Tag Archives: Champlain

It’s coming to an end…

My senior year of college is coming to a close and in less than two weeks, I will be a college graduate. The thought still boggles my mind; it truly feels like last week was freshman year. Throughout my years at Champlain College, I’ve been privileged enough to study abroad in Dublin, return home and work for the Office of International Education, and learn about building my personal brand. This semester, all of this has come together and resulted in this blog, which I hope you’ve enjoyed reading. I intend to keep this blog up after school ends, and we’ll see where it takes me. This post is a reflection of my blog for this past semester, my thoughts, and my analytics that measured any sort of success I had.

First, the layout of my blog has changed throughout the semester. I’ve used a few different templates in the beginning, decided to stick with one, and still it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. Just recently, I switched around the look and feel to my blog, tried to make it more personal, and I’m thrilled with it’s current appearance.

Blog, before edits

My blog before...

My blog after...

With the launch of this blog, I also launched a corresponding Twitter, @ABroadsBlog. After about a month of attempting to manage two Twitter accounts, I was advised by my instructor to really look at both accounts and evaluate whether or not the second Twitter was actually contributing to my brand. We agreed that my personal Twitter, @triciacawley would suffice for my blog, as long as I maintain the personal and professional aspects and balance them. I’ve had many great interactions with other study abroaders and different programs through Twitter, including: @zacmacinees @studyabroadalum @APIabroad @OSUGlobal -Thank you for the Twitter interaction, retweets, and feedback. 

For the analytics on my blog, I had to use just the basic WordPress analytics; each time I tried to install Google Analytics plugin- my blog just wouldn’t have it. Throughout my about 13 weeks managing this blog, I’ve had 915 views, averaging 10 per day. There was one day in February that made my blog seem much more popular that it actually is, because I purchased my domain name. Since I’ve purchased http://www.triciacawley.com , my views have increased. On the day I purchased my domain name, I set it as my Facebook status and the amount of views compared to the average day was ridiculous. That day I had 106 views with people copy and pasting my url into the address bar. A flaw, I realized a few hours after my status was set, was that I should have listed it as a URL so people could just click on it, drawing more traffic from Facebook. Also on that day, there were 9 links clicked on that brought traffic to other websites, including my friend’s Flickr.

One of the best feelings I’ve had all semester in relation to my blog, was being mentioned on other blogs. I would occasionally be mentioned in a study abroad daily or paper.li, and very occasionally on study abroad blogs as a resource. 

Throughout the semester I’ve worked on this blog and produced content I am proud of. I’ve averaged 10 views a day, and the days I created posts and advertised them through Facebook and Twitter had higher views. I’ve been listed as a resource for study abroad and have spoken to strangers on the Internet about studying abroad. International education and study abroad are truly my passions and I hope that through this blog I have entertained, educated, or at least made you think a little. Thanks for your attention, and talk soon.

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What to look for in a Study Abroad program

This  past weekend was Accepted Students’ Day at Champlain College and I worked for the Champlain Abroad office promoting our two campuses to accepted students and their families. After giving my pitch about the programs numerous times, I realized there are a few questions that every parent ask and a few that students often ask. It got me thinking about what people should look for in a program.

1. Organization– A program should be organized so the student can submit their forms and follow through on their end, while the program is organizing everything else. The application process needs to be smooth and anything negative that happens in that process can affect a student’s abroad experience.

2. Safety– This has to do with the location of the abroad program as well as the staff. At our campuses, the directors have copies of our passports, our phone numbers, travel itinerary, and anything else that would help them keep track of us in case a situation arises. Also, the locations of our campuses are designed to keep us safe. I believe studying abroad in a “dangerous” location is a personal decision, but the staff of the program should have policies and protocols in place in case of an emergency.

3. Support- Most people don’t realize how unique American higher education is until the encounter a different style, such as Europ0ean higher education. Most colleges in Europe have huge classes of over 200 students and the classes themselves are pass/fail which don’t even require attendance. This is where some academic support or structure would really benefit American students abroad. Also, having a support team of those who run the program helps assure students that their semester abroad will be well spent.

These are 3 of the largest factors that I believe students should look for when choosing a program. Do you have any other thoughts as to what students should look for?

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Location Influencers

So nearly 60% of American study abroad students study in only 10 different countries, but how does a student decide where to study? I have it narrowed down to a few factors, but I’m welcome to hearing your thoughts as well.

  1. Language –as discussed in the comments of my last post about study abroad locations, language is a huge factor in choosing a location. A student can either choose a country such as Spain, France, or Italy to learn the language by immersion, or intentionally choose an English-speaking country. I know people who have taken both routes and all of them have been happy so it really depends on the student’s preference.
  2. Heritage—I think this is the number one reason for American students to choose to go to Ireland. Over 36 million Americans claim Irish heritage, and it really is a heritage that is connected at the roots. Students are interested in seeing where their not-so-distant relatives lived and thrived for thousands of years.
  3. Causes—Certain locations around the globe attract more philanthropic students who travel to do work for a cause. I know a group of Champlain College students are travelling to an orphanage in Tanzania to help as much as they can for a few weeks.
  4. Industry—More students are travelling where their major is thriving. Champlain has set up a campus in Montréal because it is the 2nd-largest gaming center in the world hosting headquarters to major companies such as EA Games. We have three game majors (Design, Art & Animation, and Programming) and each is encouraged to travel to Montréal because that is where their job market it going. Also, more American students are studying in China than ever before, because of their business and economy.

These are the top four reasons and factors I see contributing to a student’s study abroad decision. Obviously finances are also an issue, but it is an issue with almost everything in college so it’s not unique to study abroad. What other factors do you think affect a student’s decision on where to study abroad?

 

 

PS. This post features pictures from my friend PK, his flickr.

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Filed under Thoughts on Abroad