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Study Abroad


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Becky Mathers
 Study Abroad Administrator

 I work in the International Exchanges Unit within
 Student Support & Guidance in the Student Services

 Our team: Head of International Exchanges Unit,
 Study Abroad Administrator, Erasmus Administrator,
 IEU Assistant
Snapshot of The University of Sheffield
Traditional, non campus, Redbrick university, established in 1905
Student Numbers
Total Number of students             24,000
Total number of International        5,000
Incoming Study Abroad                180-200
Outgoing Study Abroad                100
Incoming Erasmus                     500
Outgoing Erasmus                     400
Other Programmes (not our office)    300

A little bit about me…
Valerie Horwood
 Study Abroad and Exchange Coordinator

 Within the Partnership Division

 The team: Me!
Snapshot of The University of Greenwich
Gained university status in 1992
Student Numbers
Total Number of students            22,000
Total number of International       4,000
Incoming Study Abroad               50 (two island programmes)
Outgoing Study Abroad               0
Incoming Erasmus                    80
Outgoing Erasmus                    20
Other Programmes (not our office)   20

A little bit about me…
Emily Wescott
 Academic Officer for Arcadia University College of
  Global Studies
 London Study Centre
 Arcadia University Glenside staff, Regional Assistant
  Directors, in country centres
 Resident and Academic Director, Associate Director,
  Academic, Housing and Student Services Officer and
  Office Coordinator
Arcadia University, CGS
 Founded in 1853, in the state of Pennsylvania
 CGS is one of the three colleges
 Sixty years involvement in international education
 Offer over 100 study abroad opportunities in 15
  countries to both undergraduates and post-graduates,
 Programmes include direct entry programmes, hybrid
  programmes, academic degree programmes, certificate
  programmes, internships, and exchanges.
The Ice Breaker…
Task: In pairs find out as much as you can from
your colleague: name, university they work at, role, how
long in this job, what they would like to take away today

Time: 5 Minutes in total

Feedback on your new colleague to the group
(15 minutes)
Background to Study Abroad
• The concept of studying in a foreign country
• A very well developed “industry” in the US,
  established to ensure maximum number of US
  university students study abroad
What do we mean by Study Abroad/Mobility?

Shout out the different
ways you know….
What do we mean by Study Abroad/Mobility?




          Independent                   Island
           Fee Payers                Programmes

To whom are we responsible?
      Senior Management Team/our university
      • Income generation
      • Internationalisation
      • Profile and reputation
      • Opportunities for home students to go on exchange

      Overseas Partners
      • Our fast and efficient processes and services – makes their job
      • Good pastoral care for students – they like us & tell their students
      • Generates reciprocity
      • Can lead to opportunity for diversification of partnership - fee
        paying students
• Manage the student journey
• Good customer service – settling into a new culture,
  environment whilst instilling a sense of independence
• Ensure the experience lives up to their dreams/expectations
• They tell their friends!

   Work smarter within confines of the university system and
   budgets. Happy students =Happy staff = Keeps us in jobs!
Study Abroad student lifecycle
Exercise: Map it out within 15 minutes
From 1st thinking of going abroad to coming home
Why, how, who, where

Feedback– 15 minutes


Study Abroad student lifecycle
 Stage 1: Recognising the need to go abroad
Parents, friends, siblings, professors, home university
website, study abroad fair, ancestry

 Stage 2: Information Search
Internet including industry specific websites (eg
goabroad.com, diversityabroad.com, studyabroad.com),
host university websites, friends/siblings/classmates who
have studied abroad (possibly most credible source), parents,
home university (study abroad office, professors), 3rd party
Study Abroad student lifecycle
 Stage 3: Evaluation of alternative programmes
Does the programme meet needs/expectations
 Stage 4: Purchase decision
Influenced by many factors including whether there is
an agreement between the home and host university to
facilitate credit transfer, ease of application, how
independent they are, cost (including financial aid
transfer), special needs
Study Abroad student lifecycle
 Stage 5: Post purchase evaluation
Takes place before arrival – students need to be
constantly reassured they have made the correct
 Stage 6: Arrival and semester
Finding routine, settling in to new environment
 Stage 7: Departure/Alumni
Re-entry orientation, credit transfer, feedback,
programme advocate
Tools of the trade
Regardless of numbers of students, you need
tools and an efficient use of time to maximise the
student experience

Tools can include people and also systems
& processes.
Enquiry Generation
 Online presence – e.g. Go-abroad, Hobsons, Petersons,
  websites, SEO, social networking etc

 International visits/study abroad fairs

 Partner Universities

 Marketing materials eg: brochures

 Site visits
Enquiry Handling
 E-mail enquiry or online form for more efficient data
   CRM?
   Study abroad specific system/university wide
   Turnaround times
   Meet student customer service expectations
Other tools of the trade…
Systems and processes

 How do you handle Application incl. visa/Registration
 Paper or paperless?
 Admissions decisions; Faculty or in house?
 University system or stand alone
 Existing system or is there room to change? Do you
  want to change?
 Advantages and disadvantages of the two
Student Support Mechanisms
 Pre arrival information – brochures, web, fact sheets

 Social Networking – E.g. Facebook

 Buddies/mentoring – already existing ? Can you tap in?

 Welcome & orientation programme

 Social programme

 Student Union
Stakeholders (People!)
These are people who either have a direct impact on your
role or who can be effected by how you carry out your
role within your University. They can also impact on
whether you meet your responsibilities.

              In your group list key stakeholders &
              reasons why they are important (5
              minutes) and then feedback.
Establishing and maintaining
overseas partnerships
Why you need these & what you can achieve:

 Facilitate internationalisation strategy
 Recruitment channel
Higher University agenda:
 Raise University profile
 Generate income
 Outward mobility options for your home students
 Joint Research projects
 Staff mobility – academic and administrative
How you can set up new partnerships
 Receive approaches from them

 “Cold calling” – targeting your needs

 NAFSA and other conferences – networking and formal
  meetings to explore opportunities

 Your Faculty contacts – pick their brains/address book!

 Study Abroad Fairs/Talks/1:1 Meetings

 Close personal network of colleagues around the world –
  many people move around universities
 Having a partnership check list

 Review system of partnership

 Not just about quality of the University, it’s about
  shared interests

 Monitoring student feedback
Barriers to effective stakeholder
         In your group brainstorm the barriers and
         challenges which can hinder or stop the
         development of your Programmes

         10 minutes and 10 minutes to feedback &
External Support
 Overseas Colleagues
 UK Colleagues
 British Council
 Open Doors report
The Study Abroad and exchange office within a university is
an organisation within an organisation – e.g. we do; marketing,
admissions, pre arrival, student support, housing, external
relations, finance, visa preparation etc
What will you take away from
Any questions?

About anything at all?
Our contact details
Becky Mathers – r.mathers@sheffield.ac.uk

Valerie Horwood – V.Horwood@greenwich.ac.uk

Emily Wescott- WescottE@arcadia.edu
That’s all folks!

Enjoy the conference!

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