Oceania Study Abroad Programs

Oceania is an area of the world that spans the South Pacific Ocean and includes several countries and territories. This includes Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and French Polynesia Islands.

Students have written so many positive comments in their reviews, which explains why this destination is a very popular study abroad choice.

An unforgettable semester in Suva” – A 4 1/2 star Fiji review which includes comments such as: “So much personal growth! Go with an open mind and absorb the world around you. I learned much more about culture, the world, and myself in the last 5 months than I have in my entire life. Be willing to listen and ask questions.” or “I was able to make friends with some Fijians as well as Indo-Fijians. I would highly recommend integrating yourself as much as possible and talking with locals in class. They can be a bit shy but don’t be discouraged by that. Whenever you’re out and about in Fiji, people will make you feel like family. Also, this program includes a village stay, which was one of my favorite parts. I felt so at home and like I was experiencing the real Fiji- not just the beaches like everyone thinks!”

Students also have helpful tips about their stay. This review of a program in New Zealand had these words of advice for incoming scholars.

“New Zealand has a very different set up for gradings as there are only a few assignments which are weighted heavily, but the professors are incredibly accommodating.” Also, “We get more for our US dollar in NZ so that was always a relief when looking at the bank account.”

Abroad101.com has nearly 500 programs listed in just this part of the world. Learn more about the study abroad options available to you, read student reviews, and submit an inquiry all from our main site. There are so many options available you are sure to find the perfect program for you.

Work for yourself to fund your studies abroad

Online business

Being able to study abroad is something that will literally change your life and do so in a good way. Experiencing another culture really does broaden your mind. It opens up your eyes to all kinds of ideas and new ways of doing things.

The problem is that studying is expensive. This is the case wherever you choose to do it. But, usually, if you study in your home country you can find a part-time job to cover some of the costs. If you study abroad, the language barrier and regulations can make that difficult to do. But, what anyone can do is to run an online company.

Become an affiliate marketer or dropship other people’s products

This can be done from anywhere. All you need to do is to find something that you know you can sell. For example, the products that mydoorsign makes.

Every company needs signage. Some just need to put their opening times on the door and point customers towards the toilets. While others need hundreds of signs to be able to run their business efficiently. For example, in a warehouse, every aisle and picking bay needs to be labelled.

The fact that every firm needs some kind of signage means that demand is strong. So, your chances of finding someone who needs some are high. All you have to do is to point out to them that their signage is looking a bit dated and offer to source some new ones for them.

You charge them a bit more than you will have to pay for the signs. Use the money they give you to order their new signage and pocket the difference. This is a form of dropshipping marketing.

An even easier way to run an online business is to become an affiliate for a company. Again, all you have to do is to find firms that need signage, or another product, and get them to order it via a website that you have set up. When they do, the fact that they have clicked your affiliate links in the process of placing that order will let the supplier know that order came via your sales effort. They will then pay you a percentage of that particular sale. It is a bit like a finder’s fee.

There are plenty of ways for you to learn about both of these simple ways of running a business while studying abroad. Everything can be done online, so you can use this simple business model while living anywhere in the world.

The additional benefits of running your own business

Running your own business and studying abroad is going to boost your confidence. With both experiences, you are going to learn amazing new skills. Skills that can literally set you up to succeed with whatever you want to do in life.

Self-employed people go through a lot of ups and downs, which can be tough. But, in the end, you become a resilient and resourceful individual. If you are in any doubt that running a business will be beneficial in the long run, we suggest that you read this article that provides evidence that demonstrates that it is a great idea.

 

 

Why You’ll Never Be the Same After Studying Abroad

Students who are able to go abroad to study are fortunate because they will definitely have an experience that can change their lives forever. The advantages and benefits of studying abroad to one’s education and career are substantial. A year or more spent abroad to study is an advantage worth more than the money you’ll spend on tuition and lodging. You will be learning a new culture, immersing in a lifestyle different from your own, learning a new language, and building a global network of friends.

In the November 2018 Open Doors Report released by the Institute of International Education (IIE), over 330,000 students in the U.S. studied outside the country for college credits during the school year 2016 to 2017. Since the 1990s, the number of American students studying abroad has continued to grow. Over one million international college students were studying in the U.S. in 2017 to 2018.

Studying abroad is increasingly essential today. And people will notice the positive changes in you when you return. If you are thinking of spending some time abroad for college credits, here are some of the essential benefits.

