International Educator - May/June 2017 - 26

Top Messaging Apps
Around the World
Connecting-and staying connected with-students around the world
is not a one-size-fits all solution. The following messaging apps are popular
in different parts of the world.
■■ WeChat, Mobile QQ, Weibo, GroupMe (China)
■■ Skype (North America, Europe, Australia)
■■ Facebook Messenger (North America, Australia, Philippines,

India, Mexico, UAE)
■■ Kik (Canada)
■■ Viber (Eastern Europe, Africa)
■■ WhatsApp (Africa, India, Russia, Europe)
■■ Telegram (Iran)
■■ LINE (Japan, India)
■■ Hike (India)
■■ Kako Talk (South Korea)

represent one way of ensuring urgent messages are
received. "Especially around immigration status, timing
is everything," Schmitz says.
Third-party developers can help institutions
develop their own mobile apps, but the costs vary
widely-from $85 to more than five figures, according to Springer. It's also critical to get faculty-buy in
in busy offices like the one at GW's business school,
which offers 10 faculty-led programs a year, as TAs
would be relied upon to fill in all the needed information, Springer says.
While GW's business school hasn't committed to
building out an app, other departments at the university are exploring developing ones for their own
international students. And research "solidified what we
thought-an app specific to a program would be used if
it was available to them," Brancheau says.

Learn From Alternative Models
While social media and alternative forms of communication are growing in importance and impact, the
college's website remains critical. A recent study cited
by ICEF Monitor noted that nine out of 10 prospective
undergraduate students rated institutions' websites as
essential or very important in their decisionmaking process. At the same time, few involved with international
education would dispute the idea that too many study
abroad websites may appear dated.
"It's fair to say the field in general is getting better, but
we need to find better ways of engaging students earlier,"
says Mitch Gordon, CEO of Go Overseas, a website
allowing students to access information and reviews
about a broad range of programs abroad.
26  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M AY + J U N E .17

With students largely making decisions and planning
international study online, it's critical to improve how
they interact with institutions' websites, says Samantha
Martin, CEO and founder of Via TRM, a relationshipmanagement software developer for education abroad
offices. "The way that the courses, logistics, the support
system, and housing all come together to create a good
or bad experience-it's no different in technology," she
says. "If we think good experiences abroad are core to
our work, we need to create a good experience online."
Along with UX-shorthand for "user experience"-
the other trendy buzzword in online design is "gamification." This doesn't mean creating online competitions
with scores, winners, and losers, but thinking about how
video games work and incorporating the elements that
make them rewarding into complex processes such as
onboarding. And this approach has implications that go
beyond the online experience.
Consider how video games make the initial gameplay
easy and gradually ramp up the level of difficulty: In
recruiting and onboarding, that translates into strategies
that avoid overwhelming prospective students until later
in the process, according to Martin.
"Don't ask them where they want to go and what
they want to study-chances are they don't know," she
says. "Ask them instead where they have been. That
makes it impossible for them to feel that they're not
ready. It happens on an unconscious emotional level."
Via-TRM's online student onboarding process follows other tenets of game design, with visual indicators
confirming progress and leveling up as a student moves
from interest to selection and planning to participation
and alumni status. Go Overseas includes teasers that
indicate the recency or popularity of different reviews
and programs, according to Gordon.
"Increasing choice and transparency around price,
including as many reputable programs as possible that
get students to study abroad is the mission," Gordon
says. "The universities that do the best job of providing
value to their students in a transparent way will do well."
When it comes to technology, software developers
repeat the same advice as their peers at institutions: Go
where students already are, and focus on solving the
problems they have. "Don't make any assumptions about
what students do or don't want to do," Martin says. "Get
on the ground with them and observe how they use
technology, see where the gaps are, and let them help
define the problem that technology can help close."
For international educators, that means they have
something to learn as well. Whether it's studying what



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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