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 We'll SINK OUR TEETH into our fourth annual
Sharks Abroad Month in February 2021

Sharks Abroad Month is an innovative study abroad event series with an entire month's worth of engaging study abroad advising presentations on topics students actually want to learn about.  Presentations may be general - such as picking the right program and finding money to study abroad or more specific, such as study abroad for biology majors or interning abroad in Asia.  

Previously, we have hosted presentations in a single Sharks Abroad Week. For 2021, we are spreading them out over the entire month of February to increase virtual attendance and student participation.

Our study abroad partners are critical to the success of Sharks Abroad Month.  All of our partners will be invited to virtually present on a study abroad advising topic while using their programs as examples related to the topic. 

For example, a partner may wish to present on the Career Benefits of Studying Abroad and share data which demonstrates that study abroad participants secure jobs more quickly after graduation and have higher starting salaries than students who do not.  The presentation may include data from sources external to their organization as well as any data they have regarding the outcomes their own participants have on their programs.  Then they may use their programs as an example and show how specific coursework, immersive internships and learning opportunities, and reflective re-entry work offered on their programs helps students gain those skills. 

When students connect with the idea of studying abroad and the material presented in these sessions that they will also connect with all of the information our partners share about what makes their programs so exceptional. 

By presenting on topics about which students definitely have questions– affordability, homestays, travel tips, convincing parents –we draw in more attendees than a traditional info session might and our students will ultimately be better prepared to begin their study abroad journeys! 

Ultimately, we see this as a win-win (or maybe a FIN-FIN)!

We value our partners’ time and resources.  This is how the NSU Sharks Abroad team works to ensure your investment will be worthwhile:  

  • Promotion: We’ll plaster the campus and social media with promotion leading up to the event. Advertisements are already being developed and we have Sharks Abroad Peer Advisors to help us tackle social media.    
  • Student Buy-In: We’ll use our co-curricular scholarship program students, our Razor’s Edge Global Scholars, to do grassroots outreach to their peers.  They will share info about Sharks Abroad Month in their classes, student organizations, athletic practices, etc.
  • Faculty Outreach: We all know that students who have faculty who talk to them about study abroad are more likely to study abroad.  So we will ask our faculty colleagues to help us get students to your presentations.
  • Institutional Support: This is the second year of our our Experiential Education and Learning (ExEL) program, which requires all students to earn 6 ExEL units.  Studying abroad fits into our Travel Exploration pillar of the requirement and students can earn 1-2 units for studying abroad.  Because of this initiative we have already seen a significant increase in study abroad interest among our first year students and Sharks Abroad Month is the perfect opportunity to give our students the information they need to make their dreams a reality!

PLUS...

  • Raffle gift cards at every presentation.  Everyone’s a winner when they leave with more information about studying abroad, but we’ll also make sure two students each take home a $25 Amazon.com gift card at every session. Of course our partners are always welcome to add additional raffle items!
  • $100: Sure, they should come because they want the information.  But if all else fails, maybe they’ll come to be entered into our drawing for a $100 Amazon Gift Card at the end of the month. 

Topics will be approved on a first-come-first-served basis.  Topics cannot be repeated.  Partners are encouraged to come up with their own topics or use some of our ideas:

  • LGBTQ+ & Study Abroad
  • Being Black Abroad
  • First-Generation Students Abroad
  • Short Term Study Abroad Options
  • Finding the right study abroad program
  • Affording study abroad
  • Career benefits of studying abroad
  • Surviving culture shock and making friends abroad
  • Travel tips every study abroad student needs to know
  • What your parents need to know about study abroad
  • What to know about studying abroad in Europe (Asia, Latin America, etc.)
  • STEM Abroad: It can and should be done!
  • Service Learning Abroad
  • Teaching Abroad
  • Internships Abroad
  • Research Opportunities Abroad
  • Budgeting before and during your study abroad experience

Partners are asked to remember the balance of providing general enough information that could apply to a wide variety of study abroad options while also highlighting specifics about their organization’s offerings.  No more than 50% of the presentation should be dedicated to specific organization/program promotion. 