  1. It will improve your language skills

You will have many chances to sharpen your language skills through your daily interaction with native speakers. It is something that you cannot duplicate in language classes. It is possible to learn the language quicker. Moreover, you’ll be picking up local jargon and learning better pronunciation by listening to how locals do it.

  1. You’ll adapt to different teaching styles

The style of teaching varies depending on the country. You can adapt to different academic settings when you study abroad. Learning how to adapt can be helpful at work because you will be more versatile.

  1. You’ll be more self-confident 

You’ll learn life skills that you might not know when you’re constantly surrounded by familiar things, such as your family and friends, and other things that you are used to seeing. You’ll learn to be independent as well.

As you overcome the challenges of living abroad on your own, your maturity will improve as you encounter unexpected conditions. Your communication skills get a boost as you converse in another language. You’ll learn to adjust and adapt to the new culture, and become more tolerant. These qualities are applicable in the workplace. You’ll become resilient and self-reliant, as you have to do everything by yourself.

You’ll be able to develop strong management, leadership and critical thinking skills. Your communication skills will likewise improve as you learn to negotiate and speak in public in another language.

  1. You’ll build international connections

You are going to meet other international students at a foreign university, so your global connections will likely increase. They can become your friends for life. Some of them could be instrumental to several career opportunities, such as job offers or internships. You might even become business partners in the future.

  1. You’ll increase your cultural awareness

Meeting other international students will broaden your knowledge of different cultures – the way they act, view things, think, learn, dress, talk, eat, and so on. You will see their traditions and cultural practices, helping you adjust to their different personality and attitude. You’ll be more accepting of people from different cultural backgrounds and share their experiences. Studying abroad broadens your mind and widens your horizon.

  1. You’ll learn to value little things

When you stay at home, you might feel annoyed by the mundane and the routine. Everything is the same, and you might wonder what is unique about your country and the way you live. While studying abroad, you will learn to manage your budget and rely on yourself. You’ll witness other students’ struggle with adapting to a new environment and way of living, not to mention, struggle with finances. You’ll realize that things are easier back home.

  1. You can travel and see more of the world 

Traveling and seeing more of the world is one of the core benefits of studying abroad. It enables you to visit another country and have the chance to see other places, within the country itself or the regions surrounding the country where you are studying. Your local friends can show you the beauty of their country and fantastic locales that other tourists either do not know or do not frequent.

Check out the study abroad program in your college or university. If you qualify, get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime chance that is too good to miss. Likewise, prepare your academic and other documents, so you’ll know if you need transcript translation services.

About the Author:

Sean Patrick Hopwood, CEO and Founder of Day Translations, a language translation services provider, that serves clients in a wide range of industries including education, finance, and government.

 

How To Comfortably Fund Your Studies Abroad

Photo by Liam Anderson from Pexels

How To Comfortably Fund Your Studies Abroad 

Students who study abroad are far less likely to suffer from long-term unemployment, according to a study by the Erasmus Student Network. The study also found that 64 percent of employers consider international experience vital for recruitment. Studying abroad contributes to a well-rounded education, enhanced language skills, and increased cultural awareness. However, despite the benefits of international education, only about 300,000 US students study abroad. One of the main things that prevents this figure from being higher is the cost. Luckily, there are many funding options for those interested in studying abroad. 

Save your money 

One way to fund your studies abroad is by working for some time and saving enough money to cover your education costs. This is usually a great option for people who have already gone to college in the US but are interested in advancing their education. For instance, after getting your first degree at a US university, you can work for two years while saving money to get your MBA at a UK or Australian university. If you choose this route, make sure you save enough to get you through, or you may find yourself struggling to finish the course.

Seek help from financial institutions 

Education is an investment in your future, and just like other investments, a loan can come in handy when you don’t have enough money to cover the cost. In fact, more than 60 percent of American college students graduate with a significant amount of loans. If you are cash strapped come enrollment time, a personal loan is a viable option because, unlike credit cards, it will likely have a lower interest rate and lower upfront fees. They tend to be more flexible, especially when it comes to payments, and you can request a payment term that is in line with what you can afford to pay. Personal loans also have fixed monthly repayment amounts, which are determined before you get your loan. This makes it easier to plan your budget, since the amount you pay every month is the same throughout your loan term. 

