Abroad101 joins the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative

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First and largest study abroad review website commits to increase study abroad participation by doubling it’s tuition crowd funding initiative

February 25, 2015 Abroad101 has joined the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative to help more Americans to gain international experience through study abroad programs. This is one of more than 450 new commitments announced by IIE.

IIE’s Generation Study Abroad seeks to mobilize resources and commitments with the goal of doubling the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of the decade. Abroad101 has been helping advance study abroad since 2007 through the publishing of study abroad program reviews, detailed first-hand accounts of students experiences abroad. Since that time, more than 23,000 reviews have been published on StudyAbroad101.com, the field’s most comprehensive directory of study abroad programs.

Under the new partnership, Abroad101 will take concrete, action-oriented steps to expand opportunities for study abroad by doubling its financial commitment to the Abroad101 Student of the Week enterprise. Started less than a year ago, this study abroad tuition crowd funding initiative helps an ambitious and deserving students boost their fundraising efforts by contributing cash, endorsement, and a social networking push. By linking the student’s fundraising campaign to reviews, the Abroad101 Student of the Week uses the success reported by previous students to help the aspiring students draw support from their friends and family.

Abroad101’s CEO Mark Shay points out that many parents and family members who may not have gone to college or studied abroad themselves have a hard time understanding the benefits of an international experience. According to Shay, “Every day, dozens of reviews are added to Abroad101, and each tells a story of a young person’s individual triumphs and set-backs; testimonials to their learning and self-improvement. Abroad101 is committed to helping bring study abroad into the mainstream, one student at a time. We strive to not only help them find the best fit program, but also take those experiences and help them jump-start their careers.”

As of November 2014, Generation Study Abroad partners to date include over 300 colleges and universities of all sizes and types across the country and around the world, as well as 13 governments, 16 education associations, 67 international partners, and 56 study abroad, K-12, and social network organizations who have committed to specific goals to increase the number of U.S. students studying abroad. Commitments include actions to diversity the population of students who participate in study abroad and provide additional financial resources to make this possible.

IIE launched Generation Study Abroad early this year in the belief that the number and proportion of today’s students who graduate with an educational experience abroad is far too low. Currently, fewer than 10 percent of all U.S. college students study abroad at some point in their academic career, according to the Open Doors Report on International and Educational Exchange published by IIE with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Generation Study Abroad aims to grow participation in study abroad so that the annual total reported will reach 600,000 by the end of the decade.

“Globalization has changed the way the world works, and employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise,” says Dr. Allan Goodman, President of IIE. “Studying abroad must be viewed as an essential component of a college degree and critical to preparing future leaders.”

 

About Generation Study Abroad

IIE’s Generation Study Abroad seeks to significantly increase study abroad participation by bringing employers, governments, associations, and others together to build on current best practices and find new ways to extend study abroad opportunities and resources to tens of thousands of college students whose needs are not currently served by existing programs. Generation Study Abroad will sustain an ongoing dialogue about the need for more students from all backgrounds and in all fields to gain international experience. This will include research to identify and break down barriers hindering students from studying abroad, communications to share strategies and best practices to increase study abroad, and fundraising to mobilize additional financial resources. IIE will also hold a Summit on Generation Study Abroad on October 1-2, 2015 to engage stakeholders in higher education and all commitment partners.

 

About Abroad101

Founded in 2007, Abroad101 is the first and largest study abroad review website. Focusing on American college students looking for a semester or term abroad, this innovative platform connects past and future students, parents and advisors and program providers through its market-leading online evaluation tool. Abroad101 grew from one partnership at Tufts University in 2007 to over 215 college partnerships today. The Abroad101 directory of study abroad programs is the most comprehensive database in the field today. To learn more, visit: http://www.studyabroad101.com

 

About the Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,200 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad.

 

But How Did Study Abroad Help Me In My Career?

Puzzled Confused Lost Signpost Showing Puzzling Problem

Static

When I arrived in Barajas Airport in Madrid, I was greeted by Cristina Blanco, the (fabulous) director of the program. My mouth felt sticky, I was terribly jet-lagged, and still left-over anxious over having had my visa inspected. When I saw Cristina holding the sign that said CIEE (just like the literature said she would be), and wearing a big smile, I was relieved. At least, I was relieved until she said “sshhhrrrrshhsshhrrr.”

This was what castellano sounded like to me.

I smiled emptily at her. “¿Cómo?” I asked.  “What?”

“Sshhhrrrrsshrr,” she repeated kindly, pointing over to a growing group of young people about my age.

