Abroad101: Your Study Abroad Resource
We love study abroad. It's a life-changing experience, one that will enhance the lives of students in ways they can't yet comprehend. Abroad101 is a great site that helps students choose the right study abroad program for them. It's also a great place to learn about different parts of the world, find scholarship information, read reviews, and more.
We talked with Amy Bernstein, of Abroad101, to get the backstory on how Abroad101 began, their global ambassador program, interacting with locals, and more. Here's what she had to say...
WE: Please tell us about Abroad101...
AB: Abroad101 is the world's first and largest study abroad reviews website. Prospective students who are searching for the perfect study abroad program can read over 13,000 reviews from 200+ universities and program providers. Prospective travelers can also read our blog all about traveling overseas and posts from current students who are studying abroad.
WE: What was the genesis of your site?
AB: Shortly after college graduation, our 3 co-founders - Adam Miller, Michael Stone and Mark Lurie, realized the need for a comprehensive resource where students could go to read real, unbiased reviews of study abroad programs. They also realized the need for a more streamlined process for universities to collect program evaluations. It seemed like a win-win and Abroad101 was born.
WE: How can students best utilize Abroad101?
AB: The best way for students to utilize our website is to read the reviews on our site to help with the decision of where to study abroad and through which program. Another fantastic opportunity is for students to read through our blog that's filled with tips / tricks for traveling overseas and posts from our global ambassadors, a group of current students studying in various countries.
WE: How can universities and study abroad providers best utilize StudyAbroad101?
AB: The best way for universities and program providers to use our website is to take advantage of the incredible data these reviews are providing about their programs. We also sell ad packages to program providers who can then appeal to our wide audience of students looking for a program.
WE: You've got some global ambassadors this term - can you share more about your students studying abroad?
AB: We love our global ambassadors! They contribute a huge amount to the program and their weekly blog posts are very popular with our readers. Currently we have 8 ambassadors studying in Italy, Singapore, China, Australia, Taiwan and the Semester at Sea program. We view our global ambassadors as those "reporting from the ground" so prospective students can see what it's really like to live in another country.
WE: How can students on study abroad programs truly interact with locals? Do you have suggestions as to how they can give back to local communities?
AB: Don't be afraid to mingle with the locals, or even fall in love! Take a walk around your city and get to know the different neighborhoods. The best way to learn about the best places to go is to ask a local, of course. Also, if you're studying with classmates from your school, make sure to break away from them and make friends outside your program. Get out there and befriend the locals and other students from different countries. If you're interested in really getting a feel for authentic life in your city, consider a home stay and local volunteer opportunities.
WE: Do you have tips for students who have studied abroad, to both reintegrate back into their home culture, and utilize their global experiences in both their studies and careers?
AB: Many students will experience a bit of reverse culture shock upon returning to their home country after a semester abroad. Take it slow and give it time, you will readjust eventually. Make sure you have some trusted friends and family who will lend an ear when necessary. As far as using your newly minted global experience, take full advantage whenever possible. Add it to your resume and make it one of your selling points. We live in an increasingly globalized society so these skills are becoming more and more valued.
WE: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
AB: If you've participated in a study abroad program in the past, take a few minutes and review your program! If you're thinking of going abroad, do it! It will be the best decision you've made and you can find everything you'll need to get started at studyabroad101.com!
WE: Thanks so much, Amy! We highly recommend Abroad101 to our Wandering Educators.
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All photos courtesy and copyright Abroad101