Find ways to make money while studying abroad 

Depending on where you are studying, you will discover various ways to make money to cover some of your everyday costs, such as food and transportation. A great way to make money while studying abroad is by getting a job there. This works better when you already have a degree to your name, but even when you don’t have one, you can work with employment agencies to help you find a job in your new country. You also need to do everything required to allow you to work in your new location, such as getting a work visa and other necessary documents. Depending on your school schedule, you can work part-time and study full-time, or work full-time and study part-time. If you choose this route, it’s up to you to find the perfect balance between work and school so that you have enough time to work, do school work, and leave enough personal time to relax and explore your new environment. 

The benefits of studying abroad far outweigh the costs you’ll incur. Studying abroad helps you develop into a well-rounded professional who can adapt quickly to diverse working conditions. It also creates many opportunities and opens doors that would never have opened before, so looking for creative ways to fund overseas studying is well worth the effort.

 

Abroad101 Providers Update for May 2019

It was thirteen years ago when a motivated, idealistic study abroad student returning to Boston from a semester in Australia came up with the idea that his experience should not be just etched in his mind, it should be shared with the world. 

With some help from some entrepreneurial friends, they started a business with the goal to be the “Trip Advisor for Study Abroad.”  Soon there was a website, some technology, staff and the business known as Abroad101 got started.  You can still see “Review One

Recently we published Review 44554 and are on a pace to publish 6,000 reviews this year.  The business had its ups and downs, having succeeded by keeping its focus on providing students a forum to tell their story and helping universities and providers manage that process in a responsible way. 

Meet Phil, our new General Manager

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Philippos Kollitsis as the new General Manager for Abroad101. 

“Phil” is an experienced, professional businessperson who will be working from the Ledra Capital offices in Nicosia (Cyprus) and New York.  Ledra is the majority shareholder in Abroad101 and remains committed to the future of Abroad101.  Phil has served as CEO and as a Board Member of several companies over the last twenty years and has been an advisor to Ledra.  He too was an international student, earning two degrees from Lancaster University in the UK.   We are excited to welcome Phil on board to our team.

Phil will be at NAFSA and will be stopping by booths.  You can also arrange to meet him at the University of Nicosia’s booth #1131.  We invite you to stop by early in the week to pick up an invitation to UNIC’s 10th Annual Med Party (Wednesday, May 29 – 6:30pm – 9:00pm) and to attend the A101 Happy Hour immediately prior, at 5:30PM, both at City Tap House Penn Quarter on 901 9th Street NW. Register to attend by clicking here.

Do Reviews Matter?

Please take a moment to remember the last time you booked a hotel, chose a movie or show in a theater, picked a restaurant, or bought a product online.  Did a review guide your decision?  If these small decisions were influenced by reviews, then we’re sure you’ll understand how something as complex as an education abroad experience needs reviews. 

Also consider how reviews actually better serve the parents of students.  From our traffic analytics, we see that 20-25% of our web traffic comes from visitors who are 40-50 years old (parents).  We know parents are key in the decision-making process and the feedback we get from parents shows a hunger for candor and interest in using reviews to endorse or approve their student’s program choice.  While you may have testimonials on your website, independent, third-party reviews can be powerful additions to your marketing.

Candor is Key

People come to review sites looking for balance to the always-positive websites, brochures and in-person presentations.  They know things aren’t perfect and want to understand what may be imperfect about a given location, program or host.  Quite often the visitors to Abroad101 are coming to validate their earlier discoveries and because of this, we see a significant portion of our traffic from parents and other adults who support students.  Students may be drawn to the ratings and comments about food and social aspects of a program, while parents see value in ratings and comments about safety and cost.  The 38 questions in the Abroad101 review give everyone something to discuss with plenty of examples to engage in a meaningful dialog and hopefully break some stereotypes about other people and other parts of the world. 

The vast majority of students who study abroad have an overwhelmingly positive experience, which is reflected in the reviews.  Those that struggle and report negative things will actually help future students prepare and set their expectations.  We hope you’ll bring these reviews to the attention of future students so that they can put things in perspective.  Costs in London are high, academics at Oxford are hard, petty crime is rampant in Paris and the food in Ghana is, well, … different.  Knowing these things before a student goes away may make a big difference in how they prepare. 

For Parents, knowing what the risks are is actually reassuring as they can then help their child prepare. When parents inquire to you about programs and ask for referrals, direct them to Abroad101.

