“An Ocean Away Loving Life: Creating student-led recruitment material for study abroad.” (Area 3)

Clare Perkins (Student Services)

University of Worcester (UK) and the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) (USA) operate a ‘Study Abroad in England’ programme. UMD students spend an academic year in Worcester studying our modules, attending organised trips and travelling across Europe. The University of Worcester benefits as these students show high ability and enthusiasm, support the internationalisation of home students, and pay full tuition fees. Consequently, there is justification to increase recruitment of study abroad students from across the USA. Current recruitment materials (e.g. prospectus) are valuable, but study abroad applicants have a very particular set of interests. This project interviewed current study abroad students to record the experiences that they feel are important for applicants. Students explained that the confidence and skills they had gained through adapting to different teaching/learning methods, cultural and linguistic subtleties, and transport infrastructures enabled them to create exciting international connections. These will be instrumental to their future employment and study opportunities. The interview material was incorporated into the design and production of a brochure and video. This has led to recruitment materials which are ‘by students, for students’: accessible, ‘real’ and enticing to applicants. These are currently being distributed through conferences, the International Experience webpages and social media.

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