With students overseas or off-campus during the summer months, most study abroad offices are quiet, which gives staff a window to tackle some strategic projects. We hope one of these projects will be deeper integration with the free tools and services offered by Abroad101. In this newsletter we’ll provide some insight into the Abroad101 software and ways in which you might use it to advance study abroad on your campus.
Re-entry in a Box:
Before jumping into the nuts & bolts of the system, please take a minute to think about Abroad101 as a method/vehicle to guide student re-entry from their time away. Some colleges use the Abroad101 system as their official program evaluation platform.
The Abroad101 survey offers a review of the entire study away experience in ways that encourage the student to think and write reflectively while providing criticism and praise to multiple of aspects of their program. Students have a chance to take responsibility for their actions, give a sense of who they were before they went and who they think they are now.
While technically evaluating a program, ultimately the reviewer is offering a testimonial to their personal growth and achievement. This in turn speaks as much to the success of a program as the star ratings that accompany their review. Colleges can also add their own questions to the 37-question standard survey if they feel something more specific needs to be included in the evaluation.
Reviews Help Students/Parents Prepare for Study Abroad
Reviews are often used for a variety of reasons, including researching program selection and to help set expectations. For future students and their families, the reviews from previous students provide good insight as to what to expect and situations to be aware of. That’s why a number of advisors use Abroad101 reviews in pre-departure orientation exercises and we’ve even heard of some program managers using reviews as part of their arrival orientation (think first postings to new student Facebook groups.)
With this in mind, adding links from your program webpages to Abroad101 program listings can help your study abroad community better prepare. Abroad101 gives each program its own web page and we welcome your link to it. Find the program here and copy the link for your website.
Another option is to link to your university profile that lists pre-approved/recommended programs and all the reviews generated by study abroad alumni from your university. Every university has a profile on Abroad101 and you have the ability to update and manage it. Use the search box at the top of any page on Abroad101 to find your university profile. If you need access to this portal, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Abroad101’s widgets allow content from the reviews to be displayed on your website. We have a University Widget that works in conjunction with your pre-approved list and a Program Widget that creates a badge like graphic for a single program. No contract or paperwork required, just use the tool, copy the code and install it on your website or as an addition to your own program search in your directory system.
Connecting Reviews to your Enrollment or CRM System
We have been pushing to get Abroad101’s process of program evaluation and our set of questions as a standard part of everyone’s study abroad. The students give us a lot of data that a growing number of institutions are using in their analysis and management of education abroad. Abroad101 is set up to pass that data to you in several ways:
- “Graphs” tool in your account dashboard compares the scores of the individual ratings questions. You can see how your students do against 24,000 other study abroad reviews.
- “Export to Excel” function that creates a spreadsheet with all of the data collected in each review, including any custom fields that you have added.
- “API” is a computer system linkage that allows your system to dynamically pull the review in. Your programmers use the unique API key and the review serial number to get the review pulled into your systems.
The Power of the Review Serial Number:
The Export and API functions are even more powerful when this data can get tied to the student’s account in your computer system. Key to this linking is the Abroad101 review serial number. Each Abroad101 review gets its own serial number and if you enter that serial number after “/reviews/” it will redirect to the full program link. For a recent review, serial # 29619 can be viewed here http://www.studyabroad101.com/reviews/29619
If the advisor or the student enters the serial number into your student information system, you can forever refer to the review. We recently posted an article with one creative way the serial number can be utilized in Terra Dotta Software and similar systems.
Review them all – Faculty-led, Exchange and Third-Party!
Abroad101 allows you to manage program evaluations for each type of study abroad program, or them all. For example, Abroad101 has more than 1,700 foreign universities listed on the site, each with a catch-all listing for your outbound exchange students. Through Abroad101 your students can review any of the 4,000 third-party programs or if you’d like, we can add your own to the 4,500 faculty-led/university-run programs in the directory. University-run programs listed on Abroad101 even have the option to be listed as home-students-only which means they will be listed as closed to outside students, yet you get all the advantages of Abroad101’s reporting, data collection and the publishing tool for students to generate insightful, powerful and career-boosting testimonials of their experience abroad. Since 2007, Abroad101 is Fast. Free. Easy.
It all Starts with an Invitation
To get any of these projects going, you do need reviews and the best way to get reviews is to invite or require your students to submit one. It has been our experience that students won’t take the time to review a program unless told to do so. You can encourage them, offer them incentive, insist a published testimonial will be a good jump start to their careers, or tell them it’s required, but tell them something to make these tools work for you. Direct or link them to the program page on Abroad101 where they will find a “Write a Review” icon or have them start here: http://www.studyabroad101.com/reviews/new
As the summer progresses we hope you won’t hesitate to contact us with any requests or questions. We welcome the chance to present our system to you in a web demo or though a telephone conference call, please send those requests to email@example.com.
Thanks for your referrals and support and best wishes for a Happy Summer!
CEO / Abroad101
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