It’s crucial to grab students’ attention with well-written program details. Use an appropriate program title that is clear and accurately reflects the trip content. Use terms students will readily understand and avoid referencing things they’ve never heard of.
On a piece of A4 or in a Google Doc, put together the following program details:
- Program title
- Program slogan (if you can come up with one, it’s a catchy way to generate interest!)
- Program objectives (talk about benefits for the student here)
- Program description (discuss the destination and your schedule)
- Program dates
- Program costs
You may already have this information from your initial program proposal, but gathering these details now will help you develop all the marketing materials below.
One of the best resources for recruitment is student ambassadors, former students that went on your trip. The main reason is that prospective students are always interested in hearing about the experience from other students’ perspectives; their testimony is the most effective tool for recruitment.
Photo by Kampus Production.
Website, blogs, and social networking sites
Your students need to have access to all the information about your program, and the school or university website or blog is an excellent tool for this purpose. You should include promotional information and details such as scheduling events and giving an overview of the program dates, course descriptions, site visits, housing, field trips, etc. If you work with a third party like Alandis, you can include a link to their website to share more information about the program or trip.
In addition, you should make the most of your university’s social media accounts, Instagram, Facebook, or even TikTok, since these are the most commonly used apps by students. Create short, eye-catching videos that link to the website where all the details are explained; this way, you’ll generate more traffic and spread the word.
These platforms also have paid publicity tools where you can specify the advert or post only be shown to students on your campus or that live in a specific area, which can be tremendously effective.
Print materials: Flyers, posters, and brochures
Flyers, posters, and brochures are simple and informative pieces of information that are very useful to captivate your potential students. Including images of the destination and photos from past study abroad trips is extremely helpful.
Flyers, for example, are fantastic to distribute at events since they are pocket-size. Hanging posters or appearing on display cases and bulletin boards around the department or campus is a great way to catch everyone’s eye.
Make sure to use bright colors!! It is also an excellent idea to add a QR code linked to your website so they can learn more about the trip.
Information sessions and study abroad fairs
Information sessions are a chance to elaborate on your program and the courses you provide, attract students, and respond to their inquiries. Set up sessions early to help applicants get going. Invite students to see a brief presentation you’ve planned and try to answer all the questions they may have. We recommend using this opportunity to talk about:
- Different programs and courses available at the destination
- The strong link between their course content and the destination country, hence the importance of studying there
- The unique, once-in-a-lifetime cultural opportunities available
- Include pictures and make it as relatable as possible!
- The schedule you’ve put together
- If there is grading, how it works and what is expected of them
- Whether any grades achieved abroad can be transferred back as course credits at their home institution
- Any prerequisites to allow them on the program
- How previous trips have gone and the extraordinary impact it had on previous students (do you have any ambassadors to talk about their experiences?)
- The application process and what steps they need to take if interested
As we mentioned before, a great way to get the word out about these sessions would be with flyers or on social media. Also, email lists are a fantastic tool for this purpose.
Spread the word about your program by visiting the classes of students that may be interested in your trip. It’s an excellent opportunity to give a little sneak peek into what the trip will look like and get people excited.
These visits should be concise, around 10 minutes long, so make sure to prepare what you will say. Don’t forget to inform the students about your next information session and how they can learn more about the program.
Email is one of the most effective ways to reach out to students. Speak to the department head about using their email list. Create a list based on the students taking classes within your department that might be interested, then send a massive email to all these addresses. It is also a good idea to do follow-up emails in case someone didn’t receive or read the first one.
Also, don’t forget to keep lists of interested students’ names and email addresses. This way, you can keep them up to date with information regarding meetings, deadlines, or exciting details.
Talk to colleagues, teaching assistants, and academic advisors. Let them know about your program and ask them to promote it. Since they are in direct contact with students, they can be a good resource for matching students with your program.
Also, it is a good idea to reach out to other departments with similar curriculums, since their students might be interested.