2012 GoAbroad Innovation Awards Finalists: Innovative Use of Technology

GoAbroad Innovative Use of Technology


The GoAbroad Team is pleased to feature the 2012 GoAbroad Innovation Awards finalists in the category of Technology. We received many wonderful nominations and the selection committee has chosen five finalists, listed here in alphabetical order. Throughout this week and next, GoAbroad will highlight the finalists in each of the GoAbroad Innovation Award categories!


FundsV Working Group

“FundsV Working Group Online Banking”

Assembled at the request of Belgium-based SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), the FundsV Working Group is establishing global standards designed to improve the efficiency and integrity of the funds verification process for international student applicants around the world. FundsV has effectively mated one critical admissibility indicator for global student mobility – proof of funding – with online banking. Consumers in many pockets of the world have reached a critical mass where banking online has become the norm. FundsV provides a secure and reliable way for those consumers to point their banking data, which already exists “in the cloud”, to their authorized host in order to satisfy the requirement to prove financial capacity.


SIT Graduate Institute and SIT Study Abroad


LibGuides is a popular, easy to use, web 2.0 library knowledge sharing system. It is used by librarians to make the resources and services of a campus library available remotely through attractive multimedia content, knowledge and information sharing, and the promotion of library resources to the community. With students studying abroad at over 65+ sites around the world, SIT has adapted LibGuides to the unique demands of our students. Pamela Contakos, former Director of Libraries and Academic Resources at the SIT Graduate Institute and SIT Study Abroad, tailored LibGuides to SIT student needs by creating user friendly navigation, allowing students to browse by subject, SIT graduate program, SIT Study Abroad program, and popular tags. Students can communicate instantly with library staff via online chat, text, tweet, or phone call. Additionally, Contakos launched SIT’s first mobile app for the SIT library, enabling library access anytime/anywhere. Both the online version and LibGuides mobile app offer easy-to-use search features and the ability to view ebooks and digital collections, place holds, and make reservations instantly.


University of South Carolina

“Online Pre-departure Orientation”

Using the Articulate e-learning software package, the University of South Carolina Study Abroad Office has developed and implemented an Online Pre-departure Orientation as part of the mandatory pre-departure process for all USC study abroad students. The goal of the Online Orientation is to provide students with the key logistical information they need in a flexible, efficient, and intentional manner. USC’s Online Orientation has been recognized as a “best practice” in the “Standards of Good Practice Toolbox” for the Forum of Education Abroad, and is utilized to help over 1,000 students comprehend the study abroad process each year. The Online Orientation is particularly effective because it delivers important information in multiple ways, with video content, photos, and text. By covering procedural details and policy logistics during the Online Orientation, advisors can focus more deeply on practical tips, safety issues, and the cultural adjustment process during USC’s In-person Orientation, the second mandatory component of the pre-departure process.


Universidad VERITAS

“e-Admissions Portal”

Universidad VERITAS has developed the e-Admissions Partners Portal to help partner institutions and partner providers manage the enrollment of students in Universidad VERITAS programs. Imagine being able to have full control of student enrollment in each of the Host Institutions abroad. E-Admissions is a friendly portal that allows sending institutions the ability to enroll students, select the courses for students, fill homestay preferences and view homestay or residence assignments, schedule the airport pickup for the student, order extra transcripts, select additional services or excursions and also review every single charge that is being added to the program invoice. This user friendly Host Institution (receiving) enrollment management portal has been entirely created by Universidad VERITAS IT Department.


Volunteering Solutions

“Mobile MyAccount”

Volunteering Solutions has taken the user MyAccount section Mobile. Users can track their trip, upload flight info, download trip info, edit trip information and get in touch with Volunteering Solutions through their mobile device such as iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Ipad etc.



Congratulations to the finalists! The winner of this category will be announced at the GoAbroad invitation-only reception during the upcoming NAFSA: Association of International Educators Annual Conference and will be posted to the GoAbroad blog and the GoAbroad Innovation Awards page. Other category finalists are also being announced this week. Stay tuned for more updates!

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