Over there. She wanted me to go over there and join the rest of the group. I nodded and moved in the direction she indicated, but I had understood nothing. I was terrified.

It all felt so unfair. I had studied Spanish in school for eight years. I knew words! I knew a lot of words! I listened to Juanes all the time! I liked Pedro Almodóvar films! And instead of feeling confident, the entire world turned into static.

At first I cried a lot. I was exhausted after having a five minute conversation with my host family. I fell asleep watching my English language DVDs every night. But after two weeks or so the static began to clear out. The shhhhrrrrshhhhhh sounds distilled into words that I recognized and could soon use. Two months in, I was able to joke with my host family, and on the airplane home I was able to discuss Spanish politics in Spanish.

editors note: You can read the full program review on Abroad101!

But how did this help me in my career?

I teach American Literature and ESL (English as a Second Language) in a high school in Queens, New York. Approximately 70% of my students are former English Language Learners, and of these 55% speak Spanish at home. Speaking Spanish is obviously useful. Anywhere you work in the world, speaking Spanish can only be an asset. But you probably already knew that.

Those two weeks I spent lost in static taught me more about second language acquisition than I could learn from a textbook. The strategies I used are strategies that I encourage my students to use.

  • Sit in the front of the classroom and minimize distractions.
  • Read for the gist of paragraphs rather than trying to understand every word on the page.
  • Use context clues when you can and a dictionary when you can’t.
  • Use physical and facial cues to help construct meaning.
  • Ask people to slow down or say it again.
  • Ask for help and ask questions.
  • Speak your native language when you need to. It’s totally fine.

I strongly believe that I have a better understanding of how to teach literature to ELLs and former ELLs because of my experience abroad. Teachers of ELLs are encouraged to discuss strategies for learning, as well as concepts to be learned. I had to learn these strategies for myself, so when I present these ideas, I am speaking as someone with experience, not someone who only read about these strategies in Chapter 2. Because we have all braved the static, we know we can trust each other to get to the point where the words come freely.

 

– Elizabeth Tanzer-Ritter
For StudyAbroad101.com

 

Elizabeth Tanzer-RitterElizabeth Tanzer-Ritter

I am in my eighth year of teaching English and ESL in the highly diverse New York City Public Schools. I graduated from Brandeis University in 2007 with a major in English Language and Literature and a double minor in Secondary Education and Spanish Language and Literature. I studied abroad during my junior year of college. I studied in Alcalá de Henares, Spain in 2006 (and it was awesome). I earned a graduate degree from Queens College in English Education in 2011 and a certificate in TESOL from St. John’s University in 2013. I love what I do and I am so grateful to be able to apply my experiences abroad to my experience in the workplace.

Abroad101 Advisors Newsletter February 2015

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Thank you for spending a few minutes reading this and catching up with latest news from Abroad101, the first and largest study abroad review website.  It’s been 7 1/2 years since we posted our first review and now, 23,000 reviews later, Abroad101 is as strong as ever continuing to help students, parents and advisors get more out of education abroad.

Crowd-Funding for Student Study Abroad

Crowd-Funding is not just for hi-tech start-ups, students are increasing the use of crowd-funding to pay for their education abroad.  Abroad101 is on the front lines of this hot new trend with our “Abroad101 Student of the Week” program designed to boost individual student efforts to raise money to study abroad.  In this partnership with GoEnnounce, a prospective student is recognized each week and their mission (campaign) is boosted with a small grant and promoted through Abroad101’s wide reaching social network.

To further demonstrate our commitment to help one student at a time, Abroad101 recently doubled our crowd-funding donations as part of our pledge to join Generation Study Abroad.  If you have ambitious, hard-working students who are finding it difficult to raise money for study abroad, we encourage you to get them started on a crowd-funding mission for study abroad, please link to https://www.goennounce.com/l/sa from the financing study abroad portion of your advising website.

If you’d like to read more about Crowd-Funding for Study Abroad, check out our recent article on Noodle.com.  We hope you’ll share it with your students.

Its Time Again to Invite Returning Students to Submit Reviews

Now is a great time to invite students to submit their program evaluations (reviews) through Abroad101.  Fall and January term students have had time to settle down, think about their experience and are just waiting for you to guide them to showcase their time abroad.  Over 70% of the 23,000 reviews on Abroad101 have come from the invitation of advisors, so please login to your account, use the Invite Tool and get those reviews flowing.  If you are using your own outreach, please direct the students to http://www.StudyAbroad101.com/reviews/new to begin their review.

Remember, it’s never too late to ask for 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 past 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.

