Stuart Steck, Assistant Professor of Art History at Lesley University, was looking to create a short-term program for students who couldn’t do full semesters abroad. He needed some help handling the logistics, so he and a colleague from the school’s literature department partnered with EF Study Abroad. Together, they were able to create an interdisciplinary program with a focus on the material culture of Paris. Since the program needed to be approved by the college curriculum committees for both arts and the humanities, Stuart and the CST team worked to create a framework that brought the two disciplines together allowing students the opportunity to participate in an international experience and earn departmental credit.
When Stuart led his first group to Paris, he traveled with more students abroad than he originally planned. By exceeding the projected enrollment numbers, he lowered the overall cost of his program by 10%. Here are his top recruiting tips:
1) Start early
Stuart and his colleague started in the summer, roughly 9 months in advance of the departure date.
This gave students ample time to discuss the program with their family, plan ahead, save up, research financial aid options and apply for scholarships.
2) Recruit with other professors, departments or offices on campus
When Stuart joined as a full-time faculty member in the College of Art and Design, he immediately began the process of developing study abroad programs in Paris. He worked closely with the Director of Study Abroad and joined forces with his colleague Christine, a professor in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.
Escalate your visibility on campus by partnering with a professor who has common academic goals, or creating an interdisciplinary travel program. Grow your network of potential student travelers by fostering relationships within your academic department and study abroad office. You will find inspired educators like you who will help spread the word and recruit interested students across disciplines, schools and campuses.
3) PROMOTE! PROMOTE! PROMOTE!
Stuart was well known in the College of Art and knew a lot of students who helped to spread the word.
Students recruiting students can be the most effective way to find committed travelers. Ask a student who has traveled to share their experience with potential travelers. Provide opportunities for your students to share your travel program with their friends. Create a website or Facebook Group so that students can see who else may travel on your program. Display a PowerPoint slide with information to promote your program at the end of every class.
Never. Stop. Promoting. Stuart had the academic affairs office sent email blasts to students over the summer. Collect email addresses at meetings and through your Tour Website. Email these students, weekly or bi-weekly with updates, reminders, deadlines but most importantly, keep them excited about travel. Send them visually stunning hyper lapse videos, photo galleries of destinations they will be visiting, articles and quizzes about travel, even social media accounts like French Words or Spanish Words.
4) Use your resources
Stuart found that EF has resources that were very beneficial in recruiting students. Talk to your Program Coordinator about customized materials like enrollment fliers, PowerPoint presentations and posters. Don’t forget to review the EF Study Abroad Recruiting Guide for best practices!
Find more “How To’s” and resources here.