It’s been 16 months since Abroad101 has been under new management, and as witnessed by the strong show of support at the recent Forum conference, we are happy to report that Abroad101 is back in full swing, with the best yet to come. Here’s just a little bit of what’s been happening at the first and largest study abroad review website:
Study Abroad Rankings Released
Abroad101 released its fourth annual Study Abroad Rankings in late March, designed to highlight the thousands of program evaluations and reviews that we collect each year. The rankings are compiled from rating scores in the student reviews, which we use to recognize top study abroad semester programs, top summer programs, and top providers. Also highlighted are top non-traditional destinations, budget-friendly countries, most livable cities, and top food cities (remember, these are college students!).
To be considered for the rankings, programs must be listed in the Abroad101 directories and must have received a sufficient number of student reviews. From the 1,424 programs that received reviews, our analyst crunched numbers, set thresholds, and used Bayesian Analysis with a Standard Deviation adjustment to generate the scores that determined the students’ choice winners. We were quite pleased at the diversity of the programs that were recognized in this process and hope that the publicity this generates draws more students and their families to look at the breadth of what study abroad has to offer.
We’d like to thank StudentUniverse, our sponsor this year. In addition to saving students money on individual flights, they offer academic group travel and have some nice administration tools for program managers. Click here to learn more
Update Your Free Listings, Add Videos:
There are 9,400 programs in the Abroad101 directory; over 1,500 of these are foreign university direct enroll and exchange programs, and more than 3,000 are defined as faculty-led programs. Our team is constantly updating, adding, and revising listings, and we hope you will help us by visiting Abroad101 to review your listings and then send us updates. Each listing can be updated through your provider’s account where you can revise descriptions, add academic subject areas, and upload photos. If you forgot your login, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make your listings more attractive, please add videos. You can embed YouTube-style videos in your Free Listings by adding the “iframe” text to the video field in your listing. You can find the iframe text on YouTube by clicking the share icon, then embed, then copy that text and paste it into the edit screen in your Abroad101 account dashboard. If that seems too daunting, feel free to email us the link to the desired video and our staff will take care of that for you.
If you need to have program titles changed, locations edited, or host universities added, our crew would also be happy to help. Please send those details by email to email@example.com
Rich Snippets and Review Star Search
No, Rich Snippets is not a B-movie actor. Rich Snippets are extensions to site tags for search engines. Abroad101 has added them to our site so you can now see review counts, a rating score, and an eye-catching star graphic by your Abroad101 listing on the major search engines. Type your program name and the word “review” into your favorite search engine to see Rich Snippets at work.
Abroad101 joins Generation Study Abroad
Abroad101 has joined IIE’s Generation Study Abroad and our pledge to help double study abroad comes in the form of doubling our support for Crowd Funding and our “Abroad101 Student of the Week” project. Each week we take a deserving student, contribute cash toward their fundraising and boost their efforts with publicity and recognition. In addition, the referenced program reviews can help students in their fundraising by highlighting the experience of earlier students and helping friends and family become comfortable with the student’s goal.
Reviews are Social Media:
A well-crafted student review is a beautiful thing. With photos, constructive criticism, and reflective and forward thinking writing samples, reviews from Abroad101 can be points of pride with which students can highlight and share their experiences. Abroad101 syndicates the best of the reviews of our advertisers through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; we also highlight the best photos through Pinterest. Our Social Media Editor takes a highlight or a quote from each review and shares it, along with matching hashtags and tagged accounts, into our feeds to further extend the power of each review. When you see one, give it a boost: like it, retweet it, tag it as a favorite. If you haven’t caught the Social Media wave, start now with these Abroad101 networks:
How Long Can You Avoid Reviews?
According to the influential research firm Forrester, almost everybody reads reviews. Seventy-two percent of customers trust online opinions as much as they trust their own friends and family.
Nielsen, the famous information and measurement company, reports in their 2012 “Global Trust in Advertising Survey” that 70% of consumers trust online reviews from people they don’t know, which is up 15% from four years earlier. Ninety-two percent of consumers around the world say they trust word-of-mouth recommendations, whether from strangers or from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising.
If you are still not convinced that reviews are the among the most important force in marketing today, please read this article from Forbes
Direct your returning students submitting reviews to your program listings and click the “Write a Review” button or http://www.StudyAbroad101.com/reviews/new
As the fiscal year for most begins to wrap up, consider using any remaining funds to boost your presence on Abroad101 through advertising. We can customize a campaign to meet any budget. Advertising on Abroad101 not only generates more student inquiries, it boosts your conversion rates by adding exposure when students and parents are using the site to research and compare programs. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
See You at NAFSA:
For those of you who missed us at Forum, please make a point to stop by and see us at NAFSA (booth #1203) to collect this year’s collectable T-Shirt and discuss how you can turn those once static program evaluations into a dynamic user voice that is in such great demand from students, parents, and advisors alike.
Of course, you don’t have to wait. Please feel free to contact us at Abroad101 whenever we can be of service.