Abroad101’s Mark Shay make the case for studying abroad and how it can benefit you in the job market and in life. Sit back and watch this interview courtesy of College Recruiter.
Abroad101’s Mark Shay make the case for studying abroad and how it can benefit you in the job market and in life. Sit back and watch this interview courtesy of College Recruiter.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com 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.
Those of us who work in International Education see the rewards of students returning home from abroad. They are wiser, confident and more mature, and we naturally think that Study Abroad is a great step toward a rewarding career. As a student who has overcome all the obstacles that study abroad might put in your way, I’m sure you would agree that the eye opening experiences, greater independence and self-awareness provide a jump-start in your career. Unfortunately, there are many hiring managers and employers who don’t see it that way.
Study Abroad may not be the secret ticket to getting a jump-start in the career place. Many human resource professionals and hiring managers do not value experiences abroad when making hiring decisions, and while corporate and organizational leaders talk about the global workplace, your study abroad alumni card isn’t your FAST-PASS to the front of the line.
The following two quotes are just a sampling of some of the biases that exist against study abroad:
“People put ‘study abroad’ on their resume. I actually like when they don’t study abroad because that means they aren’t entitled.” – Millard Drexler
Millard “Mickey” S. Drexler is the current chairman and CEO of J.Crew Group and formerly the CEO of Gap Inc. He has been a director at Apple Inc. since 1999. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/millarddre532208.html
“Studying abroad can be a nice “add on” in theory, but it also can be a waste of time, or simply a good time, for an unfocused – and privileged – high school or university student.” And “And even the best programs will do little for an unmotivated student.” – Curtis S. Chin
Curtis S. Chin, the United States ambassador to the Asian Development Bank from 2007 to 2010, is the managing director of RiverPeak Group, an advisory firm. http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/10/17/should-more-americans-study-abroad/studying-abroad-can-be-an-expensive-waste-of-time
Entitled. Privileged. We also hear that study abroad returnees are viewed as unmanageable, always with a cause, always want to change things and even anti-corporate. These are stereotypes and just like you had stereotypes of the place you visited before you left, you now have a label associated with you. How you handle this label and the associated bias will affect how your career unfolds.
Stress the workplace values when talking about study abroad
Now before you panic and sign up for grad school or an internship program or resolve yourself to teaching English in some remote corner of the world, there is hope. There’s work you need to do, but there’s real hope turning what some perceive as lemons, into lemonade.
Consider the following statements.
“Study abroad doesn’t count to an employer unless the job candidate can say how it has made them a better person, scholar, citizen, and professional…” – Linda S. Gross, Associate Director of Career Services, Michigan State University
According to a 2012 survey of employers done by the Collegiate Employment Research Institute (CERI) at Michigan State University (MSU), hiring managers considered study abroad to be of “limited importance” in relation to recruiting new graduates. In fact, study abroad was ranked the least important of several college activities, with internships listed the most valuable activity.
So how do you highlight your study abroad experience?
Keep this in mind. Employers want creative, independent thinkers who can work in teams, take responsibility and get things done.
Think in professional analogies about your time abroad and how you overcame obstacles and how those prepared you for the workplace. How did you show leadership? How did you take responsibility? How did you pull together disparate people and get them operating as a team? How did you face long odds, overcome poor preparation and lack of support and achieve something notable? What got you out of bed in the AM and got you to avoid the distractions of the social and partying scene?
Do not simply talk about how great it was abroad, what wonderful friends you made and the amazing sites you’ve seen. If that is your focus the following is what an employer could think.
“I’m not interested in your life journeys. This includes your experiences studying abroad, even if you had an amazing time. Save these musings for late night dorm room chats with your best friend.” By Katherine Goldstein
Instead, translate your experiences abroad into practical examples of how you have matured and can take on responsibility. If going abroad means you can enter into an honest conversation about how to take and offer criticism, then your experience has prepared you well. If you can articulate how lucky you were, how humbling the experience was and how you want to rise to serve, you have a real chance at breaking the privileged student stereotypes that surround study abroad. Hiring a study abroad graduate should give employers the confidence that they will get an employee who is a problem solver, a confident well-spoken team player who will be a loyal asset to the company.
Convey these messages while interviewing and you will now have The Study Abroad Advantage.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Join the Abroad101 Social Media Network on:
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
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 email@example.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.
