International Educator - May/June 2017 - 23

Social Media Catching Up
paperless," says Elizabeth Mills, manager of international
internships at Oregon State University's Office of Global
Opportunities. "It's been cumbersome because all of our
processes have been mapped out in a paper trail."
That paper trail, however, also represents the key
to ensuring that digital processes actually wind up
working in ways that serve students and educators.
"It doesn't always get implemented very well because
we didn't think through all the bits and pieces where a
student still has to pick up a piece of paper and show it
to someone," Mills says.
But going paperless works both ways. Lengthy
predeparture handbooks and manuals can be made
more accessible by converting them into bite-size online
resources, such as presentations. "That's more robust
and engaging than giving students that workbook to
work on on their own," says Mills. "They also can go
back and access it when they're abroad."
A key challenge is allowing the electronic transfer
of documents in more secure ways. "A lot of things
we don't want to do because of security, like students
e-mailing copies of passports and bank statements,"
White says. At the same time, many programs urge students to make digital copies of these documents before
traveling abroad. And being able to pull up information
about each student is particularly valuable, given the
expectation of 24/7 responsiveness students often have.
"It makes it so much easier, because when I'm at home, I
can access their information," Reinig says.

Bypass the Great Firewall
But access isn't always a given. Shanna Vincent, assistant
director of education abroad for the University of
Oklahoma College of International Studies, says she
had long used Facebook to communicate with facultyled programs traveling abroad at the University of
Oklahoma, but she noticed that participation tended to
be limited. Then, when the college planned a Chinabased program for the summer of 2015, university
officials realized it wasn't accessible there.
China's so-called "Great Firewall" blocks Facebook,
Google, and many other social networks. So the university switched to online chat service GroupMe, which
is accessible in China, and saw student participation
skyrocket. Now, all the university's study abroad programs use GroupMe or one of several other online chat
systems that are available globally, says Vincent.
Because their social networks included friends
from beyond the study abroad program, students had
seemed reluctant to use Facebook for group discussions.

Social media is rapidly catching up to e-mail as the top way of reaching
prospective students online.
Top Digital Channels:
■■E-mail: 73.5 percent
■■Social media: 70 percent
■■Website design/optimization: 61.8 percent
■■Mobile: 22.4 percent
Source: Digital Marketing Trends in Higher Education 2016, QS Digital Solutions

GroupMe, however, was different, Vincent says. "It wasn't
a big post tied to a social media account, just a quick
question or answer," such as "where did you buy your
travel adapters?" she says. It also allows program leaders
to schedule automatic announcements and reminders
that are helpful in predeparture planning, says Vincent.
Students in-country use GroupMe to schedule
meetings, share jokes, and make plans. And the initial
Chinese cohort has kept in touch once they returned to
Oklahoma, most recently using GroupMe to schedule a
Chinese New Year celebration.
As with other social media tools, it helped that other
University of Oklahoma groups, including student life
programs, already were using GroupMe, "so students
were already used to it," says Vincent.
While students don't always use e-mail, they do
expect international offices to respond at all hours, day
and night, and group chat technology represents another
way to get in contact with far-flung students quickly.
"The traditional reliance on e-mail or phone calls is
not what people expect any more," Vincent says. Being
accessible across multiple digital channels," he says, "is
almost necessary in this day and age."

Scale Up Support
At Appalachian State University, students who walked
into the international studies office often had to wait a
half hour or more to speak with an adviser. When the
institution switched student e-mail over to Google,
Don White saw an opportunity.
Google's e-mail system also included another common tool that students were familiar with when dealing
with other providers in their lives-namely, chat. "When
you have an issue with your cellphone or your bank, you
go onto their website and chat," says White, now study
abroad coordinator for the Center for International
Education at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
"It's not a new thing they have to learn."
M AY + J U N E .17 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - May/June 2017

From the Editor
Frontlines
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Middle East
Quick Questions
High Tech, High Engagement
Principled, Pragmatic, Impactful
What Happens to Study Abroad Students
Campus Profi le: Internationalization at the University of Tampa
Campus Spotlight: Internationalization at East Carolina University
Education Abroad
International Enrollment
International Student Affair
Partnering
A View From Out Here
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Cover1
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Cover2
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 1
International Educator - May/June 2017 - From the Editor
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 3
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Frontlines
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 5
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 6
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 7
International Educator - May/June 2017 - In Brief
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 9
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 10
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 11
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 12
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 13
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Global Spotlight: Middle East
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 15
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Quick Questions
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 17
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 18
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 19
International Educator - May/June 2017 - High Tech, High Engagement
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 21
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 22
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 23
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 24
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 25
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 26
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 27
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 28
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 29
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Principled, Pragmatic, Impactful
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 31
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 32
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 33
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 34
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 35
International Educator - May/June 2017 - What Happens to Study Abroad Students
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 37
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 38
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 39
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 40
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 41
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Campus Profi le: Internationalization at the University of Tampa
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 43
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 44
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 45
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 46
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 47
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 48
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 49
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 50
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 51
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 52
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 53
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Campus Spotlight: Internationalization at East Carolina University
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 55
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 56
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 57
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 58
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 59
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Education Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 61
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 62
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 63
International Educator - May/June 2017 - International Enrollment
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 65
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 66
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 67
International Educator - May/June 2017 - International Student Affair
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 69
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 70
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 71
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Partnering
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 73
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 74
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 75
International Educator - May/June 2017 - A View From Out Here
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 77
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 78
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 79
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Forum
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 81
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 82
International Educator - May/June 2017 - 83
International Educator - May/June 2017 - In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Cover3
International Educator - May/June 2017 - Cover4
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