Abroad101 Advisors Newsletter Spring 2015

Abroad101-reviews-logo-webGreetings from Abroad101,

As the spring semester wraps up and thoughts turn to program evaluations/reviews, we wanted to reconnect and give you an update on the happenings at Abroad101.

What is Abroad101?

Abroad101 provides many services to many people, but first and foremost, it functions as a study abroad review website. With more than 24,000 reviews published on our website, StudyAbroad101.com, we are the first and largest collection of study abroad program reviews. Reviews are listed by home university, program and their provider, and/or host institution. Programs are listed in directories by city, country, and area of study.

The Abroad101 reviews are in-depth summaries of students’ time abroad; we like to think of them as “re-entry in a box.” In order to get students to think critically and be reflective, the standard evaluation is a 37-question survey that draws students through a series of prompts.  Each review is then published with its own unique web page, which pushes students to be forward thinking and showcase their experience to the world.

Reviews come to Abroad101 through invitations from advisors, providers, and host universities and from students who are eager to publish their story about their time abroad.  Home universities have the option of using Abroad101 as their official program evaluation software that allows some additional customization with extra questions.  This FREE SOFTWARE is cloud-based, requires very little maintenance, and comes to universities at no cost, thanks to the support and sponsorship of program providers and foreign universities looking to recruit students.  Advisors using Abroad101 now have a tool to compile evaluations by program, provider, and city, and to then compare them against a set of other universities that use the same 37-question set.

Reviews Are Social Media:

Once students publish their program evaluations, they become reviews; once these reviews are on Abroad101, they become Social Media. As Social Media, these formatted first hand accounts of experiences abroad become great points of pride for the students as well as great reference material for advisors, 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 reviews with their friends, family, and peers.  Students are also prompted to include their review in their Linkedin profiles and to reference their publication in cover letters and grad school applications.  The ability to include photos and writing samples can boost the pride a student takes in creating their review.  Each day, we push and promote at least half a dozen of our student reviews on Twitter and our other social media outlets.  When you see one of your student’s reviews, we hope you will recognize it, “like” it, identify it as a favorite, and re-tweet it.  It’s great content for your followers!

Using Abroad101 at Your University:

For advisors and university administrators, Abroad101 can also be program evaluation software for all or parts of your study abroad enterprise.  In addition to Abroad101’s ability to generate promotional content, there are a great number of tools designed to help you manage the study abroad evaluation process.  Updated daily, the Abroad101 directory of programs is among the best in the field. To use the system, you simply enter the email addresses of recent or returning students and the directory begins working for you.

Abroad101 also has a host of more advanced tools which allow for reviews to be fed back to your website or management systems.  This includes reviews fed to you individually through our API, a widget or in a file (spreadsheet).  Graphs are popular reporting tools that show how your students measure against other universities. We use the 0-5 Star ratings scales for overall satisfaction, academics, program administration, housing, food, social integration, health care, safety, and cost of living.

While most people associate Abroad101 with our comprehensive directory of third-party programs, colleges can also use Abroad101 to manage the evaluations for exchanges and faculty-led programs.  It is fast, free, and easy.  Every university is given a free account. If you don’t have one, or need assistance with your login, please email support@abroad101.com

Time to Send Your Review Invitations!

As students begin returning home from their spring semesters abroad, we encourage you to use this perfect opportunity to send the invitation to submit reviews.  Over 70% of all reviews on Abroad101 come from the invitation of advisors, so please login to your account, use the Invite Tool, and start collecting reviews.  By using our Invite Tool, you will make it easier for your students to start the process of creating reviews.  The system will also send timely reminders to students, excluding students who have already completed a review or who may have been invited by a provider or foreign host university.  It’s never too late to request a review. If you haven’t sent an invitation in a while, or tried using means other than the Abroad101 Invite Tool, please resend using our Invite Tool. It’s as easy as copying and pasting a list of student email addresses.

TECH TIP: If the student email addresses are in a spreadsheet, you can quickly load these into the Invite Tool if they are separated by comma.  A trick to comma-separate easily is to create a new column in the spreadsheet and use the Concatenate function.  =CONCATENATE(A1,”, “)  then “fill down” the column.  Next, copy the column and paste into the Invite Tool’s window on Abroad101.

If you’d rather have us load those addresses, feel free to send us a file with the email addresses of those you’d like to invite. We’ll load them into your account and start the process on your behalf.  Abroad101 is committed to the security and protection of student names and does not re-market or sell this data.

