As 2018 comes to a rapid close, it's natural to starting looking ahead to the new year and what 2019 may bring. For those of us that work in the study abroad and international education industry, the end of 2018 means that we should already be looking to 2020 and beyond.
If you haven't started already, now is the time to begin the planning of your 2020 study abroad programs. You should be in the process of organizing any included program field trip logistics, as well as any optional travel you will be offering to your students. If you're not yet convinced, we've compiled our list of three irrefutable reasons why starting to finalize your plans for your 2020 programs right now will be the best decision you make this year.
1) More Availability and Flexibility
If you don't find yourself often organizing group travel, you may not know that many accommodations sell out for the high season a full year or more in advance. So while it you may think you're being overzealous to plan your June 2020 program's travel a full year and a half in advance, you are actually right on schedule.
By planning your program and organized travel further in advance you will have a greater variety of options with more availability to choose from and therefore, you will afford yourself more flexibility before your plans are finalized. As the saying goes, early bird gets the worm or in this case, the best accommodation options!
Like any complex project, designing a study abroad program and the included or optional travel for students will likely go through many iterations before you finalize your plan and itinerary. The later you start the planning process the fewer options you will have and thus, less flexibility. Don't lose the chance to create the ideal program by waiting around, and instead you can start planning today.
2) Additional Time For Recruitment
A common request we receive from our partners is assistance in recruitment for their programs, so we're familiar with the process and the work that goes into student recruitment. Although program recruitment shouldn't be a daunting task, many study abroad professionals are constantly juggling a variety of responsibilities simultaneously and there can be a sense of urgency in recruiting a minimum number of student participants in order to run the study abroad program.
If a study abroad program is finalized far enough in advance, this allows staff to their begin recruitment a sufficient amount of time in advance of the program deadline, which leads us to our next point.
3) Less Stress
Although we can't guarantee this one, we can say with a high level of confidence that starting to plan for your 2020 programs now, will help you be less stressed in the future. If you allot more time into your timeline for planning, decision making and final approvals you will likely be less stressed and can relax knowing that all the details have been handled far enough in advance.
If you're ready to glide into the new year feeling confident about your programs in 2020 and beyond, we would love to chat about how we provide assistance to your and your program. Enter your information below and we can set up a time to talk about your needs.