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Keeping Up With The… Ustudy Team!

Catch us somewhere around the world in 2018

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We’ve started 2018 full-speed ahead, and we’ll just keep that momentum going all year long! Our team is going to be present in various #IntlEd industry events, and it’s important for us to keep in touch with you. We’d love to schedule a time to meet and catch up! Here’s where we’ll be:

ICEF North America – Toronto  (Mackenzie Zak, Adriana Garrido)

ICEF Africa – Cape Town, South Africa (David Adler, Mackenzie Zak, Lana Whiteford)

NAFSA Annual Conference – Philadelphia, PANAFSA Annual Conference – Philadelphia, PA (David Adler, Mackenzie Zak)

ICEF Berlin – Berlin, Germany (David Adler, Mackenzie Zak, Lana Whiteford)

AIRC Annual Conference – Florida (David Adler)

ICEF North America – Miami (David Adler, Mackenzie Zak, Lana Whiteford)

In addition to our participation in industry events, we will be hosting our High School Tours in amazing markets to help you reach your recruitment and campus-diversity goals. Stay tuned for more details as we approach the dates, or send us an email with your inquiry.

South Africa: May 10th-15th

Caribbean: October 1st-5th

Mexico: October 8th-19th

Africa: November 8th-13th

South America: November 29th-December 4th

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Contact us for further information…

David Adler (Owner, CEO): david@ustudyglobal.com

Lana Whiteford (Director of Partnerships): lana@ustudyglobal.com

Mackenzie Zak (Director of Operations LATAM): mackenzie@ustudyglobal.com

Featured

2018: Going Global

2017 has come and gone, and it’s been a very memorable year for Ustudy Global.

We traveled to new places.

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We made great connections.

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We crossed paths with dear friends.

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We introduced thousands of students to amazing institutions.

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Keep up with us in 2018, it’s going to be a great year.

MEXICO – HIGH SCHOOL VISITS
Recruiting for language, vocational, undergraduate programs
Monterrey:                           Thursday, January 25th & Friday, January 26th
Mexico City:                            Monday, January 29th & Tuesday, January 30th
Merida & Playa Del Carmen: Thursday, February 1st & Friday, February 2nd

COST | SCHEDULE | REGISTRATION

MEDITERRANEAN TOUR
Tel Aviv, Israel:               Monday, February 19th (Education Fair)
Ramallah, West-Bank:   Tuesday, February 20th (Education Fair)
Nicosia, Cyprus:             Thursday, February 22nd & Friday, February 23rd (HS Visits)
Athens, Greece:            Monday, February 26th & Tuesday, February 27th (HS Visits)
Thessaloniki, Greece:   Thursday, March 1st & Friday, March 2nd (HS Visits)

COST | SCHEDULE | REGISTRATION

CENTRAL AMERICA – HIGH SCHOOL VISITS
Recruiting for language, vocational, undergraduate programs
Panama City, Panama:        Monday, March 12th & Tuesday, March 13th
San Jose, Costa Rica:         Thursday, March 15th & Friday, March 16th

COST | SCHEDULE | REGISTRATION

MIDDLE EAST – HIGH SCHOOL VISITS
Recruiting for language, vocational, undergraduate programs
Abu Dhabi, UAE: Monday, April 16th & Tuesday, April 17th
Dubai, UAE:         Thursday, April 19th & Friday, April 20th

COST | SCHEDULE | REGISTRATION

SOUTH AFRICA – HIGH SCHOOL VISITS
Recruiting for language, vocational, undergraduate programs
Johannesburg: Thursday, May 10th & Friday, May 11th
Cape Town:      Monday, May 14th & Tuesday, May 15th
(In collaboration with Cape Studies)

COST | SCHEDULE | REGISTRATION | MARKET REVIEW

Take a look at our testimonials, or contact us for more information.

 

 

Counselor Chronicles: Mexico

Insights on recruiting students from the Mexican market

Opinions by Mackenzie Zak, Director of Operations LATAM at Ustudy Global

Attention all recruiters, universities, and admissions officers. Mackenzie here, with some first-hand perspective on recruiting students for Higher Education out of Mexico. As 2017 comes to a close, it’s time to be strategic about 2018 and our recruitment goals.

For those institutions tuning in from the US, I know it’s been a period of transition, post-Trump election. However, things are looking up! Our friends at Intead recently released their Fall 2017 Know your Neighborhood report, and according to their survey about the reaction to Donald Trump as president, numbers on ‘less likely to study in the US following the election of Donald Trump’ have improved! In 2016, 80% of Mexican respondents said they would be less likely to go to the United States to study, a figure that dropped to 61% in 2017. It’s our job as recruiters to change the narrative and put our student’s minds at ease. Things are looking up, my friends.

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Now that we’ve addressed the bad-haired, orange-skinned elephant in the room, allow me to share some of my first-hand insights and recommendations after a whirl-wind year of working on-the-ground with prospective Mexican students.