Advisors discuss issues over and over, but with reviews the students are learning from their peers and for the schools that require reviews of their students, the  indirect peer advising seems to really help.

Please encourage your students to read the reviews as part of their pre-departure preparation and push them to be candid in their reviews when they return.  Students can start their review at http://www.StudyAbroad101.com/reviews/new

Reminder About the Display Algorithm:

Most visitors to Abroad101 will end up in a directory of programs.  We list programs by city, country, academic program as well as by provider and host university.  For those university partners who select the “approved programs” option, we create a directory as well.  Anytime there is a list, it is ordered based on our proprietary display algorithm which is designed to recognize recent review volume and quality of reviews.  

The algorithm has an impact factor that lessens the impact of older reviews and formulas that reward reviews that contain photos, complete descriptions and a range of review scores.  We do this because Abroad101 is first and foremost a review website.  People come looking for reviews and we want to highlight recent and well written reviews.

Student Inquiries:

Recently we have seen a rise of bots sending Spam email through our inquiry form.  We apologize for this inconvenience and are working to solve this problem; we hope to have it fixed soon.

It’s Free for Schools

We offer Abroad101 to American colleges and universities as free study abroad program evaluation software.  It is fully functional SaaS that manages inviting students to submit reviews, an approval process, approved program lists, graphs and benchmarking reports and the ability to export reviews for further analysis.  Using our unique serial number, schools can also link reviews to their student information systems or TerraDotta.  University partners can also add unique questions to the 38-question base review and also choose not to publish some of them. 

Our business model gives program providers and foreign host universities the option to pay to promote their programs through advertising.  A large portion of that revenue goes to support software services allowing colleges and universities to use Abroad101 without subscription fees.   We ask that our partner schools look favorably upon the organizations who appear in the “Featured Program” positions as a thank you for the free software. 

Added Benefits of Advertising:

If goodwill is not compelling enough for you to support Abroad101, we have designed the site so that advertising on Abroad101 will bring you more inquiries, improve your conversions and raise the brand and visibility of your programs.  Featured Listings start at $500/year and we offer generous volume discounts for multiple programs and display advertising. 

We also give extra emphasis to reviews from advertised programs in Abroad101 ‘s Social Media channels.  We post excerpts of reviews in our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels and are open to extra boosts for program news and highlights as part of an advertising package.

Meet Phil at NAFSA or Schedule a Call

If you’d like to arrange a meeting with our new general manager, please email him at philippos@abroad101.com to arrange a good time/place to meet.  

We look forward to re-connecting soon!

Prevent The Risk of Identity Theft While Studying Abroad

Gone are the days when thieves stole purses and wallets and settled for the coins and notes in there. In 2016, more than 791 million identities were reported stolen from American students living abroad. In fact, Americans are most likely to fall victims to identity theft than any other nationality. Today, your credit card, passport, identity card and bank ATM’s are all targets. People traveling abroad for studies are at a higher risk of identity theft. Thieves tend to target students from western countries as they are assumed to be wealthier than any other. Once the fraudsters get their hands on your personal and financial documents, phone, and wallet; chances are that your identity will be stolen and render you a victim of fraud. However, there are measures that you can take to minimize your risks.

Carry Less Valuables

It is highly advisable that you do not carry unnecessary documents when traveling. This includes your credit cards, photo identification, or paperwork bearing vital details. If possible, leave your wallet at home or hide it well within your luggage. Do not put it where it can easily be snatched or stolen.

Keep Copies of Important Documents

You can never be too safe with your documents when in transit. Making copies of all your; VISA, Passport, Student Identity Card, Insurance card, as a precautionary measure is necessary. Email these copies to yourself and leave original documents with a trusted family member or friend whom you can contact from overseas. This way, you can easily organize for the replacement of the documents in case any of them is stolen.

Create a New Email Account For Travel

Creating a new email account is free of charge and only takes a few minutes. As a precautionary measure, creating one to use while studying abroad is a necessary measure. By doing this, you deny them the power to cause havoc. By hacking your private account, they stand a higher chance of accessing your school and financial data.

