Planning for the Next Time
Assuming that the experience has been positive and that you wish to offer the program again, planning for the following summer should begin before the new academic year starts at the end of August. If the sponsoring department proposes a new program leader, this change needs to be communicated to the Buckman Center.
Program leaders are expected to assist their successors in planning and recruiting for the program at its next offering.Whether or not you personally will direct the program in its next cycle, you may want to plan a reunion for the students. At the reunion, you may recruit a former participant to assist in recruiting for next year’s program; students are among the most effective recruiters, as they represent the voice of experience and will tell other students what they really want to know. You will also find that the students have developed a special bond with you as a result of this off-campus program, and you may be the most influential mentor in their college experience.
Students often seek ways to translate their experiences off-campus into meaningful work back on campus or to hold on to the memories they created. Here are some suggestions you may pass along to them:
- Work in the Buckman Center as an iPA: (International Peer Adviser) to spread the word to other students about the program.
- Working with the Program Leader, create a website for the program, which will also assist in next year’s recruitment.
- Set up a regular “reunion” of program participants to get together.
- Volunteer or work in the Buckman Center, where they may meet students from the host country where they studied, as well as from other countries around the world.
- Volunteer to speak at clubs and organizations on and off campus about the experience.
- Write up an account of the trip and submit it to a Rhodes publication.
- Become involved in one of the campus organizations that focus on the area of the world where they studied.
- Continue – or start – coursework in the foreign language of the area where they studied.
- Continue taking courses in the history, politics, and so forth of the area where they studied.
- Plan for another study abroad experience. Short-term programs are often an excellent springboard for semester-long exchanges, which are cost-effective and where students can gain a deeper insight into another culture.