Communication

Oh my, I could write an entire article solely on this topic. However, I’ll save you the headache! One of the top challenges I’ve faced in dealing with students in Mexico is communication. The majority of students I come in contact with are between 16-18 years old, and it’s been a game of trial-and-error in our office to see what works. We initially reached out to students through phone calls. Well, something important to keep in mind is that telemarketing in Mexico is HUGE, and extremely annoying. Therefore, a lot of our phone calls were being dodged, and really became a waste of time. Then, we went to our fallback, email. After being flooded with emails having the full message written in the ‘Subject’ box, and no content in the actual message, I realized that many of these kids have no clue how to write an email, let alone answer one properly. So, this led us to the glorious solution that is WhatsApp. For those of you who are not familiar, WhatsApp is a free messaging application you can download on your smart phone and even use from your desktop, and is widely used in Mexico and Latin America.

Sending a student you just met a text message may seem somewhat invasive, but it’s honestly the perfect solution. If they don’t want to talk to you, they’ll simply ignore your message (you’ll get 2 little blue check marks next to your message if they’ve read it), and you’ll know where you stand. I’ve found that approaching students through WhatsApp almost makes them feel more comfortable with me, I’m reaching out to them as a friend, not some intimidating adult. *DISCLAIMER* Be prepared to get random messages from students at all hours, weekends, etc. If you want to set boundaries, take one from their playbook, and simply do not open the message until you’re ready and available to respond. It’s a major faux-pa to give someone the blue check marks and not respond. “Me dejó en visto” (He/she read it and didn’t answer) is a sure-fire way to tarnish your already precarious relationship with the prospective student.

Side note: Mexico is a budget-sensitive market. Be clear and forthright with your tuition costs and scholarship opportunities from the beginning, to save time and assess the student’s realistic likelihood of enrolling in your institution. Involving parents from the beginning is the best way to go about doing this.

Perception

Going back to Know Your Neighborhood, 52% of prospective Mexican students find meeting an agent in their home country very helpful. But what about the other 48%? It’s important to find ways to reach students where they are… and that usually means online. Obviously all universities or colleges have their own websites, but honestly, they’re usually confusing and hard for international students to navigate. Many platforms are out there, designed to be either an index or a place for students to apply. We’ve recently launched our own, Findcourse.com, which serves as an all-in-one platform for students to see complete transparent costs and scholarship information, housing options, programs, and even apply right there. We’re removing the in-person aspect of working with an agent. However, little do they know, our experienced counselors are behind-the-scenes to provide any support they need to complete the admissions process! We give them an online experience so they don’t have to deal with pesky human interaction, but we’re there when they need us.

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Trust

There are a few ways to establish trust, and if your school already has a strong presence and brand-recognition in the market, chances are you won’t have to work as hard to build it. But what about the smaller school, or the one that isn’t as well-known, or the one that is just starting out in international student recruitment? You must meet the students face-to-face. Boots on the ground, traditional recruitment is key. Typically, families in Mexico are very close-knit, which can make it difficult for some parents to accept sending their children to another country. Taking the time to travel and attend education fairs and recruitment events, where you meet school counselors, students and families directly, is a great way to build and maintain relationships or grow your brand in Mexico. Intead’s report also shows that 54% of prospective Mexican students find meeting an admissions officer in their home county as very helpful (see link to resource below).

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Word-Of-Mouth

All you need is one. Capitalize on that one. Word-of-mouth is something we have little control over, but it’s SO POWERFUL! A recommendation from a friend goes such a long way in Mexico. Go the extra mile to make sure international students have a great support system and resources on campus. Sharing testimonials from past or current Mexican students can also be very influential. Give your international students the support they need and the experience they desire, and you can sit back, relax, and watch the applications roll in.

In conclusion, Mexico is a huge market with even bigger potential, if you know how to approach it. You can’t rely on just one strategy if you are seeking maximum results. We recommend utilizing as many as possible, and Ustudy can offer a few different solutions (agency, events and digital strategy). There are so many cultural considerations to take into account, but I hope these tips are useful to you going into 2018! Happy Recruiting!

Resources:

Know Your Neighborhood: Influencers, Interests, and Political Reactions in the International Student Population – Fall 2017, Intead

TOEFL, SAT, IELTS, Oh My!

Requirements for University Admissions in the USA – Mackenzie Zak

We’ve all seen it… the typical US university experience. Whether it be through movies, social media or first-hand experience.

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Movies tend to show the frat parties and sorority girls, but it’s much more than that. I’m sure you’ve seen picturesque images of red-brick buildings and strong, white pillars. Students gathering on the quad to throw around a Frisbee or play guitar. Huge lecture halls with wise professors instilling knowledge.. It really is 4 years of pure magic.

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The great thing about the US is that there are SO MANY different options. Public vs. Private, Big vs. Small, University vs. Community College, Liberal Arts vs. Specialized.. We’re not going to talk about those different options today, but stay tuned, because we will eventually! Right now, let’s stick to the basics:

What are the requirements for admission to a US University?