If you prefer to use your own method of communication, please direct students to find their program in the Abroad101 directory and use the “Write a Review” button to start the process.  They can also bypass the search process and start writing here: http://www.StudyAbroad101.com/reviews/new

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 our student reviews. The rankings 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 this year’s sponsor, StudentUniverse, who offers academic group travel programs in addition to helping students save money on individual flights. They also offer some nice administration tools for program managers, please contact them for a rate quote

See You at NAFSA:

For those headed to NAFSA, we hope you will stop by our booth (#1203) and discuss how you can turn those once static program evaluations into a dynamic user voice that is in such great demand from students and parents alike.  Be sure to pick up this year’s version of our popular T-shirts and let us know a bit more about how we can help you.

We are also available to offer custom web demonstrations of our system for you and your team throughout the year. Please contact support@abroad101.com to schedule a 30 or 60-minute presentation using WebEx.

Happy Spring!

Mark Shay

CEO | Abroad101

+1-610-357-4648  |  mark@abroad101.com

http://www.StudyAbroad101.com

The Study Abroad Advantage reaches 2,000 members!

SAA-2,000-MEMBERS

The Study Abroad Advantage is a Linkedin Group designed to help study abroad alumni bring their experiences to the professional market.  Students who have returned from abroad are encouraged to publish a review of their experience abroad and use this to highlight their ability to communicate, to use social media and their new perspective on the world.  In addition to a place to network with other study abroad alumni and alumni group organizers, the Group features postings on career development and advice on how to apply lessons from abroad to the professional world.  Prospective employers are invited to join the group to do some recruiting of the members and promote their firms.

The group hit a milestone last week with the 2,000th member, a student named Alexis Lupton from Brigham Young University.  We asked her to comment on her study abroad experience and she said “I am always willing to embarrass myself a little for the greater good.”  She went on to add more detail about her study abroad experience.

My study abroad experience was quite different than most, in that my study abroad was a travelling one instead of in just one city. We also did not have a traditional classroom. Our classrooms included: the UN, the U.S Embassy, Pepsico, UNESCO, and every where in between. My experience really taught me a lot about myself. I learned how important it is to step out of your comfort zone and really try new things. I saw the world from many different perspectives, from the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral to the slums of Paris. Sometimes plans change unexpectedly and you just have to go with the flow (like our Morocco trip being cancelled and going to Vienna instead). I gained the independence to be able to do things alone even though it may have seemed a little unnerving, and you too, in the end, truly will not be let down. Overall the world is a fascinating place and my study abroad instilled a desire to always continue exploring. 

Alexis Lupton

Alexis Lupton – Student at Brigham Young University

You can read her full study abroad review here: http://www.studyabroad101.com/programs/brigham-young-university-traveling-global-diplomacy-study-abroad/reviews/22303  

If you’d like to connect with Alexis, you’ll find her profile on Linkedin:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/alexis-lupton/26/107/152 

We invite you to get the study abroad advantage by joining and becoming active in “The Study Abroad Advantage”  https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Study-Abroad-Advantage-8159424/about 

Abroad101 Advisors Newsletter February 2015

Abroad101-reviews-logo-web

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 mark@abroad101.com

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 mark@abroad101.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 sales@abroad101.com 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.

Regards,

Mark Shay,

CEO, Abroad101

mark@abroad101.com

+1-212-321-0928

Join the Abroad101 Social Media Network on:

FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram and Linkedin

 

 

Study Abroad Advisors – Tips for better student reviews on Re-entry

Truman students jumping high in the gold coast australia

Your students have successfully completed an experience abroad that is most often described as “Life Changing” and “The Best Four Months of My Life” and you’re now looking to help them take that experience and do more with it. Some have blogged about it, described it on their Facebook page and made friends and family members of their inner circle aware of all the their discoveries. Abroad101 now encourages you, their advisor, to take another step and have them submit a thoughtful program evaluation/review through Abroad101.

Reviews on Abroad101 will help advisors and program providers gain better insight into a student’s experience and give you something to promote and share. Reviews will help future students and parents understand what to expect on the program, the destination and study abroad in general, AND the best reason to submit a review on Abroad101 is to help the student.

Student reviews will be published on the Abroad101 website and each will become its own webpage.  This creates a great place to feature experiences and use those experiences to open doors to a future career.  Employers are looking for people with an international background and a review on Abroad101 is a perfect place to jump-start career searches.  We suggest that you encourage students to think of a review as a writing sample, a chance to showcase who they really are.  A well written review can show future employers and other recruiters that the student can be constructive in their criticism, take responsibility for  outcomes, be reflective and be forward thinking.  Students should state their new worldview and use the review as a place to shine.  If there are a couple pictures of  community involvement or doing good deeds, this helps to really separate them from the pack. To begin a review, visit the StudyAbroad101.com, search for the program and click the “leave a review” button, or start here: http://www.Studyabroad101.com/reviews/new

When the review is complete , we also encourage students to include a link to their review in the education section of their Linkedin profile and then join the Linkedin group called “The StudyAbroad Advantage

As an added bonus when they complete their review, you’ll get a promo code for an additional $20 off their next flight or excursion abroad with StudentUniverse.com.