Take Advantage of Travel Cash Rewards

Anyone can prevent identity fraud when studying abroad. Identity protection service providers advise that students consider using travel cards. These can be loaded with foreign currency prior to travel. This option comes with other benefits besides preventing identity theft. You can avoid bank conversion fees by locking in the current exchange rate. These cash cards can also be used as an ordinary Visa credit card. It is best that you register for this card online so that you can easily deactivate it and also retrieve the stolen money. This denies fraudsters access to your identity or the bank accounts linked to that card. Students overseas are susceptible to theft as they are oblivious and focused on having a good time. For safety purposes, it is best that you avoid public WiFi networks, opt for fingerprint security for your phone, and report immediately in case your documents get stolen. Luckily for students, they can purchase a travel insurance prior to the trip. It covers lost travel documents cash and credit cards. Others additionally cover missed trips, delayed flights, food expenses, emergency/unplanned accommodation in case a student is held up due to lost documents.

Win a trip to Germany – enter DAAD’s Photo Contest!

Abroad101.com is happy to pass along this Photo Contest with DAAD! Who wouldn’t want to win a trip to Germany!!!

DAAD North America launched its annual contest for students from US and Canadian campuses. First-prize is a round-trip fare to Germany!

Do you have a review published with Abroad101? Post your Germany photos as part of the review and enter them in the contest. Share your favorite places with the world. If you like to write a review you can do that here.

This year, we want to see photos of Germany that reveal #YourHiddenGermany and go beyond Oktoberfest, Neuschwanstein and the Brandenburg Gate (as much as we love them). 

To participate in the 2018 Annual DAAD Contest, students can submit up to 3 photos of #YourHiddenGermany. The best #YourHiddenGermany photos will be featured on the DAAD USA and DAAD Canada websites and in their respective Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds. Use #YourHiddenGermany to share your entries with, friends, family, and DAAD USA’s and DAAD Canada’s followers.

Contest Prizes:

First-prize:           Round-trip airfare to Germany.

Second-prize:      GoPro Hero Camera.

Third-prize:          $50 gift card for www.GermanDeli.com.

How to Enter –

To participate in the 2018 Annual DAAD Contest, please submit up to 3 photos of #YourHiddenGermany. Include a description of what the image shows and why it is special to you. The best #YourHiddenGermany photos will be featured on the DAAD USA and DAAD Canada websites and in our respective Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds. Use #YourHiddenGermany to share your entries with, friends, family, and DAAD USA’s and DAAD Canada’s followers.

Here are the Contest Guidelines:

  1. To participate, you must be 18 years or older and enrolled as a full-time student in a university degree program in the U.S. or Canada.
  2. All submissions must include a photo and description (max. 255 characters).
  3. Maximum file size for photo uploads is 8 MB.
  4. Photos can be uploaded as JPG-files or directly from Instagram.
  5. Horizontal, vertical and square photos are ok, but please no panorama images.
  6. Do not upload photos that have been edited (no filters) or that feature inappropriate content.

All entries must be received by April 29th , 5:00pm EDT. For more information: https://www.daad.org/en/2018/04/06/daad-photo-contest/

EARN A TOP 10 US DEGREE IN CHINA

Duke Kunshan University is the first Sino-American university partnership involving a top 10 ranked U.S. university. The product of a partnership between the prestigious Duke University and China’s renowned Wuhan University, our mission is to create a world-class university in China that offers a wide range of academic programs for students from around the world.

Located in scenic Kunshan, in Jiangsu province, the Duke Kunshan campus sits within the stunning Kunshan Yangcheng Lake Science Park while boasting state-of-the-art facilities to provide students a perfect environment for achieving their full potential. At the heart of the Yangtze River Delta, China’s economic powerhouse, students will not only be living in the wealthiest county level city in China, but will also be less than a 20-minute ride by high-speed rail to Shanghai and Suzhou.

Undergraduate Admissions China

Duke Kunshan will launch a new four-year undergraduate program in the fall of 2018. The Duke Kunshan undergraduate program includes an option of a two-semester experience at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, culminating in a degree from Duke Kunshan University in China, a degree from Duke University in the U.S., and the prestige of joining the Duke alumni community. Though courses will be taught in English, non-Chinese students will be required to take Mandarin courses, allowing them to be fully immersed in Chinese culture and society while they study here.

The curriculum is based on an interdisciplinary liberal arts and sciences curriculum designed by Duke University. It will allow for students to explore a variety of subjects before deciding on a major at the end of their second year. Currently, Duke Kunshan has eight undergraduate majors. Additional majors, including interdisciplinary humanities majors and social science majors, will be introduced in the next two years. By 2020, when the first cohort of students is set to declare their majors, there will be over 20 majors from which to choose.

