.
  • Helping Students Jump Start their Careers – Using the review as a showcase of their time abroad, the published reviews should be included in Linkedin profiles, cover letters and other career building self-promotion.

Ranking, Ratings and SEO:
Abroad101 also uses reviews to determine positioning in our directories.  The Free Listings in Abroad101 are displayed based on a formula that favors recent reviews and review score.  More reviews means better positioning which means more inquiries.

In addition to the overall score, Abroad101 also displays the average ratings for six other aspects.  We compile those into our annual rankings, which we will promote early in 2015.  To have your program considered for the rankings, we need reviews, so please get those invitations to recent students out before the end of the year.

Five years ago, typing “Plumber in Kansas City” into your favorite search engine would have directed you to online phone directories and electronic yellow pages.  Today, it gets you to Angie’s List, Yelp and the yellow pages that now syndicate reviews.  Search Engines are increasingly using reviews and other Social Media scoring (likes, favorites) as a factor in their rankings; keeping or improving your position with them is yet another reason to incorporate reviews in your online marketing plan.

Follow us:
Facebook.com/Abroad101
Twitter.com/StudyAbroad101
Pinterest.com/StudyAbroad101
Instagram.com/StudyAbroad101
The Study Abroad Advantage on Linkedin

Check Out Our sessions:
Abroad101’s CEO, Mark Shay presented sessions that outline these topics in further depth.  You can download the session slides from our blog:

ISEP Conference: “Social Media & Web Marketing Tools for Marketing and Advising” –
http://blog.studyabroad101.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/ISEP-Session-Social-Media.pdf

NAFSA Region X/XI: “Why Require Student Reviews” –
http://blog.studyabroad101.com/2014/10/why-require-student-reviews-ten-ways-program-evaluations-can-advance-study-abroad-on-your-campus/

Work Closer with Abroad101:
More than 90% of the reviews on Abroad101 are the result of an invitation, and the most effective way to generate reviews on Abroad101 is to use the “Invite Tool” in your account dashboard.  Our system is configured so that duplicate requests won’t get sent, so use the tool to invite recent students – it works!

Double-check your listings.  Type your provider name in the search box at the top of each page and click to see your provider summary page.  As with all of the listings on Abroad101, the display formula applies here too.  If you see the Abroad101 graphic (thumbnail) in the listing, that program needs a listing photo.  Make note of the programs needing reviews and put special emphasis on getting reviews for those.  If you need program titles changed or programs added, send an email to support@Abroad101.com with the program name and a web link, we’ll update them for you.

Advertise with Abroad101.  We continue to create added benefits for those that financially support Abroad101 through advertising.  2-3 times daily we highlight advertiser programs on our Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media outlets.  Reviews from advertiser programs are also distributed through Twitter with the advertiser name and related hash tags included.  Advertisers also receive screened general student inquiries that come through the site.  This comes in addition to the high visibility, cost-effective advertising positions across Abroad101.  Now’s a great time to boost your presence on Abroad101, contact mark@Abroad101.com for details and a price quote.

If you are interested in using Abroad101 as your official program evaluation management system, we’d love to talk to you about how Abroad101 can replace your paper or other legacy application.

As a reminder, reviews collected in 2014 or the result of an invitation issued from Abroad101 in 2014 will be considered for our annual rankings.  Log-into your dashboard and use the Invite Tool to get your former students to submit reviews by December 31 and you’ll that review will automatically be entered into the rankings process.

And, as always, your comments, questions and feedback are welcome.  Thanks for a great year; the best is yet to come!

Mark Shay
CEO, Abroad101
+1-212-321-0928
mark@Abroad101
http://www.StudyAbroad101.com

Abroad101 Student of the Week #30 – Karly Eckes

Karly Eckes-Nicaragua

Karly EckesThis week’s Abroad101 Student of the Week award goes to Karly Eckes, a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Karly is an applied science major who plans on one day becoming a physician assistant. She currently works for Elite Medical Scribes where she is a medical scribe and gaining invaluable experience in the medical field. Once she graduates from UWS, she hopes to move on to a two year program at a PA school.

Karly has been given the opportunity to study abroad in Nicaragua where she will learn about health care in a foreign country. She is also excited to explore a new country and learn about the culture.

The Abroad101 Student of the Week initiative awards a student who created a Mission for a study abroad program on GoEnnounce with a donation to their fundraiser. Learn more about this partnership from Abroad101 CEO Mark Shay and GoEnnounce co-founder Melissa Davis here.

We’re making weekly donations to studyabroad fundraisers! We hope you can help us assist these students in reaching their goals to make their travel dreams a reality. . To find out more about studying in Nicaragua, like Karly, visit the Abroad101 program page.

Stay tuned for our next Abroad101 Student of the Week!

– See more at: http://blog.goennounce.com/abroad101-student-of-the-week-0030-karly-eckes/