International Educator - September/October 2019 - 39

Similarly, campus tours that include
a stop at the study abroad office on their
route can plant the seed of studying abroad
in prospective students' minds.
Develop the education abroad
narrative. Education abroad advisers
should liaise with the admissions team to
make sure recruiters understand and can
clearly articulate the many ways students
benefit from international experiences.
Educating the admissions staff, including
student ambassadors who lead campus
tours, on the study abroad programs and
financing options can expand the profile
of education abroad. Providing talking
points and answers to common questions
prepares frontline staff to address
concerns and dispel misperceptions.
At UWM, for example, a significant
number of students are commuters with
full- or part-time jobs. Often, they don't
see study abroad as a viable option because
the costs seem too high and they can't take
extensive time off from work.
"These students often don't see study
abroad as something attainable because
they don't understand the many options
we offer-maybe a 10- to 14-day facultyled program would be more affordable,
for example," Eckman says. "We make
sure our admissions colleagues can
articulate these important messages
of how our students can overcome the
cost barriers."
Rally the parents by highlighting the
return on investment. Prospective
students are not the only ones who
can be incentivized by an institution's
study abroad portfolio. Parents are often
concerned about program costs, the
contribution to their child's academic
career, and safety.

Bryan Schultz, director of international
programs for the College of Business
Administration at the University of
Pittsburgh, says it is important to talk to
parents about the "why" of study abroad-
not just the personal growth factor, but
also the return on investment that results
from international experiences.
Among the returns: four-year graduation
rates are 18 percent higher for students
who study abroad, and studying abroad has
been shown to increase a student's GPA.
Additionally, 75 percent of companies say
that it's important for their staff to have
a global perspective, giving students who
studied abroad an edge in employability.
"This isn't a vacation; it's an academic
experience," Schultz says. "We tell parents
why business students need to develop
global competency, how study abroad can
fulfill that, how our programs are different,
and how we make them affordable.
Showing the return on investment toward
future careers is important for parents."
Leverage word-of-mouth advertising.
In general, students are most likely to be
persuaded by their peers, so word-ofmouth marketing is an effective tactic. The
education abroad office staff can partner
with the admission team to include panel
discussions, presentations, and videos
from students and alumni who have
participated in study abroad programs in
admissions recruiting efforts. For example,
Pitt's College of Business Administration
requires study abroad students to blog
during their programs abroad. These blogs
are available for use by the admissions team.
"That changes the messenger," Schultz
says. "Students can hear something 1,000
times from their parents [or from the
college staff], but when they hear it from a
peer, the message becomes more powerful."

NAFSA Resources
Education Abroad and the Undergraduate Experience: bit.ly/2YaCVwH
NAFSA's Guide to Education Abroad for Advisers and Administrators, Fourth
Edition: bit.ly/2QVa78T
Taking Your Education Abroad: bit.ly/2YbddrO
What Parents Need to Know: bit.ly/2GkVrwj

Adding Value to the
Academic Experience
When students are aware of study abroad
options early on, it gets "them thinking
about where they would like to go and how
the experience fits in with their academic
coursework," says Erica Nikolaisen,
education abroad adviser at Pennsylvania
State University. This is especially true of
programs that take place before or during a
student's freshman year.
At Agnes Scott, freshman are required
to participate in a weeklong global study
tour. When surveyed, 76 percent of the
college's class of 2020 said the course was
"very important" or "important" in their
decision to matriculate at Agnes Scott-
demonstrating how education abroad
options can add to students' collegiate
experience and boost the admissions yield.
"From the time our students step
foot on campus, they develop a broad
and discipline-specific understanding of
themselves as part of a global community,"
says Peifer. "This spark leads students to
pursue long-term study abroad later in
their college tenure."
Weaving in communications
about study abroad options into the
recruitment and admissions stages
underscores a school's international
commitment. St. John's University's
mission statement emphasizes diversity
and internationalized curriculum,
which comes into sharper focus when
the admissions team talks about the
rich variety of education abroad
programs available, says Matthew G.
Pucciarelli, associate provost in the
Office of Global Programs.
"Our study abroad programs are
essential for [the] admissions office when it
comes to defining who St. John's University
is," says Pucciarelli, noting that more than
40 percent of undergraduates participate in
study abroad before graduating. St. John's
consistent message to prospective students
is: "We are global, and you can go abroad
from day one. That's tied to the core
curriculum," he says. n
KAREN DOSS BOWMAN is a freelance
writer based in Bridgewater, Virginia.
S E P T + O C T.2019 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

39


http://www.bit.ly/2YaCVwH http://www.bit.ly/2QVa78T http://www.bit.ly/2YbddrO http://www.bit.ly/2GkVrwj

International Educator - September/October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - September/October 2019

From the Desk of
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Chile
Quick Questions
Feature: Countering the Forces of Change
Feature: Raising the Bar
Feature: Branching Out
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
International Enrollment Management
International Education Leadership
Forum
Take 5
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Cover1
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Cover2
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 1
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 2
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 3
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 4
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 5
International Educator - September/October 2019 - From the Desk of
International Educator - September/October 2019 - In Brief
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 8
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 9
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 10
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Global Spotlight: Chile
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Quick Questions
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 13
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 14
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 15
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Feature: Countering the Forces of Change
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 17
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 18
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 19
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 20
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 21
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 22
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 23
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Feature: Raising the Bar
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 25
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 26
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 27
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 28
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 29
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Feature: Branching Out
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 31
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 32
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 33
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 34
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 35
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 36
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 37
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Education Abroad
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 39
International Educator - September/October 2019 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 41
International Educator - September/October 2019 - International Enrollment Management
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 43
International Educator - September/October 2019 - International Education Leadership
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 45
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Forum
International Educator - September/October 2019 - 47
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Take 5
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Cover3
International Educator - September/October 2019 - Cover4
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