Mark Shay, CEO
To draw attention to The Study Abroad Advantage professional networking group on Linkedin, we prompted our members to nominate a student with the most professional study abroad review. Our winner, Allie Bunch, talks more about her time away from Clark University and what it was like to study at one of the most elite universities in the world, The London School of Economics. Allie will soon be completing her degree at Clark and is ready to be hired! Read this interview and learn about her growth and maturity through study abroad; then connect with Allie Bunch on Linkedin.
Join the Study Abroad Advantage on LinkedIn
1) Tell us a little about your background, did your parents attend college? Do you have siblings in college?
Both of my parents attended college – my father graduated with a BSc in Education and my mother with an AA in Apparel Design. They have always encouraged and supported me in my pursuit for higher learning, and as their oldest child they are experiencing all of the firsts along with me. This year, my younger sister started at Endicott College, also in Massachusetts, so we are definitely a family driven to be educated.
2) We assume that you studied abroad as a Junior, is that correct?
Yes, I was abroad during my Junior year.
3) You took the path of a full year abroad, and you chose one of the top ranked universities in the world. Two pretty bold steps. Most people don’t know much about Clark, but they do about LSE, tell us more about why you chose this path and what you expected?
I grew up in Seattle, Washington, so when it was time to pick a college, I seized the opportunity to make a big change. I moved to Worcester, Massachusetts to go to Clark University in no small part due to the university’s strong study abroad program. During my Sophomore year, I had the opportunity to work in the Office of Study Abroad/Away and learned about the LSE program during my first week on the job. I remember leaving work that day and calling my parents to inform them that I would be spending my Junior year in London. I was in my second year at Clark I was ready to make another big change, and this program was exactly what I was looking for. I felt that a one-semester program wouldn’t satisfy me: I’d just be getting settled in by the time I had to turn around and come back. Education opens up a lot of doors, but what many people – especially young adults my age – don’t realize is the opportunity that education can give you to explore. I’d already gotten a taste of that when I moved from the West Coast to the East Coast, and I was lucky enough to recognize that opportunity for a second time. As an adult in a professional setting, there are not many chances to travel and engage with other cultures for extended periods of time, but being a student provides almost a built-in excuse to really discover what’s out there.
4) From your review, you seemed to have a pretty remarkable experience, in the review we asked if it was worthwhile, did it also meet your expectations?
I think one of my strengths that has been long in development is the ability to go into things with a very open mind and very few expectations. I went to London expecting only new experiences and challenges, both of which I got in abundance. I experienced living in the heart of a big city, interacting with many different cultures on a daily basis, and being in a location from which I had access to other countries almost as easily as one can access neighboring states in the US. The first trip that I took outside of the UK was to Spain for just three days, and the ability to hop from country to country was unique and endlessly exciting. I am also thankful that I was prepared for challenges, because studying at the LSE is undeniably one of the hardest things I have ever done. I was not only adapting to a new education system, but that education system was also the most rigorous I have ever faced. This was important to me, though. Obviously spending a year at a less-challenging institution sounded appealing, but I wanted my experience to contribute to my future through both experiences as well as education, and I think that my time at the LSE will do this throughout my lifetime.
5) You refer to the GC – the General Course, which sounded like it was filled with foreign students, what percentage were Americans? Are they what you expected? How did you get along with the non-American, non-British students?
It’s funny that you ask this, because as I look back, most of the friends that I remain in touch with were other American students. I think that this is partially due to the house I chose to live in, Northumberland House, which housed more students from the US than some of the others. I didn’t mind this so much though because I was able to interact and engage with students from other areas through my classes and my involvement in the LSE Dance Society. I found that in some cases, the students who went abroad to the LSE with friends from home tended to keep mostly to themselves, but for the most part everyone was friendly and willing to branch out very quickly.
6) Tell us a bit about the differences of the campuses and how you think that will affect the outlook of where you look for work.
Worcester is as different from London as night from day. Clark is located in an area of Massachusetts that has certainly seen better days – Worcester was a booming city in the past, but has since fallen off since the decline of its manufacturing industry. Though there are many colleges and universities in the city, there is very little else when held up next to London. I lived in Northumberland House, which is between Trafalgar Square and the Thames; literally in the center of London. Every morning I walked to school on the Strand with businessmen and women and every evening I made my way back through crowds waiting outside of theaters for the next big musical. I’m no stranger to big cities after growing up in Seattle, but London is a different breed and will absolutely affect where I decide to settle for work. I loved and thrived in the business and bustle of the city and ideally would seek out a job in or close to a similar city, with lots of opportunities to travel and experience more of these around the world.
7) You mentioned tying into the LSE Alumni network, how do you plan to do so, how has it gone so far? Do you have any tips for future students?
