Education Abroad (EA)


The Art of Expectation Setting: Maximizing the abroad experience

Thursday, November 14
10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
Location: Frederick

The opportunity to study or work abroad can bring about a great deal of uncertainty. In the best case scenario, participants are open-minded and free of any preconception, but in most cases to no fault of their own, participants are actually not fully aware of everything there is to consider throughout the process. As advisors and international educators, it is our responsibility to first evaluate participants’ understanding of studying abroad and then to give them the tools to develop their own awareness. When this is done well, the participant should feel their time abroad met or exceeded their expectations. We have the power and ability to directly impact the success of the abroad experience by how effectively we can communicate the realities of our programs. This session will go beyond principles in pre-departure preparation and cover best practices in expectation setting in order to maximize a positive abroad experience. We will use real scenarios and practical examples from institutional study abroad offices and an international internship provider in order to demonstrate how this can be accomplished. You will leave this session with a set of tools to apply in your own practices and advising.

Learning Objectives:

Heidi Fischer

Ph.D. Student; Higher Education
Old Dominion University

Originally from East Germany, Ms. Fischer has more than a decade of experience of working in education abroad, both at public and private institutions. In her role as director of study abroad at a private, liberal arts university, she led efforts to develop approximately 40 new exchange partnerships, to generate a policy manual with emergency management procedures, and to create an education abroad assessment plan. She has advised hundreds of students on education abroad opportunities and helped set expectations for their international experiences. In Fall 2018, Ms. Fischer began her doctoral studies in Higher Education at Old Dominion University.


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Amanda Lentz, MA

Higher Education Business Development Associate

My vast experiences abroad and desire to gain a greater understanding of other cultures and world-wide views influenced me to pursue an MA in International Education at SIT Graduate Institute. While completing the research and practical components of my degree, I focused on advising methodology that promotes student development in study abroad. As an experienced professional in the field of international education, I enjoy facilitating conversations with administrators on how to develop strategies in working with students to set goals and expectations for their experience abroad.


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Sara Morgan A. Watters

Program Advisor
Global Experiences

Sara Morgan Watters is a Program Advisor at Global Experiences where she works closely with young professionals to prepare them for an international internship program. A Maryland native, Sara Morgan's first abroad experience was a summer in Ecuador. After graduating college she went on to live in Barcelona for several years where she worked as an English teacher. Sara Morgan holds an MS in Cross-Cultural Psychology from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and a B.A. in Psychology from St. Marys College of Maryland.


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The Art of Expectation Setting: Maximizing the abroad experience

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