Using the Envisage Global Insurance API – Part 1- Accessing the System

About Envisage Global Insurance

Envisage Global Insurance is a specialized international group insurance broker who has been providing international health and travel insurance plans for the cultural exchange and youth travel market for well over 10 years. Whether coverage is needed for a small group with 5 or more participants, or you would like to custom build your own insurance plan for thousands of members, EGI provides the tools to manage this quickly and effectively online. Group administrators can enroll and update members in real time with immediate availability of updated ID cards, as well as cancel enrollment or verify coverage on demand.

EGI Plan Admin Tool

About the Envisage Global Insurance API

The API is provided as a means of automating the basic administrative tasks for an EGI Plan Administrator by providing an interface between our clients’ systems and the online administrative tool. By integrating the API, group administrators can use their in-house software to manage enrollments directly.

This blog post is the first in a series designed to help EGI client systems establish their integration into the system.  For reference, full documentation of the API, including samples, can be found here:

The EGI API is primarily a RESTful one, but does require POST authentication for all requests. For that reason, we recommend building your requests via cURL All submitted information must be sent as key-value pairs via POST data while all responses are returned as JSON objects with success and status codes. Continue reading

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Are States Getting Creative with Affordability?

piggy bank

This year we’ve been keeping an eye on how states get creative with affordability. This was initially sparked by America’s College Promise Proposal: Two years of tuition-free community college for responsible students. Over the past few months we’ve seen a lot of action around this topic, let’s take a look what additional initiative states are taking to make a college education more accessible.

Looking first and primarily at what progress individual states have made, so far, we have seen two additional states alongside Tennessee’s free community college program (Tennessee’s Promise Program): Oregon (the Oregon Promise) and Minnesota (College Occupational Scholarship Pilot Program). Ten other states have also introduced legislation to create their own free community college programs.

In addition, thirty-two states currently offer performance based funding at either two-year institutions, four-year institutions, or both. These states include: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Items taken into consideration for funding allocation based upon performance include: course completion, time to degree, transfer rates, the number of degrees awarded, or the number of low-income and minority graduates. Five additional states (Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, South Dakota and Vermont) have been approved to offer performance funding, and are in the process of resolving program details. [1], [2]

Looking at President Obama’s overall proposal, although it would require a 10 year federal investment of $79.7 billion, according to the American Association of Community Colleges, there has been a lot of discussion and rallying behind it. In an effort to see movement, legislation in response to the proposal was introduced to both the Senate and House in July, however, Terry Hartle, senior vice president for government and public affairs for ACE doesn’t expect a big push for this proposal just yet.

“The president’s plan hasn’t, so far, gotten much traction on Capitol Hill for several reasons. It’s estimated to cost $60 billion over five years, but reauthorization [of the Higher Education Act] has not gotten underway in either the House or Senate to any significant degree,” said Hartle. [3]

Despite the slow progress, the excitement and effort around America’s College Promise Proposal has continued to spread this past year.

“We still feel we’re still working on this,” said David Baime, senior vice president for government relations and research for AACC, adding that this is a priority of the administration and they do want people to feel optimistic about it, although the odds are long that an actual program will resemble the size of the $60 billion America’s College Promise initiative, he said. [4]

Additionally, this proposal has started to make waves within the political world when it comes to putting education back on the agenda; Hilary Clinton has recently revealed that she also has a plan for students who need assistance with college tuition. [5]

Throughout the past few months we have seen a number of states that at the very least have attempted to get creative with affordability, if not succeeded. Whether their proposals have been approved or not, the increase in states showing interest and initiative is a start that we can appreciate- and hope to see continue with a steady increase.

What are your thoughts on the current initiative and progress within your state?

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Google Tag Manager and Analytics – Tracking Web Events

This month I’m going to show you how to use Google’s Tag Manager and Analytics to track outbound link clicks and build reports to show the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. Tag Manager is a powerful tool you can use to add a wide variety of tracking codes to your site without needing to involve a developer or webmaster. (other than the initial setup)

Tracking Linden Tours Clicks

We recently partnered with Linden Education Services, a company that organizes and holds student tours all over the world. Part of the deal with them is to drive traffic to their site from ours and we need to know how many people are clicking the links, where they’re from and how we acquired them. Just putting the links on the page is the easy part, tracking the clicks is harder. Using the Google Tag Manager makes the process easy and once you’ve done the work of adding the small amount of Javascript to the page, you can now add different types of code (Google calls them “tags”) to your site without needing to update the source or push anything to your production servers.

