Are you wondering what the best international student recruitment strategies are for 2024? We've got you! International students have become a necessary addition to many school campuses. Not only because of the financial benefit, but also because of the different points of view and cultural backgrounds that they bring to the table.

Whether you are a newly established post-secondary institution looking to grow your college campus community or an already established institution that is hoping to get more international students, this blog will have valuable information for you. In this blog, we will discuss the importance of implementing the best college recruitment strategies and adapting them for your target audience. We will also share five top international student recruitment strategies to help you achieve your goals. 

Note: If you are a university, business, or student organization representative and want to partner with us, visit our partnerships page.

Article Contents
8 min read

The top international student recruitment strategies to implement: Student ambassadors International student success stories Personalized & Optimized website content Career planning Academic consulting Conclusion FAQs

International students have multiple options for college and universities in different countries. That is why many universities, including some of the most well-known Ivy League Schools, are making a calculated effort to attract more international students through internal recruitment strategies and strategic university partnerships. Having the right international recruitment strategies is, therefore, essential.

Recruiting prospective students can be challenging when you do not have the right strategies in place, especially when it comes to international students. International student recruitment requires strategies that can be adapted to different audiences without losing authenticity. Some students make up their minds early on, and they know that they want to move to the US to study at Columbia or Cornell, for example. Although those students can certainly be persuaded to change their minds, most of your recruitment efforts should be focused on the many students who are still trying to figure out which school and campus would be best for them. 

Increase in the estimated global international student population:

International students typically look at universities and colleges in different regions, states, and even countries. In other words, several schools are competing for their business. According to recent data from the International Institute of Education’s (IIE) Project Atlas, international student recruitment is on an upward trend in many places. The global international student population rose from an estimated 2.1 million in 2001 to 4.6 million in 2017. That is an increase of almost 120 percent. That number continues to climb as more universities around the world understand how much there is to gain financially, socially, and culturally from the presence of international students. 

Many of these schools are doubling down on their efforts to recruit them. It is therefore important that you have the best international student recruitment strategies if you want to stand out from the crowd and attract some of the young minds that wish to study in the US as international students or in whichever country your institution happens to be in.

BeMo aims to help educational institutions stand out to international applicants and increase their international student recruitment through the university student benefits program. By partnering with BeMo, universities can increase their appeal to international applicants, and international students can benefit from BeMo's top admissions consultants, who provide personalized, one-on-one coaching to students so they learn everything they need to know to apply to universities abroad. Learn more about BeMo's university student benefits on our university partnerships page.

The top international student recruitment strategies to implement

Our top international student recruitment strategies to help boost international student recruitment into higher ed are:

  1. Employ student ambassadors
  2. Showcase student success stories
  3. Have an attractive university website
  4. Offer career planning support
  5. Offer academic consulting services

We'll look at each of these strategies in more detail next!

1. Student ambassadors

Student ambassadors are an excellent resource for institutions trying to improve their recruitment efforts. By tapping into the experiences of both current and former international students, you can make your marketing efforts more authentic. These students can express the dimensions of an institution that are difficult to articulate, such as extracurricular activities and campus life. Furthermore, they can do so in a way that is more likely to resonate with prospective international students because they have walked in the prospective student's shoes.

Student ambassadors' efforts can be especially great for social media networks such as TikTok. TikTok, while relatively new, is a very trendy platform with a very high level of engagement. So, when used correctly, this platform has the potential to help you reach thousands of students in a few hours. We recommend giving a few students some creative freedom so that they can create authentic content. When the genesis, ideas, and delivery come from students, they are more likely to be successful because they know what will appeal to their peers.

2. International student success stories

Investing in the experience of your current international students is actually one of the best international student recruitment strategies you can adopt. Remember that word of mouth and online reviews are powerful marketing tools. So, you should strive to improve the experiences of existing and incoming international students by broadening orientation services and retention tactics, and implementing other programs to help these students advance academically and adjust to their new country of residence. Thus, growing valuable word-of-mouth referrals, among other benefits. 

You should also consider expanding strategic international partnerships, research collaborations, exchange programs, and alumni relations, as these can significantly enhance brand reputation and student experiences. For example, the Wharton School of Business advertises itself as a school with a global network of partners and alumni, making it much more appealing to international students. 

At the end of the day, international students - much like local students - want to enroll in a school where they are more likely to thrive academically and socially. Before committing to an application, prospects are likely to do some digging to find out what other students have to say. This is why we recommend leveraging the experiences of those existing international students and alumni with success stories. You can include them in your team of student ambassadors and give them a chance to advocate your brand by telling their stories. 

3. Personalized & Optimized website content

In order for your messaging to be effective, it needs to be optimized and relevant to its target audience. The best way to do this is to make sure your website, communications, and social media content are not only up-to-date with necessary information regarding international student admissions but also personalized. In other words, any content you put out through your social media channels, direct communications, or college website should be designed to appeal to its target markets.

