College life should be full of people from many different backgrounds and communities. It’s the place for all kinds of students coming together to learn and grow.
International student recruitment is a major part of creating a well-rounded, diverse class. All colleges want to attract the brightest learners from across the globe. So they marketing efforts must reflect this.
Students from other countries often have different criteria for choosing their university. Still, they add amazing perspective and depth of experience to the classrooms, athletic fields, and clubs they join.
Here are 10 tips colleges can use to boost their recruitment efforts. They’ll ensure they have the most robust student body possible.
Feature International Students on Your Marketing Materials
Students will feel more comfortable on campus if they see others who look like them on campus. It’s human nature to want camaraderie. Highlight your diversity in your brochures, pamphlets, and other marketing materials.
Doing so will reduce some of the worry students may feel about fitting in. And the more comfortable they are, the more likely they are to do well in the classroom and take part in activities.
Show your international students they’re not alone. Many others before them have enjoyed their time at your school and so can they.
Highlight International-Friendly Residential Life
Much of the college experience is centered around residential life. Develop and highlight housing options that boost your international student recruitment efforts.
Establish a foreign language house. Feature international cuisine. Create a space for religious observances.
These all foster comfort and familiarity for students feeling far away from home. Your international student needs to have a community where they feel at ease.
Create Campus-Wide Programs International Students Would Love
Don’t isolate your international students. Build programming that celebrates some of their traditions as well.
Create campus-wide programs that allow domestic students to learn about new customs. They’ll enjoy new experiences as much as their international peers do on a regular basis.
Involve your international student community in shaping these events. You’ll see an added buy-in. And your community as a whole will grow.
Develop an International Alumni Network
Your best international student recruitment tool is a network of satisfied students. Alumni are always happy to share their experience with others.
Build an international alumni network that can answer questions from the prospective international student. Your alums will have a keen perspective on how their own experience might translate.
And this sends the signal that you care about all your students equally. Train your alumni network to represent your school’s brand. But give them the freedom to personalize that message for their home audience.
Make Sure Career Services has Support for International Students
Not every student who attends college in America wants to remain in the country. Make sure your career services office can direct your international students’ job search.
Even if it takes them back overseas, be equipped to help them. Build relationships with global and international companies and create resources that are easy for your students to comprehend.
Build Relationships with Schools Overseas
Strategic partnerships will help your international student recruitment. Get to know the high schools that regularly send students abroad for college.
Carefully target parts of the world where you want to build these relationships. Send admissions officers to learn about their needs and culture. They’ll become better advocates for your brand.
Over time, you’ll create a pipeline of students who are familiar with your message. They’ll be eager to attend your university.
Emphasize Prestigious Graduate Programs
International students are highly motivated by results and concrete facts. Emphasize all the programs your university specializes in to attract top-quality students.
Use your website to focus on the courses of study, career paths, and outcomes possible. This establishes value. You can also get your program featured in other educational sites.
Having your master’s program in ABA seen on a list of highly ranked degrees will attract the brightest international students.
Cater to Needs of International Students Already in America
Don’t overlook the many international students already attending high school in America. Their needs can be specific. And they represent a valuable demographic that can thrive on your campus.
Make sure your marketing materials address their needs as well. They might need reassurances about the social experience or feeling isolated. They may also be dealing with a language barrier as well.
Highlight the resources you have in place for them. Celebrate the success stories from alumni with similar experience. Prospective students will know what’s possible.
Treat International Students as Individuals
It’s important to set up baselines of achievement and understanding. But don’t assume your international students all have the same level of comprehension.
Work with your faculty to develop appropriate English placement assessments. There should be some flexibility built into the curriculum.
International systems vary greatly by country. Understanding how specific international systems work will help your students feel more comfortable. That will translate into a steady stream of appropriately matched international applicants.
Be Honest about Your Strengths and Weaknesses
No university is perfect. And every school isn’t the best in every discipline. Be honest about the strengths of your program. You’ll attract international students who will thrive in it.
The worst thing you can do is try to appeal to everyone. You’ll likely fail to serve them and develop a poor reputation for taking care of your students. Play to your strengths and build credibility through transparency.
International Student Recruitment is Comprehensive
Finding the right students for your university is an art and a science. Consider their campus experience as you put together your marketing approach.
International student recruitment requires a comprehensive look at how your university operates. Take a look at your program from the classroom experience to dorms and social life.
Think about how you can make your international population feel comfortable. Then highlight those strengths. For more tips on marketing, check out our blog.
You can build an attractive and effective website for your college. Have questions about it? Contact us today so we can help you set your brand apart.