Student Reviews of Exchange Programs

Abroad101’s evaluation tool works great with third-party providers, faculty-led and exchange programs.  Each foreign university has a catch-all “Direct Enrollment & Exchange” listing where students from all over the country will submit reviews of direct enrollment, consortia exchanges or bi-lateral exchange programs, all through this one listing.  It’s a great place for your students to see the benefits of these programs and for students to share those with the world when they return.

The Abroad101 Pre-approved/Recommended Programs Feature

For universities who use a pre-approved programs list or recommend programs to their students, Abroad101 offers an easy way to show those choices to students searching on the site.  When a student logs in to Abroad101, they will see your recommendations highlighted with an approved icon.  They also have the option to view only the pre-approved programs in any directory or only view programs that have been reviewed by students from their home university.  The pre-approved programs are easy to manage using your account dashboard.  If you’d prefer we maintain them for you, simply send us the source of your approved programs list (web links, spreadsheet or other document) and our team will take care of this for you, free of charge!

Use the Abroad101 Program Widget on Your Website

The Abroad101 Program Widget creates a badge-like graphic for use on your web site.  Using as much space as a small picture, the badge shows a review count, overall average review score and a star-ratings graphic in an image designed to look like an award that links back to the reviews.  There is no charge to use this, no forms to complete.  Simply copy the code generated from the Abroad101 Program Widget and enter it on your web page where you might otherwise have a photo.  The code is dynamic and your badge will constantly refresh and stay current.

The badge is a great complement to any program listed on your website, including you own faculty-led, exchange or recommended provider program.  The badge also helps students and their parents become more comfortable with a program and the link back to reviews can help set their expectations for that program.  Take a look!

Still using Paper Evaluations?

A number of organizations use paper-based evaluations, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting those reviews online.  We understand that paper data collection generates high participation results, so if you’re not yet ready to jump to a completely online system, we suggest you consider a hybrid, two part process where paper is done first, that data scanned and loaded into a database and that database integrated with the Abroad101 system.  The Abroad101 system would then send the student a confirmation and prompt them to complete some additional questions, add photos and then publish the review on Abroad101 to share their experience with the world.  We estimate the cost (with modest volume) to be $5 per paper review for the conversion.  If you are interested in engineering a 2-step process for your evaluations (paper or online), please contact mark@abroad101.com

Call, Meet or Just Say Hi!

As Abroad101’s CEO, I will be attending the upcoming AIEA conference in Washington, DC.  If you’d like to arrange a meeting, please email mark@abroad101.com 

Abroad101 will have a booth in the Exhibit Hall at the Forum conference in March.  If you are attending, please stop by and say hello.

If you have any questions about Abroad101 or would like a web demo of the system for you or your staff, please don’t hesitate to request an meeting.  We’d be happy to give you 30-45 minute walk-through of the features of the system.  Contact sales@abroad101.com to schedule an appointment.

Thanks again for taking the time to read this and for your interest in Abroad101.  Your suggestions and comments are very much appreciated as is your support.

Regards,

Mark Shay,

CEO, Abroad101

mark@abroad101.com

+1-212-321-0928

Join the Abroad101 Social Media Network on:

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Abroad101.com Study Abroad Statistics

 

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There are A LOT of international experiences that can be tallied. These include non-credit bearing programs like adventure travel, language immersions, volunteer and internships abroad, in addition to traditional study abroad.

We do know one thing; students like to travel. According to a special report from StudentUniverse + Skift http://skift.com/2014/10/07/new-free-skift-report-the-state-of-student-travel/

“The student traveler represents fully one-fifth of all international arrivals in the travel
industry, today. They command a market value of some $320 billion and they are willing
to spend to create experiences that go far beyond the backpack-and-party crowd that
some would assert to have once characterized educational journeys abroad.”

Abroad101 is designed to encourage students to undertake an experience off-campus and outside their comfort zones. We have accounts of study abroad, study away, education abroad, internships abroad, volunteer, intensive language and even pre-college gap year programs. As the reviews attest, the maturing and learning that occurs has a profound impact on the individual student and a compound impact on society. Our hope is to demonstrate that there is opportunity worldwide in unique and surprising places and that the first hand accounts of students will pave the way for more students to challenge themselves and expose themselves to the world. Along the way, we have compiled our own statistics and view of the world based on reviews received and traffic patterns in our program directories. Here are a few more data points to think about:

Abroad101-reviews-logo-web

 

 

 

Top Study Abroad Providers

http://blog.studyabroad101.com/2014/12/top-20-education-abroad-providers/

Most Popular Foreign Universities (Direct Enrollment & Exchange)

http://blog.studyabroad101.com/2014/08/top-of-direct-enroll-and-exchange-student-reviews-on-abroad101/

