Multicultural Outreach for Study Abroad Staff
This section for study abroad administrators provides steps for how to develop and expand your study abroad outreach initiatives by working with the Multicultural Services/Student Affairs Offices on campus and involving returned students.
The Multicultural Services/Student Affairs professionals may have more contact with students in organizations than you do (Black Student Union, Latin American Student Association, MEChA, fraternity/sororities, etc.). They have most likely established connections with student populations (underrepresented populations in study abroad like African American, Hispanic/Latin@, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Native American students).
Steps to Expand Your Outreach Initiatives
The Multicultural Services/Student Affairs Professionals and the Study Abroad Professionals have much in common. If you have not met before, it is possibly because of a busy schedule, multitude of responsibilities and limited resources, and not from lack of interest. However, by setting up a meeting to examine the steps and resources below, we hope you will find that you can help each other.
Like Study Abroad Professionals, Student Affairs/Multicultural Services Professionals have numerous responsibilities and roles. They are typically responsible for all Student Events and Activities including New Student Orientations, Leadership Programming, Chapel, Campus Recreation, Intercultural Programming, the Volunteer Center, the Career Center, and maintaining the University Calendar for the above. They are usually also in charge of all Student Organizations & Clubs and their Advisors such as the Student Government Association, Fraternities and Sororities, and Academic, Cultural, Professional, Service, Athletic, and Social Diversity groups and provide them with advisement, approval, monitoring, services, and facilities.
Contact and set up a meeting with the Director of Multicultural Services/Student Affairs on your campus to review the following steps and resources together
In addition to getting to know each other better in your meeting, go over the steps and resources below to formulate a plan for future action.
- Invite Multicultural Services/Student Affairs to co-sponsor events with the Study Abroad Office or ask them to include a table for study abroad at their events and student organizations' events.
- Ask them to mention studying abroad as an invaluable part of the college experience at their orientations to students and parents.
- Ask them to list studying abroad as one of their student activities/ organizations in their flyers and on their website.
Step 4 Agree on ways the Study Abroad Office can help Multicultural Services/ Student Affairs contact current and returned study abroad students
Offer to help Multicultural Services/Student Affairs communicate their information to your students abroad or to your returning students in order to help the students maintain a feeling of connectedness with their home campus throughout their study abroad experience. Upon their return, help them with reverse culture shock and their reentry to campus life.
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
The Multicultural Services/Student Affairs Office may be able to offer advice in accessing student organizations and classes, and may be able to offer you contacts to other helpful resources. Ask whether or not you or your returned study abroad students can present to their student leaders or student organizations and ask who your students should contact to set up these study abroad outreach 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 as well as other volunteers to present in classrooms and to student organizations. It can even be used by you personally if you are planning to give an outreach presentation.
You can mentor student presenters by advising them on presentation preparation and content suggestions, and offer feedback on completed presentations. It is important to provide feedback so that they can refine their presentations for future use. 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, student organization leaders, faculty leaders, faculty member "Teachers," and others who will be present at the outreach presentation can 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 customize presentations to a particular audience.
After a presentation, you should maintain strong communication with the student organization and student presenters to encourage future collaboration.
Step 8 In the event that the Multicultural Services/ Student Affairs Office is not able to collaborate
- Make use of personal contacts (e.g. administrators/staff, faculty, university students) that may help you access student organizations and classes interested in Study Abroad Outreach.
- Enlist the help of a faculty member 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.
- Also check the Schedule of Classes to see who teaches classes that might be interested.
- If other contacts are unavailable, consider approaching student organizations yourself. Present your ideas to student organizations and leaders while highlighting how Study Abroad Outreach fits into their organization's goals and mission.
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.