Why should I write a review?

By guest author: Samantha Shay

 
“I learned that I am able to adjust to just about any situation.”
“The trajectory of my entire life changed because I studied abroad. And I cannot imagine my life without it now.”
“I REGRET NOTHING.”
“I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.”
“I learned to be ‘tough,’ and I grew as a person in ways I can’t explain.”
-Excerpts from some recent Abroad101 student reviews
 

A recent New York Times article stated, “Globalization is here to stay, and students who want to work in our interconnected global world should study abroad…Making study abroad a part of their education is the most effAbroad101.com write a reviewective and accessible means for students to develop needed skills because it pushes a student to get out of her comfort zone to experience another culture, language, environment and education system.”[1]With a mission to promote global citizenship by fostering the most meaningful study abroad experiences for all students through technology innovation in international education, Abroad101 has collected the stories of over 22,000 students’ international pursuits through over 8,800 abroad programs.  Whether you studied abroad to explore your heritage, pursue an academic goal or field of study, or immerse yourself in a culture different than your own, we want to add your story to our collection.

 Allan E. Goodman and Stacie Nevadomski Berdan, New York Times, May 12 2014.  http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/10/17/should-more-americans-study-abroad/every-student-should-study-abroad

Why should I write a review?

What better capstone to a life-changing experience abroad than to share your story and your advice with someone else?  Abroad101 is an abundant resource for students who are in the process of choosing an abroad program that will fit them well.  Your story could directly impact the program choice of a prospective traveler.  By submitting a review to Abroad101, you are contributing to a collective database of student stories that future abroad students can access easily.  How accessible was healthcare in your city?  Did you spend more money on food than you expected to?  How many hours a day did you speak a foreign language?  By answering these questions and others like them, you create a sketch of a prospective student’s program experience.  If while abroad you faced challenges you didn’t foresee, or elements of your program that didn’t work for you, sharing this feedback and advice for others to access is a generous way to reflect on those experiences.

By sharing a review with Abroad101, you are creating a sketch of abroad life not only for prospective students to consider, but for their families and peers to read as well.  Consider your review a tribute to protective parents everywhere.  At the recent “Women in Travel” Summit, Abroad101 received strong feedback that reviews are just as useful and enlightening to parents and teachers as they are to other students.[1]  The WITS attendees mentioned details about safety and quality of administration as top curiosities and concerns when students are choosing an abroad program.  By addressing these topics in your review, as well as answering questions that target many other aspects of your program experience, you can really illustrate what life was like for you during your semester abroad.

Your positive feedback, or constructive criticism, can benefit the future of your program.  Abroad101 offers administrators and program providers access to evaluation data collected directly from students, and they can access student reviews and feedback on our website just as easily as other students can.  Your words have the power to support a program you feel strongly about, or alternatively, to help initiate changes within a program to benefit future students’ experiences.  Additionally, since students submit reviews directly through our website and independently from the programs in which they participated, readers can trust that the reviews are as honest and unbiased as possible.

Most importantly, submitting a review of your semester abroad benefits you!  A 2010 market research study reported, “of the U.S. recruiters and HR professional surveyed, 75% report that their companies have formal policies in place that require hiring personnel to research applicants online.”[2]  According to Idealist Careers, “employees are looking for positive things: discovering how well you communicate…getting a sense of how professionally you present yourself…”[3]  Whether you plan to pursue graduate school, a job or internship, or another abroad program, having published a well constructed, thoughtful review on Abroad101 will give you an edge with employers, grad schools, and other potential post grad opportunities – show your reflective writing skills, showcasing your experience abroad, and reflecting on how your experience changed your outlook on the world.

 [1] http://www.travelgogirl.com/witsummit/
[2] http://www.job-hunt.org/guides/DPD_Online-Reputation-Research_overview.pdf via http://idealistcareers.org/employers-are-googling-you-now-what/
[3] http://idealistcareers.org/employers-are-googling-you-now-what/
[1] Allan E. Goodman and Stacie Nevadomski Berdan, New York Times, May 12 2014.  http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/10/17/should-more-americans-study-abroad/every-student-should-study-abroad

 

image of Samantha ShaySamantha Shay is a Patron Services Assistant at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and studied abroad in France.  Please read her study abroad review.

Connect with Samantha through LinkedIn

India: And the Fun Continues…

Your typical foreign traveler in front of the Taj Mahal

This is the second part of a two-part post, to read the first half, go to: “India: My Visit to My 5th Continent.” Theresa’s time in India continues…

Day 4: Woke up at 5:30am to get to the Taj Mahal for sunrise! Wow. I never thought that I would have the chance to see the Taj Mahal in person, let alone go inside of it and spend hours walking around. It is amazing that the Taj was build as a memorial because it is HUGE and it costs a fortune to build. The best part was that you have to go around barefoot when you are inside, I love being barefoot! Continue reading

Yellow Yellow Limoncello: Internship in Sorrento

Sorrentine Limoncello

As a part of the study abroad program I am enrolled in, I am taking part in a 3 credit internship with the marketing department of a local Sorrentine Limoncello company.  For those of you who are not familiar with this traditional Italian digestivo (beverage consumed after dinner to aid digestion), Limoncello is an alcoholic beverage made from the peels of the Sorrento Lemon infused into pure alcohol with some sugar.  The lemon is known for its cleansing properties, and especially for its reputation as a digestive aid.  The Italians—who are endearingly known for their knowledge on how to treat your digestive system, evident in their rule that states no milk is to be consumed after 11 am—market this alcohol as “the perfect after-dinner drink.”  Continue reading

“India: My Visit to My 5th Continent!” – Theresa on Semester at Sea

India will do funny things to you!

I have now been to 5 out of the 7 continents! Bucket list: get to all 7.

Day 1: Our ship was docked in Cochin, which is in Southern India. We got off the ship and there it was: the hot, humid, sticky, sweaty feeling…yay! My roommate and I paid a rickshaw driver a total of $6 to drive us around and be our personal tour guide all day…try and find that kind of deal in the states. Our itinerary went sometime like this: we saw the Chinese fishing nets and the beaches, we went to Jew Town, Fort Cochin Beach, Siva Temple, the Ginger Warehouse, some cemeteries, the Spice Market, the Dutch Palace, St. Francis Church and we visited some schools. Not too bad for $3 a person, right? Lal (our ‘tour guide’) even bought us necklaces made of jasmine, they smelt incredible! Continue reading

Mia’s To Do: Down Under

Sydney Opera House

Visit the Sydney Opera House for a performance: The Sydney Opera House is an architectural wonder. Yes, I know I have been here a few weeks and this should have been number one when I got here. I have seen it at night and from a ferry to Manly beach but haven’t gotten my necessary million photos in front of the white behemoth. Just around the corner from Circular Quay (pronounced “key”) I am sure to get there soon. Beyond the photos though I would love to be able to go to the opera house for a performance. Currently a play with Michael Cera is running. Continue reading