We will have one presentation each Monday and Wednesday of the month during the times that are most opportune for our students based on our class scheduling:

  • Monday, Wednesday: 12:00-1:00PM

Up to 8 partners will be offered the opportunity to present to our students during the month and presentation dates and times will be approved on a first-come-first-served basis.

Presentations should only be approximately 30 minutes to allow 15 minutes at the beginning and end of every presentation for students to join and depart in accordance with their course schedule. 

Sharks Abroad Month 2021 Registration Form

Registration Deadlines:

  • December 11, 2020– Registration opens 
  • EXTENDED: January 15, 2021 – Registration closes

REGISTRATION FEE HAS BEEN WAIVED FOR 2021. 

 

Prior Sharks Abroad Weeks

  • 2018 Attendees: 121
  • 2019 Attendees: 169 
  • 2020 Attendees: 245
  • Our student participation and attendance has been on a steady increase. With the convenience of virtual attendance, we anticipate a similar pattern for 2021! 

Curious what makes a hot topic?  When is the best time to reach our students?  Here is the data from last year.  Please keep in mind that this primarily an event focused on QUALITY of student interactions but we also work to meet expectations for QUANTITY, too.  Presenters have the opportunity to receive a copy of ALL student attendees for the month.  

Date Time Total Attendees
Real Talk: Diversity & Inclusion Abroad Monday 12:00pm 15
Traditional Immersion vs Multi-Country Experiences Monday 5:00pm 35
Short Term Programs: Everything You Need to Know to Spend Your Summer Abroad Tuesday 12:30pm 50
Service Learning Abroad Tuesday 5:00pm 22
Why STEM + Study Abroad = The Perfect Match Wednesday 12:00pm 28
An Entire Semester Abroad: Tips & Reflection Wednesday 5:00pm 24
Strategies for Applying and Obtaining Study Abroad Scholarships Thursday 12:30pm 20
Affordable Study Abroad in Your Major Thursday 5:00pm 25
Summer Study Abroad: Asia & South Pacific Friday 12:00pm 26
TOTAL 245

Sharks Abroad Week 2018 Infographic

After attending at least one Sharks Abroad Week session:

  • 90% of survey respondents are more interested in studying, interning, or volunteering abroad
  • 80% of survey respondents are more confident that studying abroad is advantageous for their academic and career goals
  • 90% are considering new programs
  • 80% are considering new destinations

Why they attended:

  1. Presentation Topic
  2. Scholarship Opportunities
  3. Day of the Presentation & Free Food (Tie)
  4. Organization & Time of the Presentation (Tie)
  5. Raffle Items

Students were asked if they had previously attended a Sharks Abroad Fair.  Those who answered yes were asked to compare the two events.

Which Event Provided More...

Sharks Abroad Week Sharks Abroad Fair
Opportunities to learn about a variety of different providers, options and destinations X
Opportunities to learn new information about the logistics and timeline for studying abroad X
Opportunities to have individual questions about study abroad answered X
Ability to fit within their class schedules X
Incentives (free food, raffle prizes, scholarships, etc.) X

Quotes:

  • "Loved it!  Definitely encourages me to keep planning my study abroad trip!"
  • "If you are considering studying abroad these information sessions are very helpful."

Data from 2018 event series.

  • 7/9 rated quantity of student interest as EXCELLENT or GOOD
  • 8/9 rated quality of student interest as EXCELLENT or GOOD
  • 9/9 rated overall quality of event as EXCELLENT or GOOD
  • 9/9 said they would be LIKELY or VERY LIKELY to participate again

What factors influenced a partner's interest in returning?

Number of students attending events
Quality of interactions with students attending events X
Amount of resources required BEFORE the event
Amount of resources required DURING the event X
Scheduling of the event X
Ability to highlight presenter's specific organization & programs X
Ability to promote study abroad participation generally X

Quotes:

  • "I was very impressed by the concept of the event as it was very different of what students are accustomed.  The sessions were a little longer and the classroom setting allowed for more conversation since having an event in more common areas in quite noisy."
  • “Very much appreciated the opportunity to present to students that were pre-qualified as particularly interested in international internships.”

Data from 2018 event series.

For more information contact:

Sharks Abroad Team
sharksabroad@nova.edu

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