Unfortunately, the bulk of the LSE Alumni network caters more to students in the UK and greater Europe. However, there is an organization here in the States called Alumni and Friends of the LSE (AFLSE) that alumni can join for a membership fee. I haven’t pursued this avenue yet, but might consider it in the future. For now, I’m happy working on my own as sort of an ambassador for the program, especially among my peers and younger students looking for a challenging and rewarding study abroad destination.
8) You’ve joined The Study Abroad Advantage group on Linkedin and sound like you plan to use your experience at LSE to separate yourself from other job seekers, how do plan to do that? What are your talking points? How are you translating your comments about growth and maturity into door openers for work? What else can you offer in the way of suggestions to students about to study abroad?
I think that my time at the LSE sets me apart from my peers because my experience is unique and shows my ability to adapt and face challenges head-on. I think that the most important thing for me is that I really proved to myself what my capabilities and strengths are. Of course having the title ‘London School of Economics and Political Science’ on a resume will look good on its own, but I would stress to a potential employer that it’s really what I was able to take from my studies and from my time abroad as a whole that will distinguish me from other job seekers. To students planning to study abroad, I would say avoid entering into the program with expectations of how you think it will be. Prepare, of course, for the rigors of the program and for immersion in a different culture, but be ready to adapt and be excited to be surprised. Regardless of the program, it will be an incredibly rewarding experience.
9) If you’ve not landed a job yet, here’s your chance to show-off – why should someone hire Allie Bunch?
I learned a lot during my year at the LSE, and not just about political science. I learned so much about myself that I am excited to apply to whatever job I find myself in: I’m wildly ambitious and have a much more adaptable mind than I ever realized. I surprised myself, really, by how well I did in the program, and I think that’s because I am driven to go above and beyond everyone’s expectations of me – including my own. I am self-sufficient and determined. I am highly responsible, a practiced communicator, and a fast learner. I showed myself that it is when I am faced with new challenges or when I find myself under pressure that I thrive. It is these skills, and others, which I will bring with enthusiasm and passion to any job.
The most commonly used study abroad statistics come from IIE and its annual survey of universities called Open Doors. http://www.iie.org/Research-and-Publications/Open-Doors/Data/US-Study-Abroad This initiative tallies credit bearing experiences reported by universities in the year after they occurred. It is the bellwether measure of study abroad and provides the data most often cited in the field and by the media. The number of participants in study abroad in 2013 was reported as 289,408, which represents 1.3% of all American post-secondary students. Open Doors states that 9% of those who earned an undergraduate degree have studied abroad.
There are a lot of international experiences that the Open Doors report does not tally. These include non-credit bearing programs like adventure travel, volunteer and internships abroad, language immersions. By using university reporting, the Open Doors report also misses programs where the student doesn’t seek transfer credit, credit was denied, or the experience somehow bypassed normal university channels.
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.”
According to the World Tourism Organization http://media.unwto.org/press-release/2014-11-04/unwto-and-adventure-travel-trade-association-release-global-report-adventur , Over one billion international tourists travelled the world in 2013, accounting for 9% of global GDP, 30% of services exports and 1 in every 11 jobs. At least 30 million students are reported to be included in these numbers.
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:
Top Study Abroad Providers
Most Popular Foreign Universities (Direct Enrollment & Exchange)
Most Desired Countries to Study Abroad
Most Desired Cities to Study Abroad
Cities with the Most Study Abroad Programs
Most Popular First Names of Study Abroad Students
And from the Abroad101 Annual Rankings:
Top Rated Study Abroad Cities: http://www.studyabroad101.com/rankings/2013#top_cities
Top Rated Study Abroad Programs:
Top Rated Study Abroad Providers:
Top Rated non-traditional Study Abroad Countries:
Most Affordable Study Abroad Destinations
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
Advisors Update from Abroad101 – Winter 2014-15
Greetings from Abroad101,
It’s the first anniversary of the new management team at Abroad101 and we want to sincerely thank you for your confidence and support. We’d like to take a few minutes of your time and remind you of the various features of Abroad101, and hope that as the semester ends you will find ways to use it in your work in advancing study abroad.
Abroad101 is all about reviews and ratings, so we thought we’d put you to the test. Please rate yourself on what kind of Abroad101 advisor you are, and don’t worry we’re not going to publish the results; this is just an exercise to help you understand the full power of our systems and the potential opportunities for you.
