How to run the best possible study abroad fair

by Florence at the MMU fair

This article was written by Global Graduates, published on 2nd July 2015 and has been read 1392 times.

The Global Graduates team has been to a fair few study abroad/international/pre-departure fairs! Here are some tips we've picked up from the best ones...

1. Organise live entertainment from different cultures to create a lively atmosphere.
For example, we've been to study abroad fairs featuring an African drumming session or a Chinese dragon!

2. Provide comprehensive breakdown sheets for every partner university.
Students attend study abroad fairs first and foremost for information, but the atmosphere can sometimes get a little overwhelming. Providing a breakdown sheet for each partner university allows students to reexamine their options in their own time, so that they have time to process.

3. Create a fun atmosphere with themed decorations.
One of the universities we visited had globe balloons, which went down a treat!

4. Have a table for every study abroad destination.
Give students a real taste of the year abroad atmosphere by allocating a different country to each table.

5. Provide food!
This one is surprisingly important. Nothing attracts students like free food, and stall holders and guest speakers will appreciate a pick-me-up! You could always do this by giving each table a budget to buy something from the country they are promoting.

6. Provide spacious tables for guests (preferably with plugs and display boards)
We understand that certain venues have more space than others, but try and provide guest speakers and stall holders with as much space as possible. It creates a calmer environment and makes it much easier for students to take everything in.

7. Get other university clubs and societies involved.
Whether it's a language club (such as the French society), a cultural club (such as the salsa society) or any other club that just wants to join in the fun, get as many friendly faces involved as possible to add variety.

8. Organise talks throughout the day
If possible, schedule pre-departure talks during the day with both university-based and external experts, and disseminate the timetable.

9. Enlist returning and visiting students to host tables
The best source of information for outgoing students is their counterparts in fourth year and visiting students from their host universities. Getting older students to host stalls means that outgoing students have a chance to make useful contacts and get up-to-date and interesting advice from their peers. If you can give each table £10 to improve their stand, you'll definitely see results!

10. Encourage costumes and organise competitions!
Introduce a sense of fun by organising a competition for the best country table. Encourage 4th years to dress up in the local costume of their host country and provide themed snacks, with rewards for the best efforts!

The GG team absolutely love visiting universities for Study Abroad Fairs or to deliver pre-departure talks! If you'd like us to visit your university, email [email protected] for details.

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!

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