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The Center for Global Education promotes international education to foster cross-cultural awareness, cooperation and understanding. Living and working effectively in a global society requires learning with an international perspective.

We promote this type of learning by collaborating with colleges, universities and other organizations around the world.
PLUS: The Project for Learning in the United States
Community Outreach for Student Advisors

This information is provided for international student advisors who would like to assist their international students perform outreach in their community. We hope that having these resources available can assist administrators in their ability to expand their own outreach initiatives.

Steps to Help International Students Do Outreach

  1. Helping your students access community groups for outreach
  2. Helping students plan their presentation
  3. Tips for making presentations
  4. Evaluation of presentation

Step 1 Helping your students access community groups for outreach

If you do not have a formal program in place for your international students to do community outreach, there are a number of steps you can take to assist students who would like to present to others about their home country.

Start by seeking advice from other International Student Offices:

  • Other International Student Offices may have done community outreach and may be able to offer advice in accessing outreach organizations.
  • Even if the offices you contacted have not conducted community outreach, they may be able to offer you contacts to other helpful resources.

In the event that other International Student offices are not able to offer advice or contacts:

  • Make use of personal contacts (e.g. district and school administrators/ staff, teachers, parents, or current university students who can access elementary and high school alma maters) that may help you access organizations interested in international student outreach.
  • Enlist the help of a faculty member who has expertise and potential contacts relevant to similar outreach projects and/ or international relations. Pay particular attention to faculty members in Education, International Business, or other International Studies and Area Studies Programs.

If other contacts are unavailable, consider approaching local organizations yourself.

Listed below are samples of organizations that can be found all across the U.S. Use this list as well as do a search in your community for more organizations.

  • YMCA - A non-profit organization responding to critical social needs all across the nation
  • Amnesty International - An international organization focused on human rights
  • Boy Scouts - Nationwide programs that help teach boys of all ages
  • Girl Scouts - Nationwide programs that help teach girls of all ages
  • The Boys & Girls Club of America - Services that promote & enhance the development of boys and girls
  • Big Brother Big Sisters - An organization that focuses on mentorship programs for the youth.
  • Lion's Club - A worldwide club that answers the needs that challenge communities around the world
  • Rotary Club - The world's first service organization providing many volunteer opportunities
  • Idealist - A large online volunteer network
  • Live United - A national organization focusing on long-lasting community change
  • The Salvation Army - An evangelical, international movement created to meet the human need
  • If you are interested in doing outreach for a religious group, click here to see a directory for Religious Volunteer Agencies

Step 2 Helping students plan their presentation Go Back Top

The following information is for international students who are planning to do community outreach. You can direct your students to this information to help them prepare for their outreach presentations or use this if to give a presentation you

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?

Make sure that the location where you are presenting has the technology or other tools you may need (e.g., projector, internet access, etc.) Make sure that each team member can contribute to the planning and delivery of your presentation.

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: 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 if possible

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.

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 3 Tips for making presentations Go Back Top

The following are guidelines for presenting community outreach presentations. You can direct students to this information to get ideas about effective presenting:

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 question 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 4 Evaluation of presentation Go Back Top

As an international student advisor, you can mentor student presenters by giving them advice on preparation, content suggestions and feedback on presentations already made. You can download our presenter evaluation form here. These evaluations can be used by an international student advisor who might have the opportunity to observe a student presentation.

Given that school and student demographics, interests and resources often change, it is important that presenters be encouraged to consider ways to make their presentations more innovative, attractive and relevant to a particular audience.

We hope you found this information helpful. We welcome your questions, comments, and useful resources you'd like to share! Please contact us at