  1. Passport… You WILL need a valid passport in order to study in the US.
  2. TOEFL or IELTS… If you are from a non-English speaking country, you will need to prove that you have a high level of English proficiency. The TOEFL and IELTS are two very common examinations that measure your English level. Remember, when you are at your future University, you’ll need to give presentations, write papers, take exams, make friends, etc. all in English. It’s a good idea to study and prepare for these exams, so we recommend doing a preparation course abroad so that you can achieve a high score on your first try. Don’t worry though, you can always retake these exams if necessary. When looking for your English or TOEFL/IELTS prep course, check out www.findcourse.com.
  3. SAT… The SAT is a standardized examination that most US students take as a requirement for University admissions. Lucky for you, many universities are removing this requirement for international students. However, we still recommend that you take it, as many universities do still require it for scholarships (Sometimes it’s not required, but you can receive more scholarship money if you do have an SAT score). The SAT has a very specific strategy, and covers a variety of subjects and skills. It’s a good idea to do a preparation course. We recommend this 3-month online course, which is delivered by US teachers, and you can do at your own pace/schedule from anywhere. To get our special price, click on ‘Select an Agent’-> Select the USA -> Select ‘Mackenzie Zak’ from ‘Ustudy Global’-> Fill out your information and register! If you’d prefer my assistance with registration, send me an email: mackenzie@ustudyglobal.com
  4. Transcripts… This is the official grade report, provided by your high school. US Universities require the transcripts in the primary language of your home country, as well as a translated English version.
  5. Diploma… This is your graduation certificate. This also needs to be in your home-language, as well as translated to English.
  6. Letter of Recommendation… It’s a great idea to get a recommendation from your college counselor or favorite teacher. You need someone to speak on behalf of you as a student, and give reasons explaining why you are an ideal candidate for that university.
  7. Essay… Each university will have different criteria or prompts for the essay (although some may not require an essay at all). For example: Why is ____ University your top choice? or What is a challenge you have had to overcome? When writing your essay, be yourself. Don’t try to write what you think they want to read.
  8. Financial Statement… In order to obtain your student visa, you will need a bank statement or a sponsor that can show the total cost of 1 year of study and expenses. This amount varies from University to University.
  9. Completed Application… If you need assistance completing an application, our US Academic Advisors are always happy to help.

Hopefully you now have a clearer idea about what you need to be able apply to a University in the USA. If you’re interested in receiving free assistance from one of our US Academic Advisors, send an email to adriana@ustudyglobal.com or contact us here.

Make studying in the USA not only a dream, but a reality.

Mackenzie Zak
Director of Academics LATAM

5 Reasons to Recruit from Jamaica

It’s more than just a vacation destination.

At the end of the month, we will be in Kingston, Jamaica with an awesome group of universities and colleges to recruit local students. Our goal is to provide our event participants with a high-end, all-inclusive experience (Cue Michael Scott’s hilarious facial expression. Can’t talk about Jamaica without remembering this gem from The Office!) so that they can focus on doing what they do best, selling their school.

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Throughout the organization of this tour, we’ve heard “Jamaica? Yea, let me run THAT by my boss!” quite a bit, usually with a slight sarcastic undertone. However, we know Jamaica has great potential as a recruitment destination. If you’d like to know why, keep reading.

1) Size
With 2.8 million people, Jamaica is the third-most populous country in the Americas (after the United States and Canada), and the fourth-most populous country in the Caribbean.

2) Economy
Jamaica is a mixed economy with both state enterprises and private sector businesses. Major sectors of the Jamaican economy include agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism, and financial and insurance services. Tourism and mining are the leading earners of foreign exchange. Half the Jamaican economy relies on services, with half of its income coming from services such as tourism. An estimated 1.3 million foreign tourists visit Jamaica every year

3) English Skill
Jamaica is regarded as a bilingual country, with two major languages in use by the population. The official language is Jamaican Standard English (JSE) or Standard Jamaican English (SJE), which is “used in all domains of public life”, including the government, the legal system, the media, and education.  However, the primary spoken language is an English-based creole called Jamaican Patois (or Patwa)

4) Education System
Education in Jamaica is primarily modeled on the British Education System. Generally, A-Levels or CAPE examinations are required to enter the nation’s Universities. One may also qualify after having earned a 3-year diploma from an accredited post-secondary college. The word college usually denotes institutions which do not grant at least a bachelor’s degree. Universities are typically the only degree granting institutions; however, many colleges have been creating joint programs with universities, and thus are able to offer some students more than a college diploma. A few universities in the United States have extension programs in various parts of Jamaica. Most of the students who enroll in these part-time programs are working professionals who want to continue their education without having to relocate closer to the nation’s Universities.

5) Study Abroad Numbers
according to the Institute of International Education (2016), a total number of 2510 Jamaican students studied in the US during 2015/16.  A 2.9% increase from previous year.

If you’re interested in learning more about our upcoming tour, or have specific questions about recruiting in Jamaica, please feel free to contact us!