 Most Desired Countries to Study Abroad

http://blog.studyabroad101.com/2014/10/most-desired-places-to-study-abroad/

 Most Desired Cities to Study Abroad

http://blog.studyabroad101.com/?p=5563

Cities with the Most Study Abroad Programs

http://blog.studyabroad101.com/2014/08/worldwide-cities-with-the-most-study-abroad-programs/

Most Popular First Names of Study Abroad Students

http://blog.studyabroad101.com/2014/09/got-what-it-takes-to-study-abroad-emily-we-know-youre-out-there/

And from the Abroad101 Annual Rankings:

Top Rated Study Abroad Cities: http://www.studyabroad101.com/rankings/2013#top_cities

Top Rated Study Abroad Programs:

http://www.studyabroad101.com/rankings/2013#top_10_awards

Top Rated Study Abroad Providers:

http://www.studyabroad101.com/rankings/2013#top_providers

Top Rated non-traditional Study Abroad Countries:

http://www.studyabroad101.com/rankings/2013#unique_countries

Most Affordable Study Abroad Destinations

http://www.studyabroad101.com/rankings/2013#budget_countries

 

To students, parents and their advisors we say “Expose yourself to the world” then come back and share it by submitting a review.

To university administrators, we hope you will use Abroad101 as your official program evaluation tool to help us collect our data and help you capture your own data on study abroad

For more information on study abroad statistics please visit our article which includes information on IIE Open Doors project.

 

2015: Study Abroad by the Numbers

Study Abroad Destination popularity from StudentUniverse.com –

Every year, thousands of American students visit other countries for a semester of study abroad. But where are they all going? We took a look at the most popular city destinations from students from all 50 states (based on our booking data).

Check out the results  displayed on the map below.

Want a discount on your flight or excursions abroad? Visit StudentUniverse.comuse promo code 2rq9hk9sg5ab at checkout* and receive $20 off your international flight!

StudentUniverse2015StudyAbroad (1)

 

Study Abroad Advisors – Tips for better student reviews on Re-entry

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Your students have successfully completed an experience abroad that is most often described as “Life Changing” and “The Best Four Months of My Life” and you’re now looking to help them take that experience and do more with it. Some have blogged about it, described it on their Facebook page and made friends and family members of their inner circle aware of all the their discoveries. Abroad101 now encourages you, their advisor, to take another step and have them submit a thoughtful program evaluation/review through Abroad101.

Reviews on Abroad101 will help advisors and program providers gain better insight into a student’s experience and give you something to promote and share. Reviews will help future students and parents understand what to expect on the program, the destination and study abroad in general, AND the best reason to submit a review on Abroad101 is to help the student.

Student reviews will be published on the Abroad101 website and each will become its own webpage.  This creates a great place to feature experiences and use those experiences to open doors to a future career.  Employers are looking for people with an international background and a review on Abroad101 is a perfect place to jump-start career searches.  We suggest that you encourage students to think of a review as a writing sample, a chance to showcase who they really are.  A well written review can show future employers and other recruiters that the student can be constructive in their criticism, take responsibility for  outcomes, be reflective and be forward thinking.  Students should state their new worldview and use the review as a place to shine.  If there are a couple pictures of  community involvement or doing good deeds, this helps to really separate them from the pack. To begin a review, visit the StudyAbroad101.com, search for the program and click the “leave a review” button, or start here: http://www.Studyabroad101.com/reviews/new

When the review is complete , we also encourage students to include a link to their review in the education section of their Linkedin profile and then join the Linkedin group called “The StudyAbroad Advantage

As an added bonus when they complete their review, you’ll get a promo code for an additional $20 off their next flight or excursion abroad with StudentUniverse.com.

Advisors download our Student Re-Entry Flyer!

Abroad101 Providers Newsletter Winter 2015

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Abroad101 Providers Newsletter Winter 2015

As J-Term ends and spring semester begins, our best wishes to you and your organization through this busy season.  While many of you are now focusing on summer and fall recruitment, we hope you’ll take a few minutes to review your presence on Abroad101 and explore ways to incorporate the many tools we offer into your marketing plans.

Check and Update your Free Listings:

Free Listings are the core of Abroad101’s directories, one per program.  Listings provide an opportunity to showcase a program with photos, descriptions, videos; listings are also the home for student reviews.  Each organization is provided an account to edit and manage their listings to help recruit future students as well as to help interested students and parents better understand a program and set their expectations. 

