Multicultural Outreach for Multicultural Services Professionals
This section for Multicultural Services and Student Affairs administrators and staff provides quick and easy steps for how to promote your students' education about other countries and regions of the world by working with your Study Abroad Office and involving returned students from study abroad in outreach.
Studying abroad is an effective way for students to develop global awareness and to learn more about the world. Students who go abroad often have a profound experience that remains with them forever and influences their further education and often their career.
Until now, the percent participation rates of African American, Hispanic/Latin@ American, Asian/Pacific Islander American, and Native American students studying abroad are significantly lower than the percentages for these students in U.S. higher education enrollment (Data Tables); however the coordination of the Multicultural Services/ Student Affairs Offices with the Study Abroad Office in outreach utilizing returned students can help improve these numbers.
Steps to Promote Your Students' Participation in Study Abroad
The Multicultural Services/Student Affairs Professionals and the Study Abroad Professionals have much in common. If you have not met before, it is likely not from lack of interest, but rather because both offices are usually overwhelmed from the multitude of responsibilities they have and their limited resources. The Multicultural Services/Student Affairs Professional, like the Study Abroad Professional, wear many hats and often duplicate the positions already in existence on campus for all the students overseas. However in a simple meeting to go over the steps and resources below, we hope you will find that you can help each other with relative ease and little pressure on your resources.
Step 2 Contact and set up a meeting with the Director of Study Abroad on your campus to review the following steps and resources together
If your college or university does not have a study abroad office, we suggest setting up a meeting with faculty or staff at your college or university who lead study abroad programs or with study abroad staff at a college or university near your campus. In your meeting, examine the steps and resources below to reach a plan for future action in addition to getting to know each other better. The Study Abroad office at your college or university may have an outreach program for returning study abroad students, in which case you can inquire how you can get involved.
- Invite the Study Abroad Office to co-sponsor events or include a table for them at your events as well as student organizations' events.
- Agree to mention study abroad to parents and students at your orientations as an invaluable part of the college experience.
- Agree to list studying abroad as one of your student activities/ organizations in your flyers and on your website.
Step 4 Agree on ways the Study Abroad Office can help Multicultural Services/ Student Affairs contact current and returned study abroad students
Ask the Study Abroad Office to help you communicate information to students abroad so the students maintain a feeling of connectedness with the campus throughout their study abroad experience, and to returning students in order to help them with the reentry process and reverse culture shock.
Step 5 Agree to refer interested returned study abroad students to each other so that they can give outreach presentations to student organizations and classes
Agree to help facilitate returned study abroad students (and other volunteers) in presenting to your students' organizations, leaders, and classes by:
- encouraging returned students to give outreach pre–presentations and to contact the study abroad office and
- introducing the returned students to the key contacts in your student organizations (including organizations such as the Black Student Union, the Latin American Student Association, MEChA, fraternity/sororities, etc.) to set up these presentations.
Perhaps the Study Abroad Office could help connect you with students by giving you a list of returned students or by distributing a letter from you to students so you can invite them to give presentations.
Also invite the Study Abroad Office to present to your student leaders and organizations themselves.
Step 6 Refer the students to the helpful resources on our website for planning, making, and doing their presentations
Our Outreach Assistance Program for Students lists guidelines and resources to do a study abroad outreach presentation. These resources include PowerPoint presentations that have been created as customizable templates for their own presentations about international study. You may direct students who have returned from study abroad and others volunteering to make presentations to student organizations or in a classroom to the website to help them prepare for their outreach presentations. It may even be used by you if you are planning to give an outreach presentation.
You can mentor student presenters by giving them advice on preparation, content suggestions, and feedback on presentations already made. It is important to provide feedback so that they can make improvements for future presentations. Review the overall success of the presentation as well as planning issues, collaboration with contacts/ advisors, and other logistical issues.
You can download our presenter evaluation form here. You, as well as study abroad staff members, student organization leader, or faculty member (e.g. teacher) who will be present at the outreach presentation, may use these evaluations.
Given that school and student demographics, interests, and resources often change, it is important that presenters be encouraged to consider ways to make their presentations more innovative, attractive and relevant to a particular audience.
After a presentation, you and the student organization should maintain strong communication with study abroad advisors and student presenters to encourage future collaboration.
Step 8 In the event that the Study Abroad Office is not able to collaborate, or there is no Study Abroad Office
- On your own, contact students who have studied abroad to share their experiences with your student organizations, referring them to our Outreach Assistance Program for Students for guidelines and steps.
- Enlist the help of a faculty member at your institution who has expertise and potential contacts relevant to similar outreach projects and/ or study abroad. Pay particular attention to faculty members in Education, Languages, International Business, or other International Studies and Area Studies Programs.
- Use the resources in our Outreach Assistance Program for Students to do the presentation yourself. These resources include PowerPoint presentations that have been created as customizable templates for your own presentations about international study.
- Make use of personal contacts (e.g. administrators/ staff, faculty, or current university students) that may have studied abroad themselves or may help you access returned study abroad students and/ or classes interested in Study Abroad Outreach.
- Also check the Schedule of Classes to see who teaches classes that might be interested.
We hope that you found this information useful. We welcome your questions, comments, and useful resources you'd like to share! Please contact us at email@example.com.