The What Kind of Abroad101 Advisor Are You Quiz:
2-Star User (all of the above, plus):
3-Star User (all of the above, plus):
4-Star User (all of the above, plus):
5-Star User (all of the above, plus):
5-Star PLUS User (all of the above, plus):
The above exercise was designed to show you that Abroad101 is more than just a pretty website, it is a platform to capture and share the study abroad experience. It takes a concept as simple as a review, and turns it into something very powerful by taking advantage of a standard set of questions, a sophisticated publishing system and a set of tools built specifically for advisors. You will get a lot from Abroad101 if you invest some time and effort into harnessing its great potential. The system is designed to be Fast – Free – Easy. The rest is up to you.
Now is the time to Send Review Invites
As students from the fall semester return home, now is the perfect time to send the invitation to submit reviews. It is our experience that students will submit reviews when invited, but rarely on their own. Over 70% of all reviews on Abroad101 come from the invitation of advisors, so please login to your account, use the Invite Tool and get those reviews flowing.
Remember, it’s never too late to draw 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 summer and even spring of 2014 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.
Also note that reviews collected in 2014 or the result of an invitation issued from Abroad101 in 2014 will be considered for our annual rankings. Send your invitations by December 31 and those reviews will automatically be entered into the rankings process.
Improving Review Participation
A few key words will impact participation. Request/Require is the big one, indicating that you require reviews will likely drive more students to submit reviews. To help improve the quality of those reviews, your message might also include the idea that submitting a review is good for the student. Feel free to use or paraphrase this text:
Our experience shows that invites issued directly through our tool have a higher yield rate, perhaps it is the reminders or perhaps it is the link specifically to the submit review form (as opposed to finding the program, then clicking the “review” icon). When invitations go out from our system, they average 15% completion rates when the request reviews button is selected, much higher if the “require reviews” button is selected.
If using your own means to draw reviews has response rates that are much lower, perhaps you might consider running one set of names through our system and another set through your direct list and do analysis on their conversions; A/B Testing as we like to call this process. It may also help conversions if, in your external message, you provide a link directly to the page to start submitting a review:
Reviews Are Social Media:
Like other forms of Social Media, Abroad101 is designed for sharing. Reviews on Abroad101 are given a unique and permanent web address, provide comment sections and are distributed through a number of outlets. On Abroad101, reviews are summarized by program, by provider, by home institution and by host institution (if applicable), each with their own fixed web page address. Reviews are streamed to third parties through electronic feeds, software widgets and our associated community pages on Facebook and Twitter.
As you manage your own marketing and promotion efforts on campus, we hope you will utilize the Abroad101 content as much as possible. As our “What Kind of Abroad101 Advisor Are You Quiz” highlights, there are ample ways to take data from Abroad101 and filter it to your student audience (web links to your university portal on Abroad101, web links to specific program pages, widgets, RSS feeds and APIs.) Turning these into Social Media posts of your own is one way to utilize Abroad101 as Social Media content for your office; featuring programs and reviews are others.
Each day Abroad101 pushes several programs and up to half a dozen reviews into our Social Media networks. The Cool Program of the Week and Student of the Week are two popular items to share with your social media followers. We also put programs from our advertisers out as Social Media content, we hope that you will share some of these as well. Reviews with their catchy titles and photos can themselves be fantastic content for your Social Media. If you aren’t following us, please do. Then when good material comes across your account, please like it, share it and use it to keep your followers engaged. Reviews are Social Media and are most beneficial when shared.
Check Out Our sessions:
Abroad101’s CEO, Mark Shay presented sessions that outline these topics in further depth. You can download the session slides from our blog:
ISEP Conference: “Social Media & Web Marketing Tools for Marketing and Advising”
NAFSA Region X/XI: “Why Require Student Reviews”
Working Closer with Abroad101:
We are eager to help you advance study abroad on your campus. We want to see more students abroad and we want those that go be better informed beforehand and help them turn that experience into a career building stepping stone afterward. We are delighted to help you do the same and are available 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 Abroad101. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to take the next step. Also feel free to use this account to nominate colleagues for our newsletter or offer them a free Advisor account with Abroad101.
And, as always, your comments, questions and feedback are welcome. Thanks for a great year; the best is yet to come!
Who is the leading study abroad provider? Review scores are one indicator, the number of reviews is another. Organizations that encourage or even require their students to complete reviews understand the value of listing to their customers (students) and using that to better inform future students as to what to expect in their programs. Progressive providers also help students promote their own stories and success in education abroad by publishing their first hand accounts through a review. As the old saying goes, “an educated consumer is the best kind” so we hope that you’ll use these reviews to better educate yourself on your options in education abroad. Here you will find the latest update in the Abroad101 Providers Derby – the index of published reviews on Abroad101.