Promotion and recruitment are an essential part of any study abroad program. Active involvement in the recruitment process by the program leader and/or departmental sponsor can make all the difference in a program’s success or failure. Study Abroad staff collaborates with campus partners on promotional materials and strategies, but glossy brochures and attractive websites are no substitute for one-on-one faculty-to-student contact.
IAP will support you in your promotional efforts by holding key events, managing and maintaining your program webpage, and developing a suite of materials to support your outreach efforts.
The following resources and templates are provided for the benefit of UW Faculty and Staff to promote their own programs as well as study abroad more broadly. Please keep in mind that some templates will need to be adapted to fit your individual program before use:
Ideas for Program Promotion
- Timeline: Begin promoting your program at least one year in advance. Unless your program is full, you should continue promoting up until your program deadline.
- Recruitment: Familiarize yourself with successful study abroad recruitment strategies used by others within your department in previous years. Which of these successful strategies would you like to duplicate? If the program was cancelled due to low enrollment, what should you do differently?
- Program Name and Description: Work with your Study Abroad Advisor to ensure that your program description fits your target audience. Similarly, program names should accurately and succinctly reflect the program theme while peaking student interest to learn more. Remember that students are often most concerned with issues of value and uniqueness as it fits with their degree requirements and person interests and needs.
- Information Sessions: Make arrangements to hold an information session about your program. These are a great way to introduce prospective students to the details of your program as well as begin connecting with potential applicants. Let IAP know about these sessions and how we can best support your event!
- Social Media: Use your personal or departmental Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snap Chat, LinkedIn and other social networking accounts to promote your program, and follow IAP’s accounts to tag us in your photos or use the hashtag #BadgersAbroad. Want to take your engagement to the next level? Talk to us about additional social media ideas, including managing your own Facebook Group!
- Class: Announce your program in class. Share information about your program with colleagues who can make announcements in their classes too.
- Advisers: Inform and work with academic advisers who advise your target audience. Communicate with your colleagues, including TAs, so they can help advise students about the value of studying abroad and share your program information.
- Personal Contact: Reach out to student who are likely to be interested in the program and be available to counsel and assists students who have questions about the program.
- Photos: Photos can enhance the all-around promotion of your program . While abroad, capture images that best represent the academic nature of your program and demonstrate the types of activities that students might be doing and the environments they may be learning and living in. Share these photos with IAP for use in our digital and print promotional materials.
- Events: Attend events on campus, especially those sponsored by your college or department, and be sure to save the date for the yearly Study Abroad Fair (held in September each year). If possible, get involved in your college/department’s Orientation Program to be sure that your program is highlighted to incoming freshman.
- Publications: Make sure your program is featured in your college/department’s communications and publications (e.g. e-bulletins, newsletters, magazines, etc.) and anytime you are featured on campus, be sure to plug your study abroad program as it related to your research or professional interests. Let us know when you’re featured so we can use these stories to further promote your program!