International Educator - January/February 2018 - 24

"[Agents] shape the idea that students should apply to colleges
based on rankings, not matching," she says. "I can tell that parents
have questions on applying for school based on which one is the
best and how to get in, but very few think about life planning.
It's not that they don't want to, but they [feel they] can't because
applying is so important."
CAHEI also helps Chinese companies coordinate and organize job fairs and recruiting events at U.S. universities. With Lei's
help, Chinese Eastern Airline Corp., New Oriental Corp., and the
Chinese human resource services firm 51job held information
and recruiting sessions at Harvard University, the University of
Chicago, Columbia University, the University of California-Los
Angeles, and the University of Southern California, with more
than 1,500 students attending. Lei also hopes to draw the attention
of U.S. companies who are willing to recruit international students
or provide internships, she says.
Lei is waiting to see which part of her business grows the most
quickly. However, she notes that the business model for agents,
still relatively new for U.S. institutions, is already shifting.
"Fewer and fewer international students have information
asymmetry with U.S. colleges and universities, and almost every
student can apply for themselves," she says. "However, some organizations and agents can help U.S. colleges and universities find
their target students."

Mostafa Hassan, Education & Cultural Travel
In his native Egypt, Mostafa Hassan, founder of Education &
Cultural Travel, saw tour groups shuttle between five-star hotels
and the Pyramids and knew there was an opportunity to offer
something more.
After earning degrees in history and tourism from Helwan
University in Cairo, Hassan founded Egyptian Cultural Travel
(ECT), which focused on providing a more personalized touch
for tourists. Along with the Pyramids and other historical sites,
ECT tours took visitors to Egyptian people's homes for meals
and conversation, or to coffee houses hidden deep within Cairo's
mazelike streets.
"We broke a lot of ice and cultural barriers," Hassan says.
His customers agreed. Named as one of the top 20 travel
agencies in Cairo by Travelocity in 2009, ECT won praise from its
customers for its cultural connections.
"The high point of the trip was the many opportunities we had
(with the help of ECT) to interact with the Egyptian people: eating
in out-of-the way restaurants, drinking tea and eating with locals in
the desert and in ancient markets, meeting women making bread
in outdoor ovens, and conversations with the people about their
passions for the future of Egypt," says an online review on ECT's
Travelocity page. "Although we can't claim to suddenly have become
foreign policy experts, we came back with a better understanding
of Egypt and its culture and new perspectives on our relationship as
Americans and human beings to the people of Egypt."
If that sounds like the end goal of international education, that
point ultimately wasn't lost on Hassan, who came to the United
24  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR J A N.+ F E B .18

States and the University of Bridgeport to earn a master's degree
in global development and peace.
"Bridging gaps between cultures is what I like to do," he says.
Even though he had founded-and his partners still continue
to run-a travel company in Egypt, Hassan soon learned that
creating a business in the United States was a different beast. "It's
totally different," he says.
So Hassan came to UB's Student Entrepreneur Center with the
idea of creating a business focused on sustainable tourism, according to Cahill, the University of Bridgeport senior lecturer. But
soon Hassan realized that his own experiences as an international
student in the United States could be put to use to help others
from Egypt and elsewhere. Active on social media, he had already
fielded questions from prospective students in Arab-speaking
countries about the admissions process and a variety of other
questions about studying in the United States-everything from
TOEFL scores and housing options to how to get a driver's license.
"They could find a lot of things on the Internet, but the human
touch from someone in their own culture and their own language
is very important," Hassan says. "People would call me and I would
answer their questions," he says.
Once Hassan learned that U.S. and Canadian universities
were increasingly working with agents to recruit students, he
worked with Cahill to develop a business plan centered on
answering international students' questions and guiding them
to the right institutions for free, earning an agency fee if they
enroll. The secret ingredient? Providing prospective students
with not just the logistical details they need to apply, but also the
cultural questions about living in the United States-housing,
food, and what the climate on campuses is like during a time of
political turmoil.
Through the University of Bridgeport Student Entrepreneur
Center, Hassan learned how to pitch at start-up weekends, competitions where mentors provide feedback on business plans. He
also presented his plan to Bridgeport alumni, including someone
who would become his business's first client-UB President Neil
Albert Salonen.
After graduating from the University of Bridgeport in 2016,
Hassan formally launched his business, Education & Cultural
Travel, with his alma mater as his first client. "That opened a lot of
doors for me," he says.
That year, he brought more than 50 international students
to the University of Bridgeport and signed contracts with three
other Connecticut institutions-Fairfield University, Sacred
Heart University, and the University of New Haven. Word spread
through social media discussion groups, and he started working with more students and more institutions. Today, Hassan's
business is in discussions with 16 of the top 200 universities in
the United States and Canada, and he continues to field questions
from all comers across the Middle East, including Egypt, Saudi
Arabia, and India.
"It's a long process, and it's not easy," Hassan says. "I'm trying to
help people and bridging gaps."



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - January/February 2018

From the Desk of
Frontlines
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Malaysia
Quick Questions
Feature: Recruiting Farther Upstream: U.S. Institutions Are Exploring New Opportunities Among International High School Students
Feature: CASE STUDY: The Business of Global Engagement
Feature: Middle Class Rising: As the Number of Families with Discretionary Income Grows, So Do Prospects for More International Students
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
International Enrollment
International Education Leadership
Forum
In Focus
Feature: Minimizing Risk, Maximizing Results
Advertiser Listings & Index
International Educator - January/February 2018 - BB1
International Educator - January/February 2018 - BB2
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Cover1
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Cover2
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 1
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 2
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 3
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 4
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 5
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 6
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 7
International Educator - January/February 2018 - From the Desk of
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Frontlines
International Educator - January/February 2018 - In Brief
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 11
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 12
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 13
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Global Spotlight: Malaysia
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 15
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Quick Questions
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 17
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Feature: Recruiting Farther Upstream: U.S. Institutions Are Exploring New Opportunities Among International High School Students
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 19
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 20
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 21
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Feature: CASE STUDY: The Business of Global Engagement
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 23
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 24
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 25
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Feature: Middle Class Rising: As the Number of Families with Discretionary Income Grows, So Do Prospects for More International Students
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 27
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 28
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 29
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Education Abroad
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 31
International Educator - January/February 2018 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 33
International Educator - January/February 2018 - International Enrollment
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 35
International Educator - January/February 2018 - International Education Leadership
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 37
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Forum
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 39
International Educator - January/February 2018 - In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Cover3
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Cover4
International Educator - January/February 2018 - SCover1
International Educator - January/February 2018 - SCover2
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S3
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Feature: Minimizing Risk, Maximizing Results
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S5
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S6
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S7
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S8
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S9
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Advertiser Listings & Index
International Educator - January/February 2018 - SCover3
International Educator - January/February 2018 - SCover4
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20141112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140910
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20131112
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20121112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120910
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20111112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110102
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com