How to Recruit Students for Faculty-Led Programs Abroad
Recruiting students can feel daunting – but we’ll create a great itinerary that fulfills your learning objectives and guide you through the recruitment process. Here’s the ultimate guide to recruiting students for your school or college short-term study abroad program:
- Recruit Early: As soon as your program is approved by administration, start getting the word out. Recruit until the program is full or until the deadline to submit a deposit. Download your Learning Adventure planning timeline to customize and make sure you’re on schedule.
- Resources: Use the Study Abroad or International Programs office as a resource. They might be willing to print brochures for you, assist in promoting or just give you some advice!
- Word of Mouth: Sometimes, there’s nothing better than word-of-mouth advertising. It might sound obvious but remember to announce the program in class!
Hold Informational Sessions
- Collaborate with another club or organization on campus to do a quick 5-minute promotion of the program. This is a great way to broaden your reach and recruit students who might not otherwise hear about studying abroad.
- It’s a fail-safe method: entice students to attend sessions with free food!
- Pass around a sign-in sheet to collect names, emails and phone numbers so you can follow up with information for interested students.
- Post the program information on your faculty website and share the link on social media.
- Post photos and videos from past trips or the destination.
- Make sure the Study Abroad office lists it on their site.
Establish an Email List of Interested/Confirmed Students
- Send out photos, videos, testimonials, program objectives, information, advice and preparation to-do lists.
Ask your colleagues to mention the program to their students in a quick shout-out at the beginning or end of class.
- Provide them with contact information to put on the board, as well as brochures and flyers if you have them.
Distribute program information to academic advisors in your department.
- Try to hand out information sheets in person, where you can reiterate how the program will fit into students’ graduation requirements. Follow up with the same sheet over email.
- On the information sheet and email, stress the benefits of study abroad. Use hard data and research articles that show how travel can positively impact a graduate’s career prospects.
Make sure to mention any scholarships or grants that students can apply for to help with program costs.
Book a stand at any relevant internal events, like Study Abroad fairs.
- Take a big eye-catching sign, plenty of brochures, a sign-up sheet to collect names and emails.
- Again, this is the time to entice students in with candy or small freebies.
Contact your school’s publication.
- If there’s a school newspaper or campus magazine, approach one of the students who work on it to see if you can feature.
- You could either have a standard advertisement or write a feature on how the program could benefit students.
Promote during morning announcements
- Get your word out with a quick 1-minute overview and the best way to contact you for more information. Beware phone numbers or long email addresses that students won’t catch – instead, direct them towards your office or reception.
Ask past students who have studied abroad to help promote your program.
- Testimonials can be included in an information session, on emails and on promotional material.
- Find a student willing to come into one of your bigger sessions to talk about their experiences on the trip and how it’s benefited the rest of their studies.
- See if you can place a sandwich board display in the Student Union or anywhere that gets busy on campus or the school grounds.
- Pin flyers on bulletin boards.
Use academic language to describe the program and stress the educational benefits of studying abroad.
- For college students, this indicates to them that this is worth spending their time and money on. For high school programs, this shows to parents that this is not a “vacation” or “trip” but an “educational program”.
- Also, make sure you always emphasize how the program will tie into course objectives, improve test results and develop in-depth knowledge. For high school students, you can mention that the program will look great on a college application.
- Discover more about the educational benefits of short-term study abroad programs.
Our Final Piece of Advice: The Learning Adventure
Once you’ve successfully recruited students, check in with them from time to time to answer questions and maintain their interest. Ask them to spread the word to their friends. Offer packing advice and ways to prepare for the program. Not sure? Ask us for advice – we can even come into your school or college to give a pre-departure presentation to parents or students. We can also give you help and ideas throughout the recruitment process.
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