You can do this by designing your website with international prospects in mind and making changes to make their experience on your website more accessible. For example, you could provide the option to view your website in different languages based on the user's location. Or you can make much more minor and cost-effective changes that have a significant impact. Such as minimizing the use of complex language and colloquialisms to make the text more accessible. Or using more visual elements like infographics and videos to explain important information like tuition fees, accommodation, and program structure so that students can quickly find the information that matters most to them.

Furthermore, your website should be mobile-friendly. Often, colleges do not make all of their pages easy to view on a mobile device, which is not ideal because students tend to prefer mobile devices. You should ensure that pages containing details about degree programs and locations, tuition fees, living expenses, admission policies, and virtual tours of the campus are viewable on mobile devices such as phones.

Lastly, you should not underestimate the power of a personalized email. The ROI for emails is still very high, even with all of the other engagement platforms that exist. In other words, crafting relevant and personalized emails to international prospects to follow up at every point of the application process is a great way to drive engagement and show the students that you care. 

4. Career planning

The best international student recruitment strategies include a few programs and benefits that make the student feel supported. For example, suppose your school has relatively small class sizes or an excellent student-to-faculty ratio. In that case, you should advertise that information because it tells the students that they will be more than just a number for your institution. The University of Winnipeg is one of the universities in Manitoba that fits into this category, and this information is prominently featured on their website for this reason. 

If your institution does not fall into this category, or you are looking for more ways to support your students, you should consider offering unique services such as career planning services. Too often, college advisors are only able to provide students with guidance about the degree that they are pursuing at the school and other programs that are available at the same institution. 

You can set yourself apart by providing career planning services through external international student advisors. These are admission professionals who understand the unique challenges that affect international students when it comes to pursuing higher education and training for certain careers. For example, let's say that you have a brilliant international student who is hoping to become a doctor, and they are still deciding between your school and a different one. Having access to a professional who can help them plan and prepare for the next steps on their journey to becoming a doctor could easily be the factor that helps them decide in your favor. 

5. Academic consulting

One of the other ways that you can offer support for international students is by working with academic consulting firms. Whether you choose to fully cover the cost of academic consulting or offer it at a discounted rate for students who are interested in pursuing higher education programs that you don't provide, it will show students that you are genuinely interested in helping them succeed in the future. 

Some students may not want to pursue higher education, but many international students use undergraduate colleges as a stepping stone on their academic journey. However, taking those necessary steps can be challenging when you do not have the right information. Many students are not sure how to get into grad school or what PA school requirements are. That's where academic consulting firms come in. They can answer those questions for students and provide assistance with the following:

You may be wondering, what's in it for my institution? 

Having a high number of students from your institution that are able to get into competitive graduate school programs would be great for your reputation. It would even be better if those students could say that you helped them do so by providing great education and access to the services of professional admission experts. 

Offering this level of additional academic support is not only unique and helpful to students, but advertising that your institution provides students with this kind of benefit can generate interest in prospective students even if they won't necessarily reap the benefits immediately. 

Conclusion – why BeMo is your best bet for academic consulting 

Now that you know how offering the services of an academic consulting firm can make you a front runner for many international students, we would be remiss if we didn’t tell you why working with BeMo is your best option. So here are four main reasons why BeMo academic consulting is worth it: 


1. What is an international school advisor?

An international school advisor is an admissions expert who helps and guides students through the process of applying and getting into college for different tertiary programs, including undergrad, graduate school, medical school, etc. 

2. Why is international student recruitment important?

International students can enrich your campus financially and culturally. It is, therefore, important to have the right recruitment strategy to attract them to your institution. 

3. Which students make the best student ambassadors?

You should have both local and international students as student ambassadors, but make sure that you have a large variety of international students and alumni who can share their experiences with your institution. 

4. Which social media platforms are best for international student recruitment?

This will depend on your target audience. It would be best to research the popularity of the different platforms in the countries or regions you are hoping to recruit from and adapt your content for that region.

5. How can you optimize your website for international student recruitment?

You can do so by including an option to view the website in different languages, reducing the use of complex words and colloquialisms, and using more visual aids. Your website should also be mobile-friendly and include information pertinent for international students like living expenses, a link to immigration information, etc. 

6. Are virtual tours helpful for international students?

Yes! We definitely recommend including an option to take a virtual tour of campus. You can even go the extra mile and make this an opportunity to connect prospective students with a current student or alumna to guide them. 

7. How do academic consulting and planning help recruitment efforts?

Many international students enroll in colleges as a stepping stone to graduate school, law school, or other professional programs. Therefore, an institution that offers them additional professional guidance on that journey is very appealing. 

8. Why should we choose BeMo?

Not only do we have tons of experience helping international students, but we have a proven track record of doing it successfully. We are passionate about helping students achieve their dreams, and we offer options that will not break the bank. 

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting 

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