Friday, September 24, 2010

Study Abroad Highlighted by Google, Bank of America, Microsoft, FedEx and Citibank in their 2010 Commercials

Back in January I posted to several new media and listserv outlets and my blog about the Google Search commercial featuring study abroad that aired during the Super Bowl.  This, of course, was a great way for the idea of study abroad in the U.S. to gain visibility.  Well, it didn’t stop at the Super Bowl.  So far in 2010, five major corporations in the U.S. have featured study abroad in their commercials and four of these have exclusively focused on the study abroad experience.  I have embedded the videos below for your viewing pleasure.

In addition to seeing international education featured in commercials here in the U.S. we are also seeing a new exchange student character introduced this season in the television program Glee (more here) and The Lifetime channel is planning a movie on Amanda Knox (more here).  To be sure, the having exchange students on television and in movies is nothing new and I have posted about this in the past here, here and here.

A special mention of thanks to Sarah McNitt from Miami University is  necessary for alerting me to and finding a few of these of these commercials!

IHEC Blog also has a YouTube channel you may want to visit as I have subscribed to 295 international education channels.  You can view IHEC Blog’s YouTube channel at


  1. These commericials really hit home with the hard work that we do to increase the profile of study abroad. Great job collecting these!

  2. When main stream advertising starts including something like study abroad into their marketing strategies, it makes me think two things:
    1). It's likely that the people brainstorming these ideas came of age in the "modern era" of study abroad, studied abroad themselves, and are now using their experience/understanding of the experience to sell products
    2) If mainstream media is making it seem like studying abroad is an obvious part of the college, dare I say, life(?!), experience then result will be that demand for study abroad will go way up. But we know that more than 50% of incoming college freshman plan to study abroad - it's just getting them to stay on track toward that goal that we're failing to accomplish.

    Love knowing about these little nuggets of study abroad going mainstream. Thanks David!

  3. Did anyone else notice that each of the ads and featured a male lead? A bit odd to me, since women are such a large part of study abroad.......

  4. @Anonymous ~ Thanks for this observation about all males featured as the sojourners. Kudos are due to Bank of America and their ad agency for having an African American student bringing up study abroad to his parents!

  5. VERY COOL! Thanks for sharing these, David. It would seem that study abroad has "arrived." Now we just have to keep working to ensure that as many students as possible can go...and have deep, rich, meaningful experiences abroad.

  6. great commercial compilation. I had the oportunity to go on a exchange program and it's a great experience where you meet new people from other culture.

  7. Presently I am an doctorate study at Walden University and never knew how much corporate community base business are involved with exchange students even though their commercials are corporate interest. Blogging has been a very educational experience for me.

  8. I'm a little late at viewing these and posting, but kudos David! This is an excellent find and I share everyone else's beliefs that hopefully things like this will keep pushing the study abroad agenda forward!