To cultivate a truly diverse and global environment for students, Duke Kunshan’s first cohort of 225 students will include at least 50 overseas students. In the years ahead, Duke Kunshan will steadily increase class sizes to reach a full capacity of 2,000 undergraduate students with a 60/40 mix between Chinese mainland students and students from other regions around the world, respectively.

When students apply for undergraduate admissions, they will be applying for the opportunity to join a diverse community of exceptional students striving to succeed on an international level. Students at Duke Kunshan are given a world-class education from passionate professors who are the foremost leaders in their fields. With an innovative curriculum and an international learning environment, our undergraduates will leave with the practical experience and knowledge needed to become the leaders of tomorrow.

Graduate Admissions China

Duke Kunshan’s graduate program is designed to offer a global learning environment for graduate studies in China. Our curriculum is designed by Duke University and taught through the innovative and global oriented approach of Duke Kunshan. We prioritize a well-rounded educational style that encourages creative thinking. Each semester, acclaimed professors from Duke University come to the Duke Kunshan campus to conduct research, teach, and connect with students.

Students will have the choice of spending a semester at Duke University or conducting research in a different country. The international nature of Duke Kunshan’s program will allow students to develop valuable intercultural and interpersonal skills, enhancing their leadership potential and opening doors to a wide variety of career opportunities.

Scholarships

For Graduate Students

Duke Kunshan welcomes applicants from all over the world; we seek the brightest minds, regardless of country of origin, culture, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. Following this philosophy, every student in our graduate program is automatically considered for a merit-based scholarship based on their application.

For International Graduate Students

As the world is becoming increasingly connected and China has become more open to the rest of the world, the need for people to transcend geographical and cultural barriers to build a more understanding future has become increasingly apparent. In pursuit of this ideal, the Chinese government has established many scholarships to encourage students from all around the globe to study in China.

To encourage the internationalization of higher education in Jiangsu, the Jiangsu Provincial Government established the Jasmine Jiangsu Government Scholarship. This Chinese government scholarship was introduced to promote and aid the development of international students and scholars studying in Jiangsu Province. At Duke Kunshan, this scholarship will be awarded to international candidates who excel at their graduate studies while pursuing their degrees on our campus.

For Chinese and International Undergraduate Students

To attract the highest caliber students, we are offering generous scholarship and financial aid packages to ensure that top-tier candidates from around the world will be afforded the opportunity to study with us. The majority of our enrolled students in the inaugural undergraduate class will receive substantial scholarship support. Scholarships are awarded for the entirety of the 4-year program, on the condition that all academic requirements are met. The highest amount awarded will provide funds to cover a full tuition scholarship for the duration of the 4-year program.

Need-Based Financial Aid Need-based financial aid is reserved for students with a strong academic record but may lack the financial ability to attend our university. We are seeking a globally diverse cohort of students and encouraging all academically qualified students to apply, irrespective of their family financial situation. Interested applicants will need to provide documentation to prove that their current financial situation is a direct barrier to affording Duke Kunshan’s tuition fees.

Duke Kunshan University offers a number of merit-based scholarships. All applicants for admission are automatically considered for all availabl

e merit scholarships. Separate applications are not required. In addition to the University’s central scholarship fund, the leadership of Duke Kunshan University is dedicated to finding new sources of scholarship funding to support undergraduate students.

Apply Now

Duke Kunshan offers the unique opportunity to study in China while also studying and conducting research under a Duke University designed world-class curriculum. The Duke Kunshan experience allows students to have a foot in two of the most exciting markets in the world. With the Chinese government and Duke Kunshan University currently incentivizing international enrollment at both the graduate and undergraduate level, now is the time to apply to one of China’s top universities.

BY DUKE KUNSHAN UNIVERSITY

Abroad101’s Advisor Newsletter Winter 2018

Thanks for taking a few minutes to check-in with Abroad101.  Now in our 10th year, Abroad101 continues to be the only website focused on capturing the impact of international education through student-generated reviews.  For those of you who use our system, this is a reminder to send invites to your recent returnees.  For those of you considering new ways to raise awareness of study abroad participation, Abroad101 is here to help.

What Are Study Abroad Reviews?

