The influence of social media on societies and industries is evident. Its increasing prominence in the field of international education, particularly study abroad, is having many positive effects American students and program providers. For students, social media is a useful resource in all three stages of the study abroad process, including pre- departure, on-site, and post-study abroad. For program providers, social media has become an irreplaceable tool that allows for greater outreach to all four types of students: prospective, pre-departure, on-site, and alumni. The validity of these uses is investigated through a number of qualitative and quantitative research methods, in addition to literature review. The results suggest that both students and providers are benefiting from the use of social media. While social media complements the experience for most students, it also allows for organizations to better facilitate their programs.
Key Words: social media, study abroad, international education, higher education, students, culture, experience, Internet
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