There’s a lot of talk about international students right now. COVID restrictions remain in play and newly accepted norms have emerged in different ways which education can be delivered. Many institutional leaders are now asking themselves “How are we going to attract the students? What’s the future of international education?”

To address these questions, which many in Verbit’s higher education community are facing, Verbit is hosting a live webinar in honor of International Student Day on November 17th at 1pm. The event, Including & Supporting International Students, will feature an expert from American University, Julie Merendino, who has recruited 1,000+ students to AU, which will result in $260M+ in enrollment revenue to date.

As Assistant Director of International Admissions, Office of Enrollment, American University, Merendino manages a portfolio of 250+ secondary schools across Africa, Canada and Europe, requiring arrangement and execution of recruitment events in-country, as well as the development and delivery of a comprehensive communications plan.

“It’s been different for every institution out there. From my current institution, it was a big hit for us in 2020. It was really a hard year for us, for international students in particular, because online and international students did not want that experience. I get that nobody wants to go to college from their parents’ basement. That’s not what you’re looking for,” she said.
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Merendino will discuss this new reality, student deferrals and how the current climate is affecting the international student body with Verbit’s Customer Success Manager, Lindsay Tulloss. The two will engage in an interactive Q&A style format and address these current changes, what’s expected in 2022, and common challenges all school leaders who want to attract more diverse student bodies are facing.

For example, what are students’ expectations for a school? What makes your school attractive to international students? What technologies and tools can help to best support international students?

“The very first thing that all students are looking at is brand recognition and ranking, and that’s tough,” Merendino said. “We’re having to prove to them that we are a place that is a top notch education that’s going to take care of them really well, that’s going to set them up for success after they leave us. That makes a school attractive outside of brand recognition – really showing that you’re paying attention to them being able to provide a boutique experience. When it comes to the admissions process, that’s something that can really give you a lot of edge when it comes to building those international students,” she said.

Merendino will discuss the importance of forging those relationships with prospective students and their families and how it can be done so effectively and with budget in mind – from communication campaigns to the admission process to orientation.

“This is a huge investment in their future that they’re making, so really taking the time to make it a special experience, making them and their families feel really safe and well taken care of in the process. That’s a huge attraction to those students in those families who are making a decision as a family,” Merendino said.

Don’t miss the chance to join Verbit live for this thought leadership and networking session to better support and attract international students at your college. The live event is open to all who may benefit from attending. RSVP here.