  • Reviews are Published Program Evaluations
  • Reviews are Testimonials
  • Reviews are Points of Pride
  • Reviews are Social Media
  • Reviews are Popular

When students publish their program evaluations they become reviews, and when they are on Abroad101, they also become Social Media.  As Social Media, these first-hand accounts of experiences abroad becomes a great point-of-pride for students.  They become powerful reference material for future students and parents.  As social media, reviews have many uses, enabling:

  • Universities to promote study abroad to their own students
  • Students to research programs and view first-hand accounts from their peers
  • Parents to set their expectations
  • Advisors to keep informed of outcomes and student satisfaction
  • University Administrators to gather data.

Students are encouraged to share their finished review with their friends, family and other students.  Students are also prompted to include their review in their Linkedin profiles and to reference the review in cover letters and grad school applications.  The ability to include photos and writing samples can boost the pride a student takes in their review.  Each day, Abroad101 reviews are fed into Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets by our editor, school advisors and students.  Sharing further spreads their impact. 

Make Public Your Program Evaluations

We encourage you to take the leap and become fully transparent by turning your private study abroad program evaluation process into a public review process.  When every student is required to complete a review in order to received credit, you get more candor, usable data and testimonials of the impact of study abroad.   We can’t help but think this transparent process positively impacts participation at these institutions and with Abroad101, you can do this for free.  What brings so many reviews online, is the full-feature software that Abroad101 provides to universities.

Take a look at a few of our Best Practice Leaders:

Institutions like these trust Abroad101 as their program evaluation partner.  Abroad101 is a time-tested, integral part of the study aboard experience at our partner schools.  The Abroad101 team provides training and support for any issues that may arise in the process and we’d welcome being a more integral part of the education abroad experience at your institution.

Make a Review a Re-entry Exercise

Even if your school has an existing evaluation system in place for returning study abroad students, we hope you’ll still consider the student’s point of view and incorporate a study abroad review as part of a student-focused re-entry exercise.  The rationale goes as follows: if a student can coherently state what happened to them in writing, they will be much more prepared to discuss their experiences with friends, family and in future encounters as the student moves toward their next steps in life.  Showing they can express their emotions, in a published format is a big step forward and a reason to complete a review.  With a great sample of their writing and an expression of their new world view., you will help your students better prepare for their future by making a review part of the study abroad process.

Why Abroad101?

The Abroad101 review is 38 questions in length and is designed to walk students through a reflection of who they were before they left, who they are now and what they hope for their future.  As part of this process, they will rate 9 different aspects of their program and provide some insight and tips for future students.  Taking 20-30 minutes to complete, the review can help students put their feelings into words and start the process of communicating their experiences in concise and coherent ways.   They can add photos and turn their review into a point of pride, a capstone to their education abroad experience.

It’s for Faculty-led and Exchange Programs Too:

Abroad101 is happy to list your faculty-led programs in our system.  For your exchange partners, we have a catch-all “Direct Enrollment & Exchange” listing for every university abroad.  You are welcome to use Abroad101 for each of these types of programs in addition to the students on third-party programs and foreign schools.

Let us show you how.

We’re happy to provide you with a tour of the Abroad101 software, its features, advantages and benefits.  Please contact us for a 20-30 introductory walk through of the site and the system that manages is.  As we’ve been saying for 10 years – Its fast, free, easy!

Abroad101 remains free program evaluation software due to the support of our advertisers.  Many study abroad providers and foreign universities and schools pay for advertising in our directories of programs and that keeps us in business.  We thank them, and you for the opportunity to help enhance the field of international education.

Best wishes,

Mark Shay,

CEO / Abroad101

+1-212-321-0928

mark@abroad101.com

http://www.StudyAbroad101.com

Abroad101 Providers Newsletter – Winter 2018


Happy New Year!  As we all shift our thinking from holidays to work, please take a moment to reflect on how you used the Internet this holiday season.  Did you use reviews to guide some gift purchasing, select a hotel, restaurant or movie, or assist you in selecting someone to fix your home heater?  Reviews influence decisions and for 10 years, Abroad101 has been helping future students and their parents become better education abroad consumers.

How to Get Students to Write Reviews?

Your presence on Abroad101 is greatly enhanced by 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.  We find that students ARE inclined to share their experience if the exercise gives them a chance to tell their story – it is exactly what they do on social media for hours a day!

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 end-of-term 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 staff will help their students prepare for their return home by guiding them to submitting a thorough and candid review.

