Since the turn of the century, there has been substantial growth in the number of undergraduate students studying abroad. More recently, competition for these students has intensified, as a greater international student base means a higher tuition revenue score and a diverse campus that represents the best of all regions. Canada alone has seen a 60% increase in international students since 2004, in part, because they stepped outside the box to reach untapped markets and provided prospective students with culture-specific information about student life.
International recruitment doesn’t have to be as complicated as you think. Collaborating with current international students and putting forth more targeted marketing efforts can be the win-win opportunity your institution needs to excel.
Here’s how to start.
Define Your Institution’s Goals
Determine what your commitment is and how you plan to engage international students. Your website is the most powerful tool you have and will be the first interaction that a student has with your university. To learn more about how your website can accommodate recruitment, create a focus group with international students who attend your university and ask for feedback. Adding a world map, downloadable brochures and multiple translation options can be helpful in targeting an international audience.
Create Language-Specific Landing Pages
A landing page for a targeted audience allows them to find what they are looking for quickly and efficiently. Plus, if the landing page is language- or culture-specific, it will have further appeal and show students that you have the amenities to meet their needs. Information to include in the landing pages should be admissions requirements, financial and visa requirements and upcoming international recruitment visits.
Form a Student Portal for International Interaction
What better way to show the cultural depth of your univeristy than by allowing prospective international undergraduates to connect with existing ones? Talk to current students who are studying abroad and would like to serve as a prime contact for their country of origin. This peer-to-peer mentorship is helpful for both parties and shows that your school cares about the bigger picture. Also, add photos, videos, blogs and testimonials to aid students in their transition.
Don’t forget to run your site’s analytics so that you can determine how successful your efforts are and where changes need to be made.