Multicultural Outreach Assistance Program for Students
Here you will find steps, guidelines, and resources for students returning from abroad to outreach to others.
Outreach Steps for Students Returning from Abroad
Start by contacting your Study Abroad Office. Ask if the Study Abroad office can use your help when advertising study abroad to other students. You may be able to sharpen your presentation skills by promoting study abroad to other college students on your campus with the Study Abroad Office.
- The Study Abroad office at your college or university may have a community outreach program for returning study abroad students and may be able to offer advice on how to conduct outreach and gain access to campus organizations.
- Even if the Study Abroad office does not have a formal outreach program, they may be able to offer advice on how to proceed, including accessing campus organizations or contacting other offices that may be able to provide guidance and/or helpful resources.
- We suggest always performing outreach in groups in order to ensure your safety at all times.
Step 2 Contacting the Student Affairs Office, the Multicultural Services Office, the Black Student Union, the Latin American Student Association, MEChA, fraternity/sororities, and other campus organizations
You may want to enlist the help of faculty, administrators, alumni, other university students, and personal contacts in order to gain access to various student organizations for Study Abroad Outreach.
- Enlist the help of the Director of Student Affairs or Multicultural Services. They will be familiar with many of the student organizations on campus and know who you can contact in each organization.
- Enlist the help of a faculty member at your school who has expertise and potential contacts for outreach projects and/ or study abroad. Pay particular attention to faculty members affiliated with Education, Languages, International Business, or other International Studies and Area Studies Programs and Institutes. They may even let you present to their classes.
- Seek out other students returning from study abroad programs. Additional students will add a great deal to the information and breadth of experiences you will be able to communicate to your audience. Meanwhile, many of these students may have previous experience doing outreach and/ or ties to campus organizations.
When presenting your ideas to campus organization administrators and staff, highlight how Study Abroad Outreach fits into the organization's goals and mission.
Be aware of the organization's requirements and preferences. Some contacts may be interested in certain global regions, religions, heritage or language programs, short term or long term programs, volunteer or aid work, and programs connected to certain social issues or fields of study. Work with your contacts to understand what type of presentation will be best aligned with the organization's interests and what will appeal most to the students you are attempting to reach.
Consider working in a team
Enlist the help of another returning Study Abroad student or classmate to present with you! Having more than one person can increase the value of the presentation and make preparations less daunting. Working with partners also ensures that you are not traveling and presenting alone; we suggest always performing outreach in groups in order to ensure your safety at all times.
Download our Outreach Presentation plan sheet. This Outreach Presentation Plan is designed to help you plan your presentation.
Consider using one of our customizable PowerPoint presentations. These PowerPoint presentations are available on this site under the Presentations link. They have been created as customizable templates for your own presentations about international study. You may personalize these presentations with your own information or by adding and removing particular slides as you see fit. There several different presentations including ones targeting African American students, Latin@/ Hispanic students, Asian/ Pacific Islander students, and Native American students, as well as general 4-year college/university students and students at community colleges.
Think about your audience. As you plan your session, think about who your audience is, how you will accomplish your objectives and how to keep your audience engaged. For example:
- Who will I be speaking to?
- What do they know about my topic already?
- What will they want to know about my topic?
- What do I want them to know by the end of my talk?
Incorporate interesting souvenirs. Souvenirs from your trip are indispensable for a quality presentation. At heart, this is a personal reflection of your trip and something the audience can see and hold, which is essential to keeping people interested.
Plan interesting presentations. For example: Try to balance lecturing with Q & A and group participation. Break things down into 10 – 15 minute segments. Incorporate VKAT (visual, kinesthetic, auditory and tactile) communication as much as possible in your presentation.
Again, see the Powerpoint presentations available on this site, which are specifically geared toward multicultural students, and 4-year university and community college students.
Be aware of logistics. In your correspondence with student organizations, make note of logistical issues for your presentation including time allowed for your presentation, number of students expected, presentation location, directions, parking availability and access to multimedia resources. Make sure that the location where you are presenting has the technology or other tools you may need (e.g., projector, internet access, etc.).
Involve the audience by asking occasional questions. Hypothetical questions are best as they show the gap between cultures. Try to ask genuine questions to which you do not already know the answer and show interest in any replies. Leave time for the audience to think. Try to avoid answering your own questions or telling members of the audience that their answers are wrong. Audience members should feel a sense of accomplishment after answering questions, knowing that they have contributed to the presentation.
Pause occasionally to ask if audience members have questions for you. You can also pause occasionally to ask if anyone has any questions for you. If a question disrupts the flow of your talk too much, you can say that you will answer it later (but don't forget to do it!). Before you ask for questions, make sure you are ready to pick up your presentation again when the Q & A session has finished.
Use visual aids to make a presentation livelier and help audience members follow your presentation. Many issues are communicated much more clearly with visual aids than through speech alone.
The two most common forms of visual aids are overhead transparencies and computer slide shows (e.g. PowerPoint). Objects that can be displayed or passed around the audience can also be very effective and often help to relax the audience. Some speakers provide printed handouts to the audience to follow as they speak. Others prefer to give their handouts at the end of the talk, because they can distract the audience from the presentation.
Seek out opportunities to improve in all areas of your Study Abroad Outreach.
Review the overall success of the presentation as well as planning issues, collaboration with contacts/ advisors, and planning.
After your presentation, returning study abroad students should maintain strong communication with study abroad advisors, fellow presenters, student organizations, and the Student Affairs/ Multicultural Services Office, in working together to create more innovative and more relevant presentations for future students.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.