TRIO Outreach for Returned Study Abroad Students
Steps to help students find information about returning from abroad with TRIO outreach.
TRIO is a series of programs established by Congress to help low-income Americans attend college, graduate, and move on to participate more fully in America's economic and social life. While financial aid programs specifically help students overcome financial barriers, TRIO programs help students overcome class, social, and cultural barriers to higher education. TRIO serves nearly 1 million low-income Americans with over 2,800 TRIO programs. The racial breakdown of these students are 37% Whites, 35% African American, 19% Hispanics, 4% Native Americans, 4 % Asian American, and 1% Other. There are also 22,000 students with disabilities enrolled in the programs, and 25,000 U.S. veterans.
With over 2,800 TRIO programs nationwide, there is a good chance that one is in or near your area. Consult the Council for Opportunity in Education's website to browse the directory. Pick a high school, community college, state college, or university and email or call the contact person listed. Be prepared to explain how your presentation will benefit TRIO students, and have a short outline prepared of the type of presentation you will showcase.
Be aware of the principal's or teacher'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 the most suitable for the school's interests and what will appeal most to the students you are attempting to reach, empowering them to find a way to study abroad.
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 sheet 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 are five different presentations, targeting 4-year college/university students, students at community colleges, high school, middle school and elementary school.
Warm-up activities for PowerPoint presentations Before beginning the official presentation, warm-up activities can be used to introduce students to the concepts of study abroad and cultural appreciation. The activities are available on this site under Outreach Materials: Presentation. They target elementary, middle, and high school students. This may be especially important for TRIO students as they may not be familiar with study abroad or may feel that they do not have access to it.
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 is essential to keeping people interested.
Consult resources. If you are experiencing difficulty with what information to present, or how to present it, consider consulting outside resources. There are a variety of resources are available on this site under the additional resources link. Here you will find additional resources for teachers which include book lists, classroom activities, websites, etc. targeting elementary, middle, and high school students. You will also notice additional resources for parents and students which include book lists, computer games, etc. also targeting elementary, middle, and high school students.
Be aware of logistics. In your correspondence with principals and teachers, make note of logistical issues for your presentation including time allowed for your presentation, number of students expected, classroom location, directions, parking availability and access to multimedia resources.
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 the 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
Within these visual aids it can be helpful to include photos taken while you were abroad. Be sure to include a variety of pictures other than monuments of the country. As a TRIO student, it may be hard to imagine living abroad rather than just a visit, so explain and illustrate some of the day-to-day experiences.
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, planning in general, and collaboration with contacts/advisors.
Reflect on whether you feel the TRIO program you presented to was the best outreach outlet for you and your study abroad experience. Consider re-reading about the various programs or presenting at a different grade level.
After your presentation, study abroad students should maintain strong communication with advisors, fellow presenters, teachers and school administrators/staff, in working together to create more innovative and more relevant presentations for future students.