Career Development

What Does a Study Abroad Advisor Do?

Find out what a study abroad advisor does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a study abroad advisor.

Study abroad advisors are responsible for helping students choose, plan and execute their study abroad experiences. They may also be tasked with providing general guidance on studying abroad in addition to advising specific programs or schools.

Study abroad advisors typically work at colleges or universities that offer study abroad programs. In this capacity, they may interact directly with students who are interested in studying abroad as well as parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, etc.

Study Abroad Advisor Job Duties

A study abroad advisor typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Advising students on study abroad programs, such as selecting the right program based on their interests and needs
  • Supporting students throughout the application process, including advising them on selecting schools and preparing application materials
  • Designing and implementing programs that help students explore their interests and develop leadership skills
  • Promoting study abroad opportunities within the school community, including at high school guidance offices and college fairs
  • Communicating with students’ parents or guardians about academic schedules, living arrangements, health insurance, cultural activities, etc.
  • Managing student records, including monitoring financial aid packages, helping students manage finances, and providing contact information for local offices where students can get help if they have problems
  • Coordinating with other campus departments to ensure that all procedures are followed and that all deadlines are met
  • Helping students secure scholarships or other funding to support their study abroad experience
  • Advising students on how to prepare for their time abroad, including studying foreign languages, researching local culture and customs, and learning about safety issues

Study Abroad Advisor Salary & Outlook

Study abroad advisors’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of students they work with.

  • Median Annual Salary: $55,000 ($26.44/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $112,000 ($53.85/hour)

The employment of study abroad advisors is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

As more students seek opportunities to study abroad, demand for study abroad advisors will increase. In addition, the number of students who study abroad is expected to increase as colleges and universities continue to promote study abroad programs.

Study Abroad Advisor Job Requirements

A study abroad advisor typically needs to have the following:

Education: Most study abroad advisors have a master’s degree in higher education, international education, education administration or a related field. These programs teach students about the best practices for teaching, learning and assessment, as well as how to develop and implement curriculum and lesson plans.

Training & Experience: Many study abroad advisors will receive on-the-job training when they start a new position. This training will help the advisor learn the school’s policies and procedures. It will also help the advisor learn about the students the school typically sends abroad and the countries they typically visit.

Study abroad advisors can also receive training through conferences and seminars. These events can help advisors learn about new trends in study abroad programs and how to better serve their students.

Certifications & Licenses: While study abroad advisors do not need to hold a certification, many seek out certifications to show their dedication to the field and to furthering their knowledge.

Study Abroad Advisor Skills

Study abroad advisors need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication is the act of conveying information to others. As an advisor, you may need to communicate with students, faculty and other staff members. You can use your communication skills to answer questions, send emails and make phone calls. You can also use your communication skills to create and share documents, such as study abroad program descriptions, that help others understand the program.

Cultural awareness: Cultural awareness is the ability to understand and respect the cultural differences of others. As an advisor, you can help study abroad students understand the cultural differences they may experience while studying abroad. You can do this by providing them with resources and information about the country they’re studying in. You can also share your own experiences with them to help them understand cultural differences.

Marketing: Marketing skills allow you to promote study abroad programs to students and potential employers. You can use your marketing skills to create advertisements, design social media posts and create presentations to encourage others to participate in study abroad programs.

Sales: Study abroad advisors often work with students to help them choose a study abroad program. This requires sales skills, as you need to convince students to apply for a program and convince them to choose your program over others. You can also use sales skills to help students choose a program that fits their needs and interests.

Teaching: Study abroad advisors often teach students about the application process, how to choose a program and how to prepare for their time abroad. They may also teach students about the culture of the country they’re studying in and how to adjust to a new environment.

Study Abroad Advisor Work Environment

Study abroad advisors work in a variety of settings, including colleges and universities, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. They typically work full time, and some may work evenings and weekends to accommodate the schedules of their students. Advisors who work for colleges and universities may have to travel to meet with students at other campuses or to attend conferences. Advisors who work for government agencies or nonprofit organizations may travel to meet with officials from other agencies or organizations, to attend conferences, or to conduct research.

Study Abroad Advisor Trends

Here are three trends influencing how study abroad advisors work. Study abroad advisors will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

More Students Will Study Abroad

The trend of students studying abroad is growing rapidly, as more and more students are realizing the benefits of studying in a foreign country. This trend is likely to continue, as more and more students want to experience another culture and learn about different ways of life.

As a study abroad advisor, you can capitalize on this trend by helping students find the right program for them. You can also help them prepare for their time abroad, both academically and culturally.

More Schools Are Offering Programs That Include Study Abroad

Many schools are now offering programs that include study abroad as part of their curriculum. This is because educators have realized the many benefits of having students study abroad, such as developing cultural awareness, improving language skills, and gaining a better understanding of other countries and their people.

As more and more schools adopt this approach, study abroad advisors will be in high demand. They will need to be able to help students choose the best programs for them and make sure they are prepared for the challenges that come with living in a foreign country.

More International Students Are Coming to the U.S.

The number of international students coming to the United States has been steadily increasing over the past few years. In fact, the number of international students in the U.S. has doubled since 2000, reaching almost one million in 2015.

This trend is likely to continue, as more and more students around the world are looking to study in the U.S. due to its reputation as a top education destination. As a result, study abroad advisors will need to be familiar with the various visa options available to international students and how to help them navigate the U.S. educational system.

How to Become a Study Abroad Advisor

A career as an study abroad advisor is a great way to combine your love of travel with your passion for education. As an advisor, you’ll help students plan their overseas experiences and make sure they have all the information they need to be successful.

To become an advisor, you’ll need a degree in education or a related field. You’ll also need experience working with students, so consider volunteering at your local high school or college.

Advancement Prospects

Study abroad advisors typically have a few years of experience working in the field of international education before they are promoted to a management position. Alternatively, some study abroad advisors may choose to leave the field of international education and use their experience to work in related fields such as international relations or education policy.

Study Abroad Advisor Job Description Example

The Study Abroad Advisor is responsible for providing information and advising to students interested in studying abroad, as well as coordinating all aspects of the study abroad application and selection process. The Study Abroad Advisor reports to the Director of International Education and works closely with the study abroad program providers, faculty, and staff across campus to ensure that students have a positive and successful experience abroad.

The Study Abroad Advisor must be able to work independently and be highly organized and detail-oriented. He or she must have excellent interpersonal, communication, and customer service skills. The ability to work with diverse populations is essential, as is the ability to work well under pressure and handle multiple tasks simultaneously.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Advise students on study abroad opportunities that fit their academic and personal goals
  • Assist students with the application process for study abroad programs, including course selection, credit transfer, and financial aid
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of program offerings, requirements, and deadlines
  • Serve as a resource for faculty and staff regarding study abroad policies and procedures
  • Collaborate with campus partners to develop and implement marketing plans for study abroad programs
  • Plan and implement outreach events to promote study abroad opportunities to students
  • Develop and maintain relationships with partner institutions and organizations
  • Coordinate on-site orientation sessions for students prior to departure
  • Provide support to students during their time abroad, including emergency assistance
  • Receive and process applications for study abroad scholarships
  • Keep accurate records of student participation in study abroad programs
  • Evaluate student learning outcomes from study abroad experiences

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in education, counseling, international relations, or related field
  • 2+ years of experience working with students in an educational setting
  • Familiarity with study abroad programs, requirements, and process
  • Excellent advising and counseling skills
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in education, counseling, international relations, or related field
  • 4+ years of experience working with students in an educational setting
  • Experience living or studying abroad
  • Fluency in a foreign language
  • Cross-cultural experience


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