What do our ratings mean?
You might be looking at a study abroad program and thinking, OK, it gets a B+ on “Program Administration” and wondering, what does that specific rating really mean?
Here are our definitions for our ratings. We know that every student will not have the time to read these when rating his or her program, but we hope that they can serve as a guide for you if you’re looking to rate a program—and as a general definition capturing the gist of the reviews students so far have added to the website (from what we’ve read).
The RateMyStudyAbroad.com “Overall Rating” speaks to your assessment of the overall quality of a program. We know that students have different expectations and interests when it comes to study abroad programs. The overall rating asks, “so when you put it all together, how solid was this program?” Would you recommend this program to others—based on what the program is trying to do and offer? The teaching, the cultural experience, the program administration, your night time experiences, your housing—what grade do you give the full package as you offer your advice for future students?
Academic Quality Rating
The RateMyStudyAbroad.com academic quality rating addresses questions like, what’s the quality of the classroom education element of your study abroad program? Is your class room time organized? Are your teachers on-the-ball, helpful and engaging? Did this program give you a lot of strong experiences academically, and did it help you to learn a lot?
Our “living situation” rating asks you about housing. How well put-together was your housing set-up? How well-organized, easy and simple was it? Did the program live up to the promises it made and the way that it described itself in its brochure? Did you have issues with housing? If so—add comments here with tips for future students.
How much did this program immerse you in the local culture? Did it send you on trips? Did it help you get involved in local activities, with local students and the local community? Did it house you with local students, or was it a compound of Americanness? Did your program make you feel like Hemingway in Paris or Susie Q in Disney Land?
The RateMyStudyAbroad.com rating for “Program Administration” asks you to grade the organization, helpfulness, ease and supportiveness of the program’s administrators. Did they help you with red tape? Did they give you good guidance heading out when you left the States? Did they follow up quickly and professionally when you had concerns?
Review Title and Review
Here’s probably the most important piece of RateMyStudyAbroad.com – your written review. Grades only speak so much. So what’s the deal with this program in your own words? What should future students expect from this program and what should they watch out for? If they are going to this particular city or country, is this the program you’d recommend or did you see better ones while you were there? Was it priced right? Help future students pick the right study abroad program. Give them some the inside scoop!