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.
What does this mean for your program?
Direct recommendations and personal connections are highly effective in encouraging students to consider a study abroad experience. Your unique position to talk to with students resonates deeply and helps them envision how an international experience might enhance their academic or career path.
In addition to speaking with students, here are some other ideas to actively promote your program:
1. Develop your elevator pitch
- In 1-3 minutes, what is your program and why does it benefit students? Being able to succinctly describe your program will help others to remember the key details.
- Reflect on your program name. Is it easy to remember and repeat to others? Does it peak a student’s interest to learn more? Word of mouth is a powerful tool for program promotion so a memorable program name is important!
2. Take an active role!
- Download and distribute materials from your Program Toolkit that we create for you.
- Attend events on campus to represent your program, including staffing a table at our annual Study Abroad Fair. If possible, get involved in your college/department’s orientations to be sure your program is highlighted to incoming freshman and new faculty/staff.
- Announce your program in class, add it to your Canvas course, and circulate to class listservs.
- Mention your study abroad involvement in your professional bio, presentations/workshops, interviews, publications, and more! Let us know when you’re featured so we can share these articles to amplify their reach.
- Lead an info session about your program! Start by connecting with your Study Abroad Advisor so we can team up to plan these events. We can help by reserving our Study Abroad Resource Center, emailing prospective students, and even attending sessions to help answer questions.
3. Speak with your colleagues
- Ask faculty and instructors (including TAs) to help share information about your program in their classrooms and when they speak to students. Encourage them to request a 5-minute classroom presentation on study abroad.
- Communicate details to academic advisors so they can help to identify students who may be a good fit for your program.
- Work with your department to share information about your program through listservs, newsletters, social media, websites, and anywhere else information is communicated to students.
- Ask other program leaders what strategies they’ve used to successfully recruit students in the past. Which of these strategies would you like to duplicate?
4. Capture the experience while abroad
- Take photos or video that 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 us for use in our digital and print materials.
- Tag @IAPStudyAbroad or use the hashtag #BadgersAbroad in any content you post to your social media accounts. We’ll repost your content on our feeds!
- Encourage your program alumni to complete a returned student profile so that their experience can be shared with prospective students.
When should you start promotions?
Now! Students often plan well in advance (sometimes years!) to study abroad so consistent and continual year-round promotion helps to plant the seed of study abroad interest.
We’re here to support you
Your program promotion is not all up to you! Successful study abroad outreach is a team effort and we are pleased to support you in recruiting students for your program.
How we will support your outreach efforts:
- Creating and maintaining of your program’s website.
- Providing your program outreach toolkit (flyer, PowerPoint slide, and social media graphic).
- Curating a program photo gallery*
- Showcasing returned student profiles*
- Featuring programs and student experiences on IAP social media*
- Hosting the annual Study Abroad Fair.
- Providing general study abroad information at key campus events (including SOAR, Study Abroad 101 sessions, and campus fairs).
- Delivering general or tailored study abroad information in classroom presentations, as requested.
- Partnering with campus offices and departments to develop and share study abroad information (such as our Major Advising Pages and funding resources).
- Supporting students with general and program-specific advising.
*Availability is dependent on student or Program Leader submitted content. Please encourage your students to share their experiences with us!