USF World News
Education Abroad SEAS Success
May 3, 2013
SEAS or Spotlight on Education Abroad for Sophomores is an Education Abroad marketing initiative that has proven highly successful its first year. With a goal of recruiting more sophomores, Education Abroad as has been spreading the word far and wide that a student’s sophomore year is the ideal time to go abroad.
“At the University of South Florida we have identified a ‘sweet spot’ for study abroad that spans from the summer before sophomore year to the summer after sophomore year which allows students the greatest flexibility in course selection, accessibility to funding and time to be inspired by their experience and study abroad again” says Julie Ficarra, USF Education Abroad Advisor. Ficarra developed the SEAS program last summer and has used the office in the Marshall Center to promote multiple Education Abroad initiatives.
Reaching over 2,000 students in its first year, the SEAS Program focuses on educating students on the benefits of studying abroad early in their collegiate career as opposed to the traditional ‘junior year abroad’ . Students are able to choose from over twenty-five countries and have flexibility in the duration of programs.
Since the implementation of this program, sophomore participation has grown 9.6%, almost triple that of the previous year. Administrators believe the program will continue to grow rapidly.
Ficarra emphasizes, “We believe the strength of this program is its simplicity, capitalization on strategic student affairs partnership and emphasis on in-person, peer-to-peer engagement.”
In April the SEAS Program was named one of the top five programs in the 2013 Go Abroad Innovation Awards in the Innovation in Marketing/Social Media category. The winner will be announced during the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo in St. Louis, on Thursday, May 30th.