International Educator - January/February 2018 - 34

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INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENT
By Stephen G. Pelletier

Uphill Recruiting
How to Recruit Effectively Overseas When No One Has Heard of Your
Campus-Yet
WHEN IT COMES TO MATRICULATING INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS , U.S. higher education

has a diversity problem. Theoretically, students from abroad could study at any of the more
than 4,600 U.S. colleges and universities. But in practice, many international students gravitate to relatively few schools. Data from the Institute of International Education's Open Doors
Report on International Educational Exchange, for example, show that just 25 U.S. institutions
enroll more than a fifth (21.6 percent) of the total pool of international students. That leaves
thousands of institutions competing for the rest.

By and large, those top 25 institutions have high brandname recognition among potential international students,
an advantage that most other schools can't claim. So how
can a college or university without instant brand recognition still compete for international students? Experts say
the best strategy is to play to your strengths.

Leveraging Experience
Seeking to grow a population of about 150 international students at Ohio Northern University (ONU), for
example, Director of International Admissions Rosie
Edmond leverages her fluency in Spanish to recruit in
Latin America-a new market for the university. Another
of Edmond's strategies is what she calls "targeting the
influencers." It's always great to be able to meet students
directly, she says, "but in countries where we're not
recruiting, we want to meet their advisers, including high
school counselors and individuals at placement organizations or NGOs that place students." Similarly, Edmonds
seeks to raise ONU's profile among embassies and individuals in charge of government-funded scholarships.
Rather than focus on promoting perennial favorite
programs like business and engineering, Edmonds
works with ONU faculty to help attract international
students to programs such as sports management,
bioscience, and chemistry, which might help ONU
stand out in the crowd. When she learned the school's
dean of pharmacy planned a trip to the United Arab
Emirates, she worked hard to create opportunities for
him to speak about ONU in various venues, including a
workshop for high school counselors. "I made sure that
my office did all of the work, so that all he had to do was
34

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

show up and talk about what he knows. That was a lot of
free marketing for us," Edmond says.
In short, building brand recognition takes a lot of
elbow grease. "Research, do your homework, work at
the grassroots level, and start with what you have on
campus," Edmond says. "Do an inventory of what you
already have on hand. Look into yourself and ask, who
do you know, what are your experiences?" There are no
shortcuts, she says: "When you don't have a lot of money
to work with or resources, you have to put in the time."
Greg Wymer, the director of international students
and scholars at South Dakota State University (SDSU),
says his campus makes up for not having an instantly
recognized brand-to say nothing of its reputation for
cold winters-by underscoring to international recruits
that SDSU provides a quality education that is both
safe and affordable. Recruiting in China, for example,
SDSU focuses not on Beijing and Shanghai, but on
lesser-known cities. There, he says, "name recognition
isn't as much a priority" and the promise of affordability resonates with families in China's emerging middle
class. Wymer and his staff also play the affordability card
by targeting schools abroad with U.S. degree transfer
programs that make it relatively easy for international
students to bring credits already earned to SDSU.
On campus, Wymer and his staff intentionally nurture personal relationships with prospective students.
They respond quickly to inquiries and help prospects
complete requisite paperwork. Wymer believes the
personal touch helps SDSU compete with and maybe
even stand out from schools that have more name
recognition. That personal touch continues in SDSU's



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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