Like many who exhibited at NAFSA, we are energized by the show of support and growth in awareness that comes from the Exhibit Hall spotlight. We handed out nearly 1,000 T-Shirts and the message of Free Program Evaluation Software rang through to many study abroad advisors and administrators in attendance. In case you missed the latest news, here’s an update on Abroad101 for those of you who offer education abroad programs to American students.
New Subject of Study Portals
In May we released subject area portals, dedicated directories of study abroad programs in over 400 academic disciplines. Students and Advisors can now easily find academic focused programs in subjects ranging from Accounting to Zoology. The subject areas are organized using the US Department of Education’s CIP codes (Classification for Instructional Programming), a first for the study abroad field. The CIP taxonomy has very specific fields of study rolled up into more general categories. As a program provider, we encourage you to update your program listings and add the relevant fields of study. We also suggest you pick carefully as students in this area are looking for specific courses, and in many cases looking to fulfill a course requirement. Please note these should refer to the subject area taught, not the students’ academic majors.
Please Update/Edit Your Free Listings
Your account dashboard also lets you edit the contents of your program listings on Abroad101. We encourage you to use the friendly format to update your listings this summer and add subjects as well as engaging content. If you need to have program titles changed, locations edited, or host universities added, our quality control process requires this be made from our end. Our crew is ready and happy to help you with these; please send those details by email to email@example.com
Add Scholarships to Your Listings
Another item in the providers account dashboard is the “Scholarships Available” tool that allows you to add scholarships to your listings. You’ll find this on the left side of your dashboard, under “Provider.” You can list multiple scholarships and link these directly to the scholarships page on your website. The scholarships you enter will appear under the “Financial Aid” tab of the matching program listing(s) on Abroad101. Please note that the Scholarships Available option is not part of the account dashboard for foreign universities. Foreign universities should include mention of any scholarship options in the general description of their listing.
Review Your Reports:
As part of your account dashboard, on the lower left side, you will find a few report options. “Graphs” tallies the star ratings submitted by students in their reviews and allows for some comparison of your program against all others, as well as by country. These categories include: overall, academics, program administration, housing, food, social integration, heath care, safety and cost of living. The resulting pie charts can be copied and pasted into your management reports and provide some added insight into how students perceive your programs.
Bring Advisors on Board
Advisors are a key component in Abroad101’s marketing and are responsible for bringing the vast majority of reviews to Abroad101. As a provider, you can help this process by generating student reviews at the colleges in which you have a strong following. Here are a couple of ways to see how a university performs for you:
- University Name in Review Summary: For Provider organizations, find your program summary listing all your programs. Under the tab that says “Study Abroad Reviews” you will see a summary of all your reviews. There you will also see the home university of the reviewer identified. For Foreign Universities, find your “Direct Enrollment and Exchange” listing and you’ll see the university name in the review summaries.
- University Pages on Abroad101: Each home university also has a summary page. Use the search box at the top right of the site to find universities where you think you should be well represented.
- Pre-Approvals List: In your account dashboard (log into Abroad101), at the bottom left is a report called “University Approvals” which will indicate which universities using Abroad101 have selected which of your programs in their pre-approved programs list.
Once you know how well your key universities engage with Abroad101, please contact us about engaging them further. Together we can bring Abroad101 into their process and help them use the tools to help draw more reviews, more visibility, and ultimately more students to study abroad.
Utilize the Program Widget
For programs that look especially appealing on Abroad101’s website, we recommend that you use the Abroad101 program widget to share your results. The Program Widget creates a badge-like graphic for your website that includes a star-rating icon and a link to the reviews. There is no cost to use the Program Widget and it is easy to install as a photo. Add the widget it to your website and directories and encourage staff to add it to their blog sites. Hopefully you’ll get your partner universities to install it on their websites too! Create your widget by adding your program name and the width of the resulting graphic, click here to start Then follow the instructions to add it to the websites of your choice. There’s no limit to the number of sites/pages that can display that code, so add this to your list of summer projects!
As you have hopefully seen, the strength of Abroad101 is in its detail. Most site visitors are in the middle of their selection process, and use the wealth of content to research and set the expectations of the students and their families that support them. We estimate that 20-25% of our traffic comes from parents who often use the search term “reviews” along with program/provider/city names. Reaching students, parents, and advisors deeper in the process means inquiries that come from Abroad101 are much more likely to enroll. Advertising on Abroad101 can influence the final decision, as the impressions that come through in the research phase of program selection may well be the ones that trigger the decision to apply. Remember: when you see “App” in the inquiry type, this means a student has checked the box that says “I want to apply to this program.” This may not only be a strong lead, but may also be a conversion of a student you already know.
As you enter into your new budgets and marketing plans for the upcoming year, think of using Abroad101 by program. If you have programs that need a boost, consider advertising them above the others. Small and special focus programs, for example, often do well on Abroad101. With the new subject portals included at no added cost, you have even more reasons to include more of Abroad101 in your advertising budget. We can customize a campaign to meet any budget; please download our ad guide and contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
Alumni Job Board and Abroad101’s career initiatives
Abroad101 enthusiastically supports efforts to raise the number of students studying abroad and we believe strongly that a well-written, thoughtful, and insightful review can also help students jump-start their career. Many of you are aware of the Linkedin Group we manage called The Study Abroad Advantage. If you haven’t done so yet, please direct your alumni and alumni relations contacts to this group. As another step to help ensure that study abroad will be an advantage for students during their career search, we created the first job board dedicated to study abroad alumni. In addition to a range of jobs that may interest these students, the Study Abroad Alumni Job Board highlights positions that REQUIRE a study abroad experience. We hope that when you are looking to hire, you’ll post your positions on the site: http://Jobs.StudyAbroad101.com
Mark Shay / CEO
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