We know you’re heading into a busy time of year, so we thank you for taking a few minutes to think about broader issues like using reviews to advance study abroad on your campus. As we celebrate 10 years of serving American college study abroad, Abroad101 and our study abroad reviews are as popular as ever. The best news is that Abroad101 is still free for schools and going strong.
Have You Seen Your Students’ Study Abroad Reviews Lately?
Each day Abroad101 receives dozens of program evaluations from students that have been invited by either their home university, their provider or their host institution. We publish each review as a complete web page and tally them in listings by program, provider, host institution and also in portals for each home school. As of today, 31,963 student reviews are on Abroad101 making it the largest source of study abroad stories. Visit the site, enter your school name in the search box in the top menu bar and see what your students have to say!
Moms & Dads Use Abroad101
The target audience for Abroad101 is American college students looking for a semester, summer or short-term abroad. We list third-party, exchanges and faculty-led programs. Parents of prospective study abroad students are a big portion of our traffic. Based on Google Analytics data, we estimate that 20-25% of the visitors to Abroad101 are parents, searching on the keyword “reviews” and trying to learn more about the options their children are considering.
As an advisor, you will find that your recommendations are validated when prospective students and parents read reviews. Providers will often use reviews in their discussion with students and parents as they find a well-informed student makes for a more successful student. Reading reviews will help parents become more comfortable with study abroad and to help them set expectations on what lies ahead. We hope you’ll mention Abroad101 Reviews in your parent communication and put a link to Abroad101 on your website to better prepare all.
How to Get Students to Write Reviews?
So often we hear that it is hard to get students to do anything, let alone spend 20-30 minutes on a review. This is especially true when students feel that the activity has no benefit for them. However, they are inclined to share their stories if the exercise gives them a chance to tell their story, and that is exactly what they do on social media for hours a day! Think of a review as social media for study abroad and a place for students to showcase their story and talk about themselves. Our time-test review questions will do the rest.
If the student believes the review is good for them, they will generally participate. That takes some groundwork before they go abroad and as they prepare to return. One idea to get more engagement is to incorporate a review in your re-entry programming and use the review process as a step toward preparing the students to share their experience with others. Just like career counselors who tell students to prepare a good resume for a job search, we hope that study abroad advisors will help their students prepare for their return home by guiding them to submitting a thorough and candid review.
Using Abroad101 as Free Program Review Software:
A number of schools use Abroad101 as their official program evaluation software because it is designed to draw an insightful student account of their time abroad. These evaluations are also great for future advising and orientations. The service is offered free to American colleges and universities, supported by advertising from program providers and foreign universities. The software offers:
- Capability to approve/disapprove reviews
- Invite Tool to improve participation
- Graphs and Reports to tally student responses
- Manage an approved programs list
- Option to list faculty-led programs or in-house programs of your choosing
- Compare your results against others
- Add custom questions to the standard review
The Abroad101 team is happy 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 of Abroad101 to see if our free program evaluation tool is right for you. The demo will show how you can see reports, compare your results with other institutions, set pre-approved/recommended programs and add custom questions to the standard Abroad101 review. Abroad101 also has promotional material for you to share with your students, so please let us know how we can help you.
Check-out the other “TripAdvisor for Study Abroad”
We recently came across a cool app for students to use while abroad. It compiles the favorite restaurants, things to do, towns, and more from US study abroad students. Read more about the Rayka App