As the new semester is here and we’ve seen a mix of on-campus, virtual and hybrid classes, it’s difficult not to hear “Into the Unknown” playing in the back of my mind. For months there has been heavy anticipation within our industry to see what the admitted and arrival numbers would look like. While there are the rare few that have seen growth in their international student population through this pandemic, most are strategizing their recruitment and communication plans to prepare for what’s ahead.

For a few more months the heavy anticipation will continue as we keep an eye on Covid-19 trends across campuses. Through the numerous virtual calls, reminders on the importance of social distancing, and Covid-19 testing- we wish you a successful semester as you head into the unknown, whatever that might look like for you and your students.

Bryanna Davis
On behalf of the Team

September 2020


Start Receiving Completed Applications

We are thrilled to announce that partnered schools can now start receiving completed student applications!

The need for colleges and universities to deepen their digital recruitment efforts is more important than ever. However, through these changing times, it has become a challenge for many offices to nurture leads through the admissions funnel. Our application integration will allow students to complete your school’s standard international student application directly from your profile page on

As the premier resource for international students looking to study in the USA and around the world, we are pleased to be able to not only connect students with your college or university, but help move them one step closer to arriving on your campus. Learn more about becoming an partner and how you can start receiving international student applications from students who want to attend your college or university.


TVC: Life After Lockdown Open for Submissions

On September 1st, our 15th annual Travel Video Contest opened for submissions. In the past, we’ve asked students to discuss a trip they would like to take or the school they would like to attend. However, with the current global landscape, our contest will be a special edition this year - TVC: Life After Lockdown. With the new name is a new theme, international students and cultural exchange participants who wish to enter must discuss at least one of the following topics in a two minute or less video:

  1. How COVID-19 has impacted their international education or cultural exchange experience abroad
  2. Their ideal international education or cultural exchange after Covid-19

The contest will remain open for submissions until October 13, 2020. Students and cultural exchange participants interested in entering can visit our website to find all of the contest details, including the full contest timeline, rules and regulations and instructions on how to enter.


The Importance of an Immediate Response to Leads

We all know it’s important to follow up with student leads in a timely manner, but how quick is quick enough? Is there a drastic impact between following up in the first hour you receive a lead compared to following up within the next 23 hours? Yes, in fact, following up within the first hour can provide a 30% increase in engagement according to a study by Vanilla Soft. In short, we recommend an immediate email response to your leads as statistics show that a quicker response time means higher engagement success:

One Hour: 38% Engagement Success

24 Hours: 8% Engagement Success

> 24 Hour: 5% Engagement Success

Interested in learning more on best email practices? Read our guide on using email marketing in your recruitment strategy!


Student Resources During COVID-19

The current state of the pandemic might have changed some students’ plans for international education this fall, but it’s important for them to continue to thrive and persevere through these difficult times. If you’re looking for resources to pass along to your students to help them navigate through the new semester, here are a few to explore:

  1. International Student Community on Facebook - The International Student Community Facebook group is a safe space where students and members of the international higher education sphere can share information and communicate with others on international education topics. Students can simply send a request to join to become a part of the group of over 900 international students and educators.
  2. Connecting During COVID-19 Blog - Fortunately, we live in a world where it's easier than ever to stay connected at a distance. This blog has a few ideas to make the difficulty of distance easier for any students that might be struggling.
  3. Emotional Wellness During COVID-19 - According to the CDC, as of late June, 40% of US adults reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse. Young adults and racial/ethnic minorities reported disproportionately worse mental health outcomes, increased substance use and elevated suicidal ideation. This great resource from International Student Insurance provides mental health tips for students in need during this time.

Interestingly Enough...

Wondering if Facebook is a waste of time or out of date? We’re asked that question a lot and our data tells the story when it comes to our combined 100k social media following, and how much traffic the individual platforms are driving to Of all our social media platforms including Instagram, Twitter and Youtube- Facebook drives the highest number of students to our site when looking at traffic from social. In fact, Facebook sends more than double what the second sending social platform (YouTube) sends. Take a look!