Here you will find information to help international students in the U.S. become involved with K-12 outreach.
- Advisement meeting
- Contacting the high school, middle school, or elementary school
- Plan your presentation
- Giving your presentation
- Evaluation of presentation
Step 1 Advisement meeting
Start by contacting your International Student office or the Study Abroad office.
- The International Student Office or Study Abroad Office at your university may have an outreach program for international student outreach and may be able to offer advice on how to conduct outreach and gain access to local schools.
- Even if these offices do not have a formal program for outreach, they may be able to offer advice on how to proceed, including accessing local schools or contacting other offices that may be able to provide guidance and/or resources that can help.
- Ask the Study Abroad Office if it is possible to help them advertise study abroad about your country to other students. You may be able to sharpen your presentation skills by promoting study abroad to other college students on your campus before going into the K-12 schools. We suggest always performing outreach in groups in order to ensure your safety at all times.
In the event that your International Student Office or Study Abroad Office is not able to help you, you might:
- Enlist the help of a faculty member at your school who has expertise and potential contacts for outreach projects and/ or study abroad. Pay particular attention to faculty members affiliated with Education, International Business, or other International Studies and Area Studies Programs and Institutes.
- We suggest always performing outreach in groups in order to ensure your safety at all times.
- Seek out other international students. Additional students will add a great deal to the information and breadth of experiences you will be able to communicate to your audience. Meanwhile, many of these students may have previous experience doing outreach and/ or ties to local schools.
Step 2 Contacting the high school, middle school, or elementary school Go Back Top
Given that K-12 campuses are generally closed to the public, you may have to contact administrators and teachers as well as alumni and parents of local high schools, middle schools, or elementary schools that may help you access those schools. You may make use of your personal contacts (e.g. district and school administrators/ staff, teachers, parents, or other university students who have access to and are affiliated with local elementary, middle, and high schools) in order to gain access to schools for international student outreach.
When presenting your ideas to local school or district administrators and staff, highlight how international student outreach relates to the school's goals and curriculum.
Be aware of the principal's or teacher's requirements and preferences. Some contacts may be interested in certain global regions, religions, heritage or language programs, short term or long term programs, volunteer or aid work, and programs connected to certain social issues or fields of study. Work with your contacts to understand what type of presentation will be the most suitable for the school's interests and what will appeal most to the students you are attempting to reach.
Step 3 Plan your presentation Go Back Top
Consider Working in a Team
Enlist the help of another friend or international student to present with you! Having more than one person can increase the value of the presentation and make preparations less daunting. Working with partners also ensures that you are not traveling and presenting at schools alone; we suggest always performing outreach in groups in order to ensure your safety at all times.
Download our Outreach Presentation Plan. This is designed to help you plan your presentation.
Consider using one of our customizable PowerPoint presentations. These PowerPoint presentations available on this website have been created as customizable templates for your own presentations about your international experiences. You may personalize these presentations with your own information or by adding and removing particular slides as you see fit. There are two sections of presentations you can use depending on if you are presenting to U.S. students about your home country or presenting to students back home about studying in the U.S. There are several different presentations including ones targeting African-American/ Black students, Latin/ Hispanic students, Asian/ Pacific Islander students, and Native American students, as well as general 4-year college/university students and students at community colleges.
Warm-up activities for PowerPoint presentations. Before beginning the official presentation, warm-up activities can be used to introduce students to the concepts of study abroad and cultural appreciation. The activities are available on this site under Additional Resources.
Think about your audience. As you plan your session, think about who your audience is, how you will accomplish your objectives and how to keep your audience engaged. For example:
- Who will I be speaking to?
- What do they know about my topic already?
- What will they want to know about my topic?
- What do I want them to know by the end of my talk?
Use objects from home. Objects from your native country are indispensable for a quality presentation. At heart, this is a personal reflection of your home and something the audience can see and hold is essential to keeping people interested. The object may include pictures, books, a map, or something your country is known for.
Planning grade specific presentations. For example: When presenting to elementary and middle school level audiences, try to balance lecturing with Q & A and group participation. Break things down into 10-15 minute segments. Incorporate VKAT (visual, kinesthetic, auditory and tactile) communication as much as possible in your presentation especially with elementary grade levels.
Again, see the PowerPoint presentations available on this site, which are specifically geared toward elementary, middle school, high school, and 4-year university and community college students.
Consult resources. A variety of resources are available on this site under the additional resources link. Here you will find Additional Resources for Teachers which include book lists, classroom activities, websites, etc. targeting elementary, middle, and high school students. You will also notice Additional Resources for Parents and Students, which include book lists, computer games, etc. also targeting elementary, middle, and high school students.
Be aware of logistics.In your correspondence with principals and teachers, make note of logistical issues for your presentation including time allowed for your presentation, number of students expected, classroom location, directions, parking availability and access to multimedia resources.
Step 4 Giving your presentation Go Back Top
Involve the audience by asking occasional questions. Hypothetical questions are best as they show the gap between cultures. Try to ask genuine questions to which you do not already know the answer and show interest in any replies. Leave time for the audience to think. Try to avoid answering your own questions or telling members of the audience that their answers are wrong. Audience members should feel a sense of accomplishment after answering questions, knowing that they have contributed to the presentation.
Pause occasionally to ask if audience members have questions for you. You can also pause occasionally to ask if anyone has any questions for you. If a question disrupts the flow of your talk too much, you can say that you will answer it later (but don't forget to do it!). Before you ask for questions, make sure you are ready to pick up your presentation again when the Q & A session has finished.
Use visual aids to make the presentation livelier and help audience members follow your presentation. Many issues are communicated much more clearly with visual aids than through speech alone.
The two most common forms of visual aids are overhead transparencies and computer slide shows (e.g. PowerPoint). Objects that can be displayed or passed around the audience can also be very effective and often help to relax the audience. Some speakers provide printed handouts to the audience to follow as they speak. Others prefer to give their handouts at the end of the talk, because they can distract the audience from the presentation.
Step 5 Evaluation of presentation Go Back Top
Seek out opportunities to improve in all areas of your international student outreach.
Review the overall success of the presentation as well as planning issues, planning in general, and collaboration with contacts/ advisors.
After your presentation, international students should maintain strong communication with advisors, fellow presenters, teachers and school administrators/staff, in working together to create more innovative and more relevant presentations for future students.
We hope you found this information helpful. We welcome your questions, comments, and useful resources you'd like to share! Please contact us at .