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Site Speed Improvements with OPcache and PageSpeed

If you’re running a fair-to-mid sized site with PHP code running the back-end, you’ve probably noticed the intense amount of activity that’s going on to serve a page to a visitor. PHP files get loaded from the hard drive by the process manager, compiled, run and then immediately thrown away for the next process in line. All of that takes time, which slows down our applications, which frustrates our visitors and they leave the site before finding the resource they needed.

If you’ve got RAM to spare you should think about mounting some of it as TMPFS and park the cache files there.
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SEO Success Factors

What’s more important to your SEO endeavors, is it the content, the layout of the page, the location and number of ads or something else? Maybe you’re only looking at the profile of your inbound links or focusing your energy on social media?

If you’re not looking at the big picture then you’re most likely doing your site a disservice and it’s time to expand your definition of SEO. One of the easiest to digest overviews of SEO success factors that I’ve come across is this one-page infographic from Search Engine Land:

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Continue reading

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Language Optimization

As a company that markets directly to international students, one of the biggest challenges we face is communicating to our visitors in their native language. We’ve spent a lot of time refining the process we use to optimize for multiple languages and here are some of the things we’ve learned along the way.

Our choice of back-end framework lets us quickly and efficiently add new languages and update existing ones. There are few different methods for presenting translated content. The first, and most rudimentary, is to simply create a sub-directory for the language that you are translating for (example /espanol/) and then have someone translate the content on the pages. Simple, effective and works for a content that never changes. What happens when you have a site that has constant updates to the content? We opted for a more sophisticated approach and use the power of the framework to automatically replaced strings on the page with values stored on the back-end.

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International Student Traffic Up 220%

international-student-google-analytics traffic’s traffic is continuing its upward climb (knock on wood). 2015 year-to-date organic traffic is 220% higher than the same period last year. What have we done to earn this sort of tremendous growth? Are we smart or just lucky, or maybe a little of both? In this post, we will take a look at some of the challenges we’ve faced, and the strategies we’ve employed that have brought us to where we are today.


Every website out there has ups and downs in traffic, and is no exception. In 2014, we experienced one of the bigger dips in organic traffic that we’ve seen in the 15+ year history of our site. This led to much soul searching and a deep analysis of our site and our visitors.

Google, being the dominant search engine of the day, sends more traffic to more sites than all other search engines combined. So how do you rank well in Google? That’s the billion dollar question. An entire industry has evolved around this question, and if you asked 10 people, you would probably get 10 different answers.
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How to Market your School on



Envisage International is hosting a free Webinar on how to market you school on  The live Webinar is Thursday, January 22nd at 2:00 EST.  The recorded Webinar will also be available on our corporate site.

During this Webinar on how to market your school on we will talk about the different opportunities to gain exposure for your college or univeristy on the site and through the International Student Network, including social media, email marketing, inquiry generation, Google Hangouts and more. We will cover pricing, packaging and success stories of other schools.

At the core of our marketing efforts, your school’s profile would be upgraded to an enhanced profile.  The enhanced profiles include your school logo, pictures, videos, social media feeds, student profiles, program descriptions and other relevant information.  We would also integrate your school into the USA School Search on the site, so that your school would be found when students are searching for programs that you offer.  Depending upon your the amount of exposure and student inquiries that you would like to have, we can then add in email, banners, social media, email and newsletter marketing.

To learn more about how to market your school on, join our free webinar.

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Top 10 International Education Predictions for 2015

The new year is here, and we are excited for what it has in stored. Here are the top 10 international education predictions for 2015 – read on and let us know what you think:2015

1. International Student Numbers in the US Continue to Soar
The number of international students in the US will exceed 950,000 in the 2014-2015 academic year. That’s a big number, but we think its possible as China (though slowing – see below) will continue to send more students, while major growth will come from countries with a strong home country government scholarship program like Brazil, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabia KASP program will expand further (Saudi Arabia now is the #4 sender of students to the United States), while Brazil’s Science Without Borders program announced 100,000 more scholarships this year for STEM students (Brazil is currently the #10 sender of students to the US).

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A Look At The Open Doors Report – What the Numbers Reveal

Globe of Africa and International Currencies in BackgroundAA049180Though some may have doubted it, the data proves otherwise: the United States is still the number 1 place for students studying abroad. Late last month, the Institute of International Education released findings which show no signs of a slowdown thanks in part to government scholarships that have fueled much of the growth. In the 2013-2014 academic year, 886,052 international students helped break the record for how many students are studying in the US. Growth in study abroad also increased bringing the new total to 289,408 students.

What do these numbers show and indicate? Continue reading

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