Alumni Ambassadors and Perfect Reviews

This “always sunny” concept is something that savvy marketers are concerned over.  Study Abroad providers are increasingly using Alumni Ambassadors in their marketing efforts.  These are typically very satisfied students who have demonstrated great affinity for a program and are fantastic spokespeople.  When they are tasked with writing a review, human nature kicks in and we have noticed these reviews are overly promotional and “too good to be true.”  In looking at the traffic these reviews generate, they get less page views than reviews with candid titles and lower overall ratings.

We welcome Alumni Ambassador submissions and in your training of them we hope you’ll reinforce the need to be candid in their stories so the review will be viewed as legitimate and credible.  Please read: Why Imperfection is Ideal.

What to do with Bad Reviews?

The most common objection we get to fully transparent publishing of student reviews is a concern about how a negative experience will impact a program or the institutional stakeholders.  In the complex world of social media and online transparency, the opposite is often true.

People often come to review sites to validate their choices and to search for the negative. Reviews of student struggles and reports of negative things will actually help future students prepare and set their expectations.  In an odd twist of logic, they go to review sites to relieve the anxiety about what happens when things go wrong.  Reviews also provide a practical balance to the always-positive websites, brochures and on campus presentations.  For those, like parents, who may not be present in Q&A sessions, reviews provide a welcome reality check.

Taking some best practices from the tech sector, it is ironic to discover that negative reviews actually have a positive impact.  We suggest you read “You Don’t Want A 5-Star Review”  When you get a bad review, we encourage you to respond using the feedback tool at the bottom of each review.  We suggest you restate what the student said went well, then thank them for their participation and feedback and reinforce your goal to make the program better.  It is never a good idea to tell the student they were wrong, especially in a review.  Some consumers look at the feedback to get a better sense of the personality of a program and the attitude of the staff.  The comment section is a place to showcase that. 

Please note that Abroad101 is still in business today due to our professional approach to review management.  The vast majority of reviews on Abroad101 come from our university partners who either require, or encourage their students to participate in the review process.  Our desire is to collect quality reviews and every once in a while, we have to intervene maintain the quality and integrity of our site, our university partners and our industry.  Count on Abroad101 to do to the right thing.

Putting Reviews on Your Website:

Each review on Abroad101 has a fixed URL, as does each program.  Each provider has an index of programs with an accompanying review tally and average score ratings.  These link addresses don’t change, so we encourage you to benefit from SEO and place web links from your website to your presence on Abroad101 with link text that says something like “Read the Reviews”

Abroad101 also offers a chance to summarize the review scores of programs or you as a provider with our widgets.  The widget produces a badge-like graphic on your website that is constantly updated with the latest results from Abroad101.  See how yours would look:

Ratings and Study Abroad Rankings:

Over the years we have used the data collected by the reviews to raise awareness of study abroad and publicize the best of study abroad.  Our system compiles and displays the reviews’ star ratings in nine categories.  We stress that these are indicators of quality, not a measure of quality.  Review scores can indicate strengths of a program as well as weaknesses and our scoring algorithms have adjusted over the years to best reflect people’s behavior.  The summary review score seen on a program listing is an average that factors out old reviews.  The program’s position in the directories is determined by a formula that favors recent review volume and has an adjustment that rewards candid reviews, photos and comments.  As a review website, people want to see reviews, want current, insightful and candid reviews and our ratings and display algorithms help deliver this.

We have produced The Study Abroad Rankings for years.  Our rankings included various factors, including a standard deviation designed to discourage flow of perfect reviews.  The publicity generated by rankings has been significant and has gotten us great media coverage, but we have come to realize that the publicity is not worth the cost.  In the end, candid reviews are what people want, and designating a best program is not in our overall best interest, or in the long-term best interest of our supporters.  We did not publish rankings in 2017 and we will not do so this year.

Advertising Options:

For those of you not advertising with Abroad101, we hope you’ll join us.  We’ve kept our prices the same with Featured Listings in our directories at $500/year/program with generous discounts for multiple programs.  Overall traffic to our site continues to rise, clicks are up, inquiries and review volume are holding steady.  Advertisers report seeing quality leads coming from the site as the majority of visitors remain American college-level students, parents and advisors. 

We want your business, contact me today for a price quote!

Mark Shay

CEO / Abroad101

+1-212-321-0928

mark@abroad101.com

http://www.StudyAbroad101.com