Choosing to study at an international university is a BIG decision for students and parents. So it makes sense that they care a lot about big-picture issues: Is tuition affordable? Will a degree from this school set the student up for a good career? How strong is the institution in my academic area? Is the campus safe?
But “little” things matter, too—more than universities or even students themselves often realize. This stuff comes into play a little later in the student decision making process, or as marketers call it: further down the recruitment funnel.
Prospective students and their families will judge your university not just on the practicalities, but on their emotional response to the institution and the overall perception of the campus environment. Understanding your unique audience segments will give you valuable insights into small improvements in your processes that will make a major impact.
Creating the welcoming environment at your institution has a lot to do with getting broader stakeholder buy-in. Translated, that means when an international student interacts with or arrives on campus, the overall experience is one of warmth and welcome at a very uncertain and anxious time. You've been there yourself: entering an unfamiliar place where you feel just a bit unsteady, not your usual confident self.
At those times, the one or two smiling, welcoming faces brought back that feeling of, "Oh, this is going to be ok." Better yet is conveying the sense that this will be GREAT!
We will be discussing these very common university challenges at NAFSA this year on Wed, May 30 at 1 pm along with Dr. Martyn Miller, Assistant Vice President for International Programs at Temple University and Dr. Jon Stauff, Vice Provost for Global Education at Monmouth University. It will be a lively and valuable discussion. We hope you can join us: "Who's Got Your Back? Building Internal Support for International Recruitment."
You can email Elaine to schedule a meeting with us at Nafsa.
So, what little things may not be so little after all? Read on...Read More