We encourage you to visit Abroad101 and try the search box at the top of the page to find your program(s) and see what the students, parents and academic advisors see.  Type your organization name in the search box and see the provider list that summarizes all the Free Listings for your organization; then login and edit your listings.  Contact service@abroad101.com with any questions about your Free Listings.

Use the Abroad101 Program Widget:

The Abroad101 Program Widget creates a badge-like graphic for use on your web site.  Using as much space as a small picture, the badge shows a tally of reviews, overall review score and a star-ratings graphic in an image designed to look like an award that also links back to the reviews.  There is no charge to use this, no forms to complete.  Pick one or pick all of your programs.  Simply copy the code generated from the widget maker and enter it on your web page where you might otherwise have a photo.  The code is dynamic and your badge will constantly refresh and stay current.

The badge is also great for your university partner websites.  If they have a webpage about your program then help them get the badge on their website to give you a competitive edge.  Click here for the Abroad101 Program Widget

More Benefits of Reviews:

In any directory on Abroad101, Free Listings are displayed based on a formula that favors recent reviews.  Since people come to Abroad101 for the reviews, the programs with the most reviews move toward the top.  Most reviewed and best-rated programs will be seen more often and have the greatest chance to generate new student inquiries for you.  As a reminder, those inquiries go to you, and only you, and are not repurposed in any way.

Programs with reviews are also more popular with Internet search engines, another benefit of drawing reviews through Abroad101.  Microsoft’s Bing has recently included Abroad101 star rating icons in their search results, so you not only get SEO with added reviews, you get an eye catching graphic on your Bing listing.  Here’s a star-rated search example

Still using Paper Evaluations?

A number of organizations use paper-based evaluations, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting those reviews online.  We understand that paper data collection generates high participation results, so if you’re not yet ready to jump to a completely online system, we suggest you consider a hybrid, two part process where paper is done first, then scanned and loaded into a database and that database integrated with the Abroad101 system.  The Abroad101 system would then send the student a confirmation and prompt them to complete some additional questions, add photos and then publish the review on Abroad101 to share their experience with the world.  We estimate the cost (with modest volume) to be $5 per paper review for the conversion.  If you are interested in engineering a 2-step process for your evaluations (paper or online), please contact mark@abroad101.com

Include Abroad101 in your Advertising Budgets:

In addition to your Free Listings, advertising on Abroad101 is designed to raise the visibility to your programs and increase the volume of student inquiries you receive.  Advertising comes in the form of Featured Listings in our city and country directories plus advanced search.  Cost is $500/year/program with volume discounts for multiple program purchases.

There are two run-of-site display ad options, banners on the city and country portals, plus our high visibility Global Rotation Ads, a group of six featured programs that appear at the top right of just about every page on the site.  We have lots of creative ways to mix-and-match ad to build an effective campaign to meet any budget. 

In addition to the added exposure that Featured Listings and Display Advertising offer, advertisers on Abroad101 get the following extras:

  • Ability to receive leads and reviews through automated API downloads directly into your CRM/database
  • Receive extra student leads, hand-matched from the general student inquiries Abroad101 receives.
  • Twitter posts of student review highlights that include a student quote, the home university and provider Twitter address, a link back to the review and relevant hash tags where possible
  • Facebook posts of the best of the Twitter stream, plus periodic boosted posts of Featured Listings
  • General favor for advertisers in professional references, student, advisor and media communication

For more details on advertising on Abroad101, please contact Sales@Abroad101.com or call +1-212-321-0928

Nominate an Advisor

In addition to Free Listings or providers, Abroad101 offers free accounts for universities to manage and control the review process. Abroad101 also produces an Advisors Newsletter for university staff and we are always looking to expand our advisor contact list.  If you have advisors who might be interested in using Abroad101, please direct them to us. They can also subscribe to our Advisors Newsletter 

Call, Meet or Just Say Hi!

As Abroad101’s CEO, I will be attending the upcoming AIEA conference in Washington.  Abroad101 will not have a booth in the exhibit hall, so if you’d like to arrange a meeting, please email mark@abroad101.com  I will also be attending re-entry conferences in Boston and Philadelphia in February.

Abroad101 will have a booth at the Forum conference in March.  If you are attending, please stop by and say hello.

If you have any questions about Abroad101 or would like a web demo of the system, please don’t hesitate to contact me to schedule an appointment, or just give me a call at +1-212-321-0928

Thanks for taking the time to read this and for your interest in Abroad101.

Regards,

Mark Shay, CEO

Abroad101

mark@abroad101.com

+1-212-321-0928