Advisors download our Student Re-Entry Flyer!

Study Abroad Statistics

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.

Please feel free to share this infographic with the following citation: "Institute of International Education. (2013).Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. Retrieved from http://www.iie.org/opendoors"

Please feel free to share this infographic with the following citation: “Institute of International Education. (2013).Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. Retrieved from http://www.iie.org/opendoors”

 

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

http://blog.studyabroad101.com/2014/12/top-20-education-abroad-providers/

 

Most Popular Foreign Universities (Direct Enrollment & Exchange)

http://blog.studyabroad101.com/2014/08/top-of-direct-enroll-and-exchange-student-reviews-on-abroad101/

 

Most Desired Countries to Study Abroad

http://blog.studyabroad101.com/2014/10/most-desired-places-to-study-abroad/

 

Most Desired Cities to Study Abroad

http://blog.studyabroad101.com/?p=5563

 

Cities with the Most Study Abroad Programs

http://blog.studyabroad101.com/2014/08/worldwide-cities-with-the-most-study-abroad-programs/

 

Most Popular First Names of Study Abroad Students

http://blog.studyabroad101.com/2014/09/got-what-it-takes-to-study-abroad-emily-we-know-youre-out-there/

 

And from the Abroad101 Annual Rankings:

Top Rated Study Abroad Cities: http://www.studyabroad101.com/rankings/2013#top_cities

 

Top Rated Study Abroad Programs:

http://www.studyabroad101.com/rankings/2013#top_10_awards

 

Top Rated Study Abroad Providers:

http://www.studyabroad101.com/rankings/2013#top_providers

 

Top Rated non-traditional Study Abroad Countries:

http://www.studyabroad101.com/rankings/2013#unique_countries

 

Most Affordable Study Abroad Destinations

http://www.studyabroad101.com/rankings/2013#budget_countries

 

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

Winter 2014-2014 Advisor Newsletter

Abroad101-reviews-logo-web

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:

1-Star User:

  • Subscribe to Advisors Newsletter
  • Aware of directories, occasionally refer prospective students to validate their choices

 2-Star User (all of the above, plus):

  • Reference Abroad101 reviews in pre-departure orientation sessions, especially for health and safety and travel tips
  • Refer prospective students to peer reviews in info sessions and campus presentations
  • Have an Abroad101 Advisors account and have logged into your dashboard
  • Encourage students to submit reviews to any review website on their return
  • Include Abroad101 postcards in resource library
  • Follow Abroad101 in Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, Instagram, etc.)

 3-Star User (all of the above, plus):

  • Updated your university profile on Abroad101 though your Advisors account dashboard
  • Use the Invite Tool to encourage some or all of your returning students to submit reviews on Abroad101
  • Encourage students to join “The Study Abroad Advantage” and promote reviews through student’s Linkedin and social media
  • Link to Abroad101 from your department’s web page
  • Include reference and links to Abroad101 in email newsletters to students and parents
  • Re-tweet and Like any of your university’s activity on Abroad101’s social media

 4-Star User (all of the above, plus):

  • Create pre-approved/recommended programs lists through your advisor account dashboard
  • Read and approve/disapprove reviews
  • Encourage students to submit crowd funding initiatives through GoEnnounce the partner in Abroad101 Student of the Week
  • Use Abroad101 University Widget on your department’s web pages
  • Highlight The Study Abroad Advantage in your department’s collaboration with Career Planning and Placement Services
  • Let faculty-led and summer program administrators know about Abroad101, help them secure Provider accounts on Abroad101

 5-Star User (all of the above, plus):

  • Install Abroad101 Program Widget in your department’s own program pages, including Terra Dotta, Horizons and AbroadOffice directories.
  • Use Invite Tool to require reviews of all students making Abroad101 the official program evaluation tool at your institution
  • Submit faculty-led and “in-house” home student only programs to Abroad101 directories for review
  • Export review reports each semester and build statistical archive of student performance
  • Utilize comparison graphs for university accountability and share Abroad101 generated statistics with university’s senior leadership

 5-Star PLUS User (all of the above, plus):

  • Integrate the Abroad101 API tools into your student information system to collect reviews automatically
  • Publish Abroad101 reviews on your website
  • Use Abroad101 data and case studies in presentations at Academic Conferences and include Abroad101 in those sessions

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:

  • Your review will be published on the Abroad101 website and will become its own webpage.  This creates a great place to showcase your experience and use it to open doors to your career.  Employers are looking for people with an international background and your review on Abroad101 is a perfect place to jump-start your career.  We suggest you view the review as a writing sample and a chance to show the real you.  Show future employers and recruiters that you can be constructive in your criticism, take responsibility for your outcomes, be reflective and be forward thinking.  State your new worldview and use the review as your place to shine.

