It is human nature to seek greener pastures or brighter possibilities when you are growing up and trying to find your foothold in a fiercely competitive world. So, it is no surprise that for decades, students have been testing new waters when it comes to higher education. In other words, studying abroad has always had its own attraction for those who are looking for something more than what their home countries offer. So, most universities already realize the importance of drawing international students to their courses, as it not only means more revenue, but also better recognition at a global level. However, attracting international students to your university takes a bit of strategy and creativity. Keep these tips in mind.
- Give your website an extra edge – For starters, make your website multilingual. Integrating your CRM with Google Translate can do the trick. Better still, if you can create different sites for different languages, you can incorporate cultural cues and address students of different backgrounds in a more realistic way. For example, the cultural context for someone whose first language is English might be different from someone whose first language is Spanish. Make sure your website has all the necessary information related to courses, deadlines, admission, documentation, scholarships and financial aid. Make sure that international students have a way to contact an admission counselor through the site. Application forms should also be easy to translate in different languages.
- Show the real picture with virtual tours – One of the best tips to attract international students to your university involves creating a virtual tour. Remember that studying abroad is a major decision for most students, especially those who have responsibilities back at home or are planning to take a break from work to pursue an expensive degree. And an immersive, engaging and interactive virtual tour is the best way to give them an exact idea about your institution, facilities, the locality and community, the campus culture, placement opportunities and so on. Plus, virtual tours are perfect for boosting brand awareness and drive conversions when students can’t visit your university in person before making a choice.
Read – 5 ways to Assure Students That your College is Perfect for Them
- Put student testimonials to good use – Before taking an important decision like studying abroad, most applicants want to make sure that you can live up to your claim of being that dream university. So, to earn their trust, put together some glowing testimonials from your current and past international students. You can create blog posts, website stories and social media posts that showcase what they feel about your institution, what do they like the most there, how they have benefited from a particular course or scholarship, or what kind of jobs they have secured after graduating. This kind of brand advocacy can have a far-reaching impact and convince potential applicants that they are making the right choice by going with you. Try and include testimonials that answer common questions – they might be related to the cuisines served at the cafeteria, courses that have global appeal, housing options that allow students of the same culture to live together, and so on.
- Power up communication – A brilliant marketing strategy to attract international students is to make communication smooth and easy. This means reaching out to them through social media channels, emails, text messages, WhatsApp, Skype and so on. Keep the language simple and avoid abbreviations as much as possible. Remember that not all students will be familiar enough with English. On your website or social media pages, make the contact button easy to see and enquiry forms should be simple and short. Try to reply at the earliest and keep a student’s background, culture, personal situations or needs in mind while doing so. You can use a Customer Relationship Management system to track all queries and comments better. Try to include more visual information in your communications, so that students don’t get tired of reading through a lot of text. Well-shot pictures, videos, infographics or simple graphs are recommended.
So, you now know how to attract international students to your university without spending a lot of money or wasting a lot of time. Understanding what they might need or look for is the biggest key to the success of your marketing strategy. And if you need guidance with photographs, videos or virtual tours to take the game up a notch, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.