Coming to the US as an international student is a big decision. It’s a decision that foreign students rarely make on their own; the decision typically involves parents, grandparents, extended families, teachers and school counselors. Instead of asking what website features should be built to facilitate this important decision, let’s try to answer the underlying questions about the school being asked by the entire group:
1. Is the college reputable and committed to excellence?
Money is hard to earn everywhere, but specially in emerging markets the exchange rate raises the importance of this question. A college that elevates its reputation hallmarks to the surface will find ready acceptance specially with parents, grandparents and family networks.
2. Does the college offer innovative and interesting programs?
Why would international students travel overseas if they can find the programs in their local markets. Indian and Chinese students tend to value innovative science, engineering and technology programs. Koreans tend to gravitate towards the innovative arts. Colleges that feature the right programs on the indigenous microsites will attract disproportionate share of prospects.
3. Does the college truly welcome international students?
A college will be more trusted if it shows its commitment to international students with language specific (e.g Spanish for Latin and South American students) or country specific (e.g. Chinese) microsites to serve foreign students.
4. Does the college offer merit scholarships?
International students tend to be fiercely competitive. Providing them with the bounty of a merit scholarship will attract the best and the brightest to a college.
5. Is the college safe? both physically and psychologically?
Families send their children overseas to gain a rich experience, but not lose their child. A college that prominently features physical safety, interfaith facilities, office of international students will be more readily accepted as compared to another one that is silent about them.
6. Does the college offer campus support for international students?
Colleges with office of international students, nationality clubs, host family programs, interfaith chapels, international festivals, and international banks have decided advantage over colleges that don’t.
7. Does the college give me a chance to meet its alumni from my country?
Networking is important everywhere, but in majority of the world, who you know matters a lot more. Colleges that feature alumni will be rewarded with higher application rates.
8. Does the college give me a chance to connect with current students from my country?
In matter of social comfort, like attracts like. Friends and friends of friends tend to cluster in colleges. Colleges that feature current students by country are handsomely rewarded with an increasing number of international students from those countries.
9. Does the college help international students with job placement?
Just like the US students, international students care about outcomes. Colleges that boast a track record of job placement for international students attract more international applicants.
10. Are you planning a visit to my country?
It’s the ultimate form of flattery and a show of commitment to my country.
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