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:
http://www.studyabroad101.com/reviews/new

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.

Facebook.com/Abroad101
Twitter.com/StudyAbroad101
Pinterest.com/StudyAbroad101
Instagram.com/StudyAbroad101
The Study Abroad Advantage on Linkedin

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 support@abroad101.com 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!

Thanks!

Mark Shay
CEO, Abroad101
mark@abroad101.com
+1-212-321-0928

Top 20 Education Abroad Providers

Top_20_Education_Abroad_Providers

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.

Social Media & Web Tools for Marketing and Advising

2014 ISEP Conference Hero Image

ISEP Conference

Thursday, November 13, 2:15 – 3:30

Potomac Ballroom D

As International Offices we are dedicated to advancing and internationalization plan because we believe in the transformative nature of global experience for students.  How much of that plan is influenced by our students and how often are we willing to meet our students on their own terms?  This session will explore the importance of leveraging student feedback in planning.  It will also challenge the traditional office-based approach to advising and demonstrate web-based platforms for engagement.

Presenters:

Joseph Burrow, ISEP

Duleep Deosthale, Admissions Table

Mark Shay, Abroad101  – Download presentation:  ISEP Session – Social Media

http://isepconference.wordpress.com/

Advisors – Reviews are Social Media

Social media doodles elementsWhen we think of social media in education abroad we generally think of brief and compelling messaging like posts, tweets, blogs and photos. With social media, we also think how we might like, follow, re-tweet or pin other peoples activity to stay active in front of our target audience. As promoters of education abroad we often struggle with just what to put into our networks and yet, one of the best forms of social media content is often overlooked, that of the study abroad review.

Being in the business of collecting and leveraging student reviews, Abroad101 has found that reviews make great social media content. As with other social media, a review comes from the student’s voice. A study abroad program review contains both quantitative data (ratings on a 0-5 star scale) and qualitative data like comments, descriptive passages and feedback on various program features. Reviews on Abroad101 are especially designed for social media sharing (syndication) as each review has its own unique web page (URL) and has its own comment section below the review.

In addition to the home university and the program name, the Abroad101 reviews have more than 35 other fields including a descriptive title created by the student and an introductory passage around the theme – “was it worthwhile?” Sharing these reviews with your followers is great Social Media content and a good way to highlight the success of recent education abroad alumni and get other communities on your campus to recognize the success of study abroad students.

Students are increasingly doing their own promotion of their reviews, sharing them with their friends, those who helped them into the program and those who will help that student into a career. One example of this self-promotion is the initiative called “The Study Abroad Advantage” where a group has been established on Linkedin to help study abroad alumni leverage their study abroad experience in their career development. Students in the Group are linking their reviews from their Linkedin profiles and using them to showcase their abilities, talents and experiences to get ahead in the job market.

Education abroad offices on campus should consider using these reviews to advance study abroad on their campus. Reviews will prompt discussion and facilitate the exchange of ideas about individual programs, program types and destinations. A number of offices already follow and endorse Abroad101′s social media activity on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram accounts. In addition to this, posting your own highlights of reviews in you social media can help raise awareness and understanding of how education abroad influences your campus. We encourage you to create social media out of our social media and make posts based on the reviews on Abroad101.

As an advisor, reviews from your institution can be pushed to you for consideration. For those advisors with account on Abroad101, each review from a student at your institution generates an email when it is published. You can find the links to those programs by logging into your account or by looking at the summary page of reviews for your institution. For those of you with a little more computer support, Abroad101 can push your student reviews to you through something called an API (Computer to computer gateway), or you can draw them through a RSS feed that we publish.

However you collect and reference our reviews, we hope you’ll see the benefit of taking the review title, summary paragraph and web link as social media content and use it to advance study abroad on your campus. The Abroad101 team is happy to work with you in finding better ways to network and connect and is available to get you using reviews in your social media marketing strategy.

You might also be interested in reading the slides for the session called  Ten ways program evaluations can Advance Study Abroad on Campus

Read here for more information and presentation slides on the ISEP Conference in Virginia