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Twitter for International Students – A “How To” Guide

Posted on February 23rd, 2009 by Jennifer Frankel

When people talk about Twittering and Twitter, many international students will probably be wondering what they are talking about. But Twitter is slowly gathering steam among students and companies alike, as its user base grows and its short 140 character excerpts take over the social networking world.

So what exactly is Twitter?
Twitter is a social networking site and micro-blogging service that allows you to post short text based messages (of no more than 140 characters). Accounts are free from the Twitter website, and once setup you are free to start posting updates to your profile. The idea of Twitter is that you have people either “follow you” so they can see your updates and what you are doing, or you “follow other people” so that you can see their updates (or “Tweets” as they are known)

The following video is quiet a good summary of how the service works and the purpose of Twitter:

Twitter Lingo
There are a few unique ways to use and interact with other people who are using Twitter. A few of these are:
– The “@” sign is used to direct a message to a particular user. For example if you see a question posted or want to tweet to someone you just put the @ sign in front of their name and post a message
– “RT” is used when you re-tweet something someone has already posted. For example if you see a post about a scholarship and want broadcast it to all your friends, just copy the message and put RT in front of it and credit it to the original poster with the @ sign and their username.
– The “#” tag is used to tag a particular tweet. For example if you post a tweet about football, you would add #football to your tweet so that other people can easily search for your tweet to read it.
– You will also notice that many tweets have these funny looking URL’s that are very small. As Twitter only allows 140 characters, you can use these URL shrinking services so that you can still post long URL’s. Tiny URL is one of the most popular ones, but there are many around.

Twitter for International Students
Of course, when you first sign up to Twitter you will have no followers and no-one following you. But over the course of time, as you spread your friend network and your followers grow you will notice that it can provide you with a lot of good information and help.

One of the most useful features of Twitter is for you to follow schools and companies that may be able to assist you and provide you with information about studying in the USA and abroad. To find these companies and schools you can use the Twitter search feature:

From a quick search, a few schools we found (and there are many more) include:
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worecester MA @WPIAdmissions
Coventry University, Coventry UK @CoventryUni
Saint Leo University, Saint Leo FL @SaintLeoUniv

There are also a number of companies/ organizations that offer help and advice, they include: (of course you can follow us) @intstudent
Study in Australia @StudyInAust
GoAbroad @goabroad

Schools and companies like those listed above are now using Twitter to broadcast tweets with information, help and advice to their followers. So for example we use our twitter feed to update students on what is going on at our site and in the international education field in general from around the web – information that is not enough for a full blog post, but helpful and useful. For example, if we see news about international financial aid we will post a message on twitter so that all our followers can see it and learn more about it.

Twitter also provides you a great way to ask questions, not only about international education but with anything you need help with. For example, if you are traveling to San Francisco you could post a tweet asking if anyone knows a good hostel to stay at when you are there, other twitter users will see your message and post a response back. Its a great way to get help and advice on any subject – whether its education related or not!

As Twitter grows, so does its strength to work as a social networking tool for everyone. The larger the user base, and then more widely it is used – the more use you can get from it. For students, its definitely offering a unique way to find information and get answers to questions quickly and easily.

We look forward to you following us, and please ask us any questions. If you also have any good people to follow – please post comments below with their account name.

UPDATE – Thanks to @bloghighed and their great blog posting I was able to track down a list of higher education tweeters which has a growing list of schools you can follow

23 Responses to “Twitter for International Students – A “How To” Guide”

  1. MariaAbroad Says:

    I agree that Twitter is not only a great way for international students to keep in touch with their friends and family back home, but also provides valuable information on the topic study abroad. But the best thing about twitter is the fun factor. You can connect with people that share the same interest and ideas, provide tipps for them and ask them for their opinion and advice. I am blogging and twittering mainly about living abroad, studying abroad and try to help people, who want to experience the great adventure of living abroad. Follow me at MariaAbroad on Twitter! I am looking forward to being connected with you!

  2. Francisco Jaramillo Says:

    Thank you for this post. I had no idea what Twitter was all about, but I think I’ll now try it with my family and friends, and maybe I can also try it with our study abroad directories and information.

  3. Study Abroad Directories Says:

    The problem is there is so much technology to keep up with, that it’s almost becoming impossible to keep up the same level of face-to-face, personal communication with family and friends.

  4. MBA in the USA Says:

    This post on Twitter is awesome! I started using Twitter personally a few weeks ago, and your post helped me see the advantages for business. MBA in the USA, provides cultural insights for International students coming to the US to study. As of today, you can follow me @MBAintheUSA on Twitter.

    Thanks again!

  5. flight deals Says:

    Really cool blog. I found it on yahoo. I am looking forward to read more posts.

    Can anybody tell me what´s the best hotel in Paris for my honey moon? I going to married next month..

    Thank you

  6. Twitter Dating Says:

    Twitter is also a great tool for increasing traffic to youtube videos

  7. hjg Says:

    Knowing Vacheron Constantin watches

  8. Dennis Sila Says:

    Thanks guys for the great job you are doing echo to all of you. Mine is not a comment but a request: am afresh graduate from Jomo Kenyatta University in Kenya with a Honors in Food Science and Technology and am looking for international scholarship in the same field or business area to do Masters either in USA or Canada or UK, how do I go about it.

    Thanks in advance for your response.
    Yours truly,
    Dennis Sila Mutia

  9. ondoa jean bernard Says:

    i am cameroonian student , i have admission for university of central oklahoma but i need credit or financial aid to my school and prepare my travel.
    ondoa jean bernard

  10. ondoa jean bernard Says:

    iam cameroonian student

  11. Jeannine Says:

    Hi, I can’t understand how to add your site in my rss reader. Can you Help me, please 🙂

  12. International Students – Get Social! « The International Student Blog Says:

    […] more information about Twitter, please check out our “How To Guide” and if you join, please follow us […]

  13. Fast Credit Repair Blog Says:

    Have a great day!

  14. School guide Says:

    Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so! really nice post,and very informative

  15. International Student Essentials for 2010 « The International Student Blog Says:

    […] is a great resource for getting up to the minute relevant information. Check out our posts on Twitter for International Students and Using Twitter to find Scholarships for more […]

  16. Marvel Berne Says:

    bookmarked this at Bmaccess ( let me explain Social bookmarking with thumbs 🙂

  17. Milan Goeden Says:

    I use to submit my articles to like 400 places

  18. Domingo Pylant Says:

    Ohh nice post however really??

  19. Avilla Says:

    Ohj hice post howeber really??;

  20. Telefony Says:

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  21. Gayle Mortensen Says:

    This is a very informative article. I got a lot of good ideas from it. I am looking forward to another one!

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