|Symposium April 2012|
At my institution, the University of Central Florida, I learned that there are approximately 400 students involved involved with the International Studies Office who are engaged in study abroad. Nationally there are only about 2% of students who take advantage of study abroad programs, although many more wish they could. Cost is the primary barrier to participate.
What role can social media play in study abroad? When does social media enhance the study abroad experience and when does it hinder it? Which personnel and training are required to integrate social media into study abroad programs. How can costs become valued investments? At UCF, I hope to help apply what I learn as these questions are answered.
Can you relate to dreaming of study abroad? If you have had an experience learning abroad, chances are it was life changing. Upon investigation, several professional associations and corporate options exist to help learners hone in on their targeted programs. The University of Michigan provides this exceptional site with links to several associations and references to help guide learners to make informed choices to prepare.
NAFSA, the association of international educators, had a Task Force that released a report in 2008. This press release describes the recommendations the report makes called Strengthening Study Abroad: Recommendations for Effective Institutional Management. Four key areas are addressed:institutional commitment; infrastructure; resources; and clarity and accountability. More detail will follow for how my research reveals that social media can support topics within these areas.