What PR messages made me choose this program?
Three years ago, during my freshman year, one of my professors (who happens to be one of my professors in Seville) told me about this “wonderful opportunity” offered by the Communication Studies Department. She communicated that the trip was “relatively inexpensive” and going to be exciting, fun and educational. I remember thinking it seemed fun, but I wasn’t sold. It was not until about 6 months ago that I spoke to a friend who went on this trip two years ago. She told me the trip included six credits, lodging and some transportation expenses. However, there was one thing that “sold me” and that was that we would be able to do a PR campaign while in Spain. Being that Public Relations is my desired occupational field and Spanish is my minor at university, this proved that this trip really was a wonderful opportunity.
How to convince students to “take the plunge” and study abroad
After talking to my peers who also attended this trip, I believe that using public relations messages similar to the ones I heard would be convincing for those who are thinking about study abroad in the future. Based on my own experience and on discussions with peers, I think the best way to deliver these messages is in the classroom. If time is limited, something as simple as showing the publicity and giving a brief description of the trip would be sufficient. However, if time allows, bringing in students to speak about their experience is a great way to convince other students studying abroad is worth it. Three specific messages to include are:
- With study abroad programs, you are able to experience a lot with very little hassle. Our trip was less expensive than some, but by no means “cheap”. However, study abroad programs are designed for students to have authentic experiences without having to fuss with creating their own authentic itinerary. We were able to do so many incredible things that we would never have been able to coordinate without the help of our host organization. Thus, if you can muster up the funds, it is worth every penny for what you experience.
- Being the “fish out of water” is terrifying, exciting, uncomfortable and eye-opening. Being out of your comfort zone challenges you to look at the world differently. You not only learn about a new culture, but you learn about your own culture as well. This will change how you see the world.
- While studying abroad you will meet other students from your country, from other countries, locals and travelers. You may not like everyone you meet and you may not stay in contact with them, that is okay. What is important is that you will learn about how you interact with people and you’ll learn what you appreciate and why. The memories you share with those you meet will create bonds that you will appreciate forever.