The Study Abroad Office (SAO) recently returned from the NAFSA: Association of International Educators conference in Los Angeles, California where the University of South Carolina was a finalist for two national awards from GoAbroad.com. While at the conference, SAO staff also attended workshops held to enhance the field of international education.
The first award for which USC was a finalist was the Innovative New Program award for Media and Culture of the Mideast Maymester to Muscat, Oman which was led by Jody Pritt, Director of USC’s International Student Services (ISS), and Van Kornegay, Visual Communications Sequence Head and Associate Professor in the USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications. During the maymester, USC journalism students captured video footage while interviewing alumni and other locals on regional topics ranging from the oil industry to the role of religion. The final products were shared online to foster excitement about studying abroad in the Middle East.
The university was also a finalist for the Innovation in Diversity award for its success in collaborating with Black & Abroad, a company committed to using world exploration to redefine travel for the black community. Specifically, the SAO hosted an event on Greene Street with Black & Abroad and the University Study Abroad Consortium (USAC) to generate excitement for study abroad and offer incentives such as chances to win a free passport.
The USC Study Abroad Office has been a finalist in at least one category every year, and has won four GoAbroad Innovation Awards, since the awards were introduced in 2011. Last year, the USC Study Abroad Office won the Innovation in Alumni Engagement award to recognize its success in partnering with USC Connect to implement a Graduation with Leadership Distinction Global Learning Pathway. It also won the 2015 Marketing & Digital Media award for its U101 “See the World” presentation, the 2014 Innovation in Access & Equity award for the Beyond Boundaries scholarship initiative, and the 2013 Innovative New Program award for the International Perspectives on Higher Education faculty-staff study abroad program.
Winners are determined by The GoAbroad Innovations Academy, a panel of leaders in the field who vote on the five finalists in each award category. The purpose of the annual GoAbroad Innovations awards is to acknowledge institutions, organizations and individuals who are creating initiatives to advance the field of international education.
For more information, view the full list of this year’s GoAbroad Innovation Award recipients.