How to organise the best possible Study Abroad/International Fair
The team at TYA have attended a whole lot of Study Abroad/International Fairs in our time - so many that we struggled to count! We've decided to channel that experience into a list of tips to help you plan the best possible fair!
Study Abroad/International fairs are a crucial way to promote the incredible study/work abroad experience - we should know, we've been to a few! Here are some of the tips we've picked up along the way to help your fair be as brilliant as possible!
1. Use returning fourth years! Have returning students on the stand, give them a small budget (£5-10) and have a 'Best Stand' competition, with a prize on the day. Encourage students to wear costumes, and provide food and drink from that country to make stands as engaging and fun as possible!
2. Encourage current and returning study abroad students to contribute photos and videos to be displayed on a big screen.
3. Log the attendees at the entrance so you can keep track of engaged students and send follow-up emails.
4. Invite exterior companies (like ours!) to promote their products and services. This gives it an essence of a Freshers Fair, which students often attend just to pick up freebies, but might actually find something life-changing.
5. Consider a performance of a local cultural group, such as dancers or musicians - perhaps from a relevant university society.
6. Invite language teachers to run 30-minute intense introductions to languages to encourage first years to pick up a language before studying abroad. This would be particularly great for more unusual languages that students may not have experienced before, such as Russian or Mandarin.
7. Hold a series of lectures before or during the fair, to give students a clearer idea about studying or working abroad. Invite former students to speak about their experiences, and discuss 'my time abroad in 5 photos', for example. Include people like the European Commission Representation in the UK and GlobalGraduates.com, to give your students career ideas and prepare them for their upcoming adventure with a fresh perspective. An inspiring guest speaker with an amazing international story will demonstrate the opportunities that arise from spending time abroad during your degree.
8. Get students to wear a sticker with their course and their expected year abroad destination on it (the country or city if they know it) and provide a comfy area where they can meet other students going to the same place as them.
9. Make sure that all the details of the fair are available online via your website, Facebook page and Twitter account to promote the fair as widely as possible.
10. Ensure there are signs to the fair around the university campus to get as many people as possible to attend.
11. Get international students involved! Mix them in with the stands, so that final year students can meet visiting foreign students, talk to them about year abroad destinations and even find a language tandem partner.
13. Invite alumni who have interesting careers relating to international opportunities. They will almost certainly be delighted to help!
14. Try and make the environment as bright and colourful as possible by decorating it with flags, bunting and fairy lights. It makes a real difference to the atmosphere.
15. Invite university societies that are relevant to studying abroad (such as the French society) and ensure that they are promoting the year abroad to their audiences. This also helps to create a wide variety of interesting stands!
16. Ask the student paper to cover the event and interview stallholders about their time abroad.
Do you have any other ideas we should add to the list? Contact us to fill us in!
Please order our free Global Graduates postcard pack for your school/university so we can help you promote international opportunities and languages to your students. You can also see the list of universities we cover on the site so far, with articles and answers written by their students. For more information, please contact us!