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Recruiting Intelligence

Study Abroad Students = International Ambassadors

How well are you using your study abroad students as ambassadors for your institution? Are they prepped to represent? Or, do they simply have too many other things to think about and you don't want to burden them? You may be missing an opportunity to give them a gift.

For many institutions, getting US students to take the study abroad opportunity is a real challenge. Not enough of them do it and we wring our hands wondering, "Why are you missing out on this amazing opportunity?" What's needed is a bit more customer-centric thinking to understand the needs, motivations and hurdles to studying abroad. That's a future blog post unto itself.

Today, we focus on setting up your current study abroad students for success and helping your institution brand get a boost as part of the deal.

More than 325,000 US students studied abroad in 2015/2016 academic year with NYU leading the pack according to IIE data (link below). These students fan out across the globe for adventure, cross-cultural experiences and academic connections. For many students, this becomes the real highlight of their college experience. Their time away from their home institution is a chance to learn at a foreign institution, dive into a new culture, gain language skills, and form lasting memories. Huh, sounds a lot like your international students!

Let's explore how you can help your study abroad students help you as they become ambassadors for your institution.

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A Round of Applause for Our Faculty

Have you been to some of the big industry conferences and left feeling a bit flat in terms of truly learning how to drive recruitment?

Every year, we love to celebrate the great minds that come together to share experience, ideas and insights at our annual International Student Recruitment Bootcamp – especially our faculty! This is a small team focused on sharing best practices in a workshop environment. A rare opportunity.

Did you miss our  Bootcamp Wrap Up Blog Post last week? Click that link to a post that was shared by your colleagues on social channels with gusto.

  • We think you'll want to bookmark that one and
  • Share it with your staff executing that global recruitment plan.

We are so proud to call our Bootcamp faculty friends and to give you the opportunity to learn from their invaluable, tested-in-the-field experience. This event brings hope and a sense of optimism into an industry that is currently flooded with so much turbulence and concern. We are thrilled to say that this year our faculty really did a brilliant job helping our Bootcamp attendees "navigate through chaos."

We invite you to read on to learn more about our faculty and the roles they play at their institutions. These are people to keep your eye on in the years ahead movers and shakers you might say. You can count on us to bring you the talent and perspective to drive your institution forward at all of our presentations and events. 

Ben will be in Moscow next week presenting at the Forum on International Education about digital marketing techniques to reach the global student market. 

If you want to stay in the loop for next year's bootcamp, Click Here to be among the first to know about the speakers, dates and more! 

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2018 Bootcamp Insights: Lessons from International Student Recruitment Bootcamp

Hello everyone! This week, as we're sitting here in Boston in the middle of the third nor'easter of March, we want to share some insights from our International Student Recruitment Bootcamp held just 4 weeks ago (in a sunnier and warmer place).

We recognize that creating a global marketing plan to move your institution forward is no easy task. That’s why we got into this work in the first place. We enjoy helping you do the research, find the insights and work through the challenge. Our data and our experienced team are ahead of the curve in what has become a turbulent market place.

We believe that sharing insights from major conferences and events like this helps to push our industry forward, and we hope that you will read them with an open mind and take back to your institution anything that resonates with you. Remember, we're always here if you have any questions or are looking for support to build a stronger recruitment system. 

Below, we share a valuable set of insights and concrete tactics from our Bootcamp since so many of our readers were unable to join us. We covered all of this stuff in depth during the Bootcamp and provided some individualized and group attention to answer all the questions that arise. 

At the end of this post, we share a link for you to stay in the loop for next year's Bootcamp. Maybe you and your marketing director can fit that into next year's budget and really move your recruiting program dramatically forward. 

Read on for really useful tips...

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Learning the Safety Dance: Reassuring Prospective Students

 

Let's reflect on the recent past and discover how the trends inform our thinking and doing.

Right now, we are reflecting on the fact that between 2016 and 2017, the prospective international students we surveyed in partnership with FPP EDU Media reported increased interest in safety. In our 2016 survey, 23% of students indicated that their sense of personal safety in the destination country was a strong factor in their decision making. In 2017, 88% of students said that a strong campus safety program was helpful or very helpful to their decision making.

