In case you missed it, short-term study abroad programs are on the rise and considered to be "trending" in the world of international education. In our opinion, short-term programs are not merely a study abroad trend, but rather the opening of the door of opportunity for more students to experience a portion of their education in a foreign country.
The issue some critics bring forth when it comes to short term programs is whether or not program of a shorter length of time can have the same impact and benefits that students derive from a more traditional twelve to sixteen week program. As we have previously explored in our post, What's The New Value of Study Abroad and Why You Should Know About It, research has shown that the length of a study abroad program does not diminish the positive effects for students.
Whether your organization is already operating short-term or faculty-led programs, or you're considering to expand your offerings, we're taking a look at what you will need to maximize your short-term program for students.
So, what constitutes a short-term program?
A short-term program can be defined as a program of less than eight weeks in length and can be as brief as seven to ten days.
Tip 1 – Start your days early
As tempting as it may be to start everyday at a leisurely 10 AM, you will be wasting precious time each morning that you can't afford to lose during a short-term program. Many sights and museums open as early at 8 AM, which you can take advantage of to maximize every minute of your day.
When planning your itinerary remember to check opening and final entry times of the desired stops on your tour, as well as days of the week where they might be closed.
Tip 2 – Plan the program for the off-season
Offering your short-term program outside of peak season, AKA off-season (think Fall break, January, Spring Break or Maymester), you can provide potential cost savings to students with lower prices and provide a less hectic experience with fewer crowds at all the popular sights.
Tip 3 – Do your long-distance traveling overnight
A great way to not lose any of your valuable waking minutes is to plan any longer distance travel for overnight buses or trains. This is an incredibly efficient and popular way to travel between destinations that are further away and may normally require a flight. These options can often be more affordable than flying for student groups, so you're saying precious daytime, as well as Euros.
Want more advice on how to maximize your study abroad program? Contact us, we'd love to chat.