Although the questions were slightly different between the two surveys, we were struck by the notable jump. The significant difference in the figures suggests a dramatic rise in the importance of this message to international students considering studying on any given campus.

The FPP EDU Media - Intead Know Your Neighborhood Reports were recently covered by The PIE News in a January 2018 story. Personal safety is on students' minds.

The message is clear: in an increasingly unpredictable world, prospective students are thinking more and more about their personal safety. As a result, we are seeing more and more institutions eager to counteract prospective students’ concerns that the U.S. is a place where outsiders are unwelcome and unsafe.

In our work, we develop customized content and design to help each institution promote its strongest features and opportunities to their student audiences. We work hard to educate the field on the trends and what the data tells us to do next as marketers.

We are looking forward to sharing our research and action plans in sunny San Diego where we will host our second annual International Student Recruitment Bootcamp with CGACC from Feb 11-13. The following week we will be in Washington, DC, presenting more data at the annual AIEA conference.

We hope to see many of you at one or the other and we hope you might consider joining us at our presentation with Lakshmi Iyer from Sannam S4 and Jon Stauff of Monmouth University on  Maximizing Your Indian University Partnerships during AIEA! Please be in touch if you'd like to schedule a coffee and evaluate opportunities to enhance your recruitment program. 

So, the million-dollar question is: how do you communicate that your campus is a safe place to call home...without unintentionally scaring prospective students away?

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Change Agents Need Reliable Information

2017 was too much to define in a single headline. A departure from the norm, as many have said.

The ramifications of the changes that occurred during the course of 2017 will be felt for years to come. They will play out in ways none of us can predict, for better or worse. While these kinds of statements or platitudes are always true, this is a period of more dramatic change than the US, and the world, have experienced for some time.

At a policy level, Mr. Trump came into office promising radical change. He has delivered on that promise. When change agents enter any situation, and they have some level of support, conflict ensues.

This is a time to gather the wisdom of others and make plans. Certainly not a time to sit tight and wait out the storm. You know those early birds gathering those worms...those are the birds that planned to get out there early and act.

Read on to gain a bit more perspective and be one of those early birds...

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Exploring the Value of Dual & Joint Degree Programs

As we look forward to our next International Student Recruitment Bootcamp and consider ways to keep you informed about ways to stabilize the effects of today’s environment, we want to bring your attention to the ways that dual and joint degree programs are still picking up steam in the world of international education. For students, these degrees can seem like a bargain and well worth the effort to solidify diverse opportunities in their studies. But, how do they benefit your institution? Why is now the right time to look toward international partnerships? We are exploring these questions (and more) this week!

What are you doing to address today’s volatile global political climate? Is there more you could be doing? Are there ways to stabilize your recruitment channels? Where to turn when navigating the chaos?

In uncertain times, one key factor that can make all the difference for your international recruitment strategy is the strength of a well-informed team. At our second annual International Student Recruitment Bootcamp, we will help you navigate uncertainty in the field and increase the effectiveness of your recruitment strategy.

Our speakers have been selected for the depth and breadth of their expertise in areas including: agent networks, regional analysis, fairs, technology, partnerships and more. Join us and take advantage of their talent and the networking opportunities with your peers. Work through the specific issues facing your institution. This collaborative think-tank opportunity is rare. Many institutions are playing a guessing game – is yours?  Click here to stop guessing and register today.

Please read on for our thoughts on developing university partnerships...

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Campus Diversity, Cultural Competency and International Students

Dr. Carlos Cortés has had an amazing career and tells a great story. He was one of our keynote speakers at our International Student Recruitment Bootcamp back in January and we’ve captured the best parts of his talk here in an 18-minute podcast.

Along with a great talk and discussion over dinner, everyone who attended received a signed copy of his book Rose Hill: An Intermarriage Before Its Time. This was a treat. And now we can share it with all of you.

Dr. Cortés addressed campus diversity and cultural competency issues from a unique perspective. And he asked us all to consider some provocative questions that are hot issues on campus today. How do we evaluate our desire for freedom of speech when students are fighting to squelch offensive speech? And what does this mean for the integration of international students who are learning English as a second language?

Take a listen to his fascinating talk. You’ll be glad you did.

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