InternationalStudent.com’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 InternationalStudent.com 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.
Envisage International is hosting a free Webinar on how to market you school on InternationalStudent.com. 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 InternationalStudent.com 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 InternationalStudent.com, join our free webinar.
Though 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
Over the past few months, we have been developing an interesting new way of communicating with international students. As content creators, we’ve found Google Hangouts to be a new, and valuable content platform that allows international student to meet us virtually face-to-face, engage with us directly, and discover valuable resources about studying in the US. After months of practice and continuous tweaking and editing, we’ve developed numerous resource video hangouts for international students and have provided a new product to our partner schools looking to interact with students one-on-one for international student recruitment.
To introduce Google Hangouts to international educators as a viable, free tool for communicating with their international students and as a high-quality product provided by Envisage International, we traveled around the US and attended eight separate NAFSA regional conferences. At each conference, we presented the topic ‘Google+ and Google Hangouts – the newest technology in communicating and recruiting international students’. But there was a twist. We also decided to broadcast the presentation via an actual Google Hangout, which would live on our Google+ page, YouTube, and could be embedded on our website for future viewers.
After waiting nearly 5 years, we finally have clarification on the new health insurance regulations set forth by the US State Department released into the Federal Register the changes to Sub-Part A of the Exchange Visitor Program.
Covering a wide range of areas, the key focus for us was the new insurance requirements for the J1 visa. Having been put in place in 1993, the current levels of $50,000 for medical coverage, $10,000 for evacuation and $7,500 for repatriation was generally perceived as too low – and many in the industry had been calling for higher limits to safeguard participants.
In 2009, when the original comment period was release for sub-part A, the levels were placed at $200,000 for medical, $50,000 for evacuation and $25,000 for repatriation – so it had been widely accepted that these levels would hold true through to the final rule.
Some of the tricker items to handle within a mobile first website are large images or tables, and embedded objects like videos/iframes. The 3.0 version of Bootstrap introduced us to the responsive image and table classes, but did not offer a truly elegant solution for mobile first treatment of embedded content. Thankfully, the 3.2+ version of Bootstrap has a solution for the embedded iframe, and they’ve also tackled some of the sticker issues relating to the .visible-* classes, which we’ll address at the end of this article.
In our previous post on Bootstrap, we took a look at the “img-responsive” class added with 3.0, but didn’t address the responsive table classes, so let’s start there.
If you are like most schools that are looking to increase or diversify your international student population, you have looked at many different ways to reach and recruit them. You have gotten up early, gotten on an airplane, literally flown to the other side of the world looking for students that are a good fit for your school. You have done virtual student fairs, listed with portal sites and taken your international social media to a new level. You have the agents that represent your school on speed dial. But other than traveling across the globe, how else can you put a face to your school and your recruiting efforts? We have thought long and hard about that as well. That is why we are pleased to introduce International Student Hangouts.
One of the biggest challenges any student faces when they go off to college is creating and sticking to a budget. Now, to that add currency fluctuations, unknown living costs, unforeseen circumstances with little support in the host country, and international travel, and it becomes an even more complicated issue.
We work with thousands of international students all trying to navigate their way through the complex web of financing their degree. Sixty-three percent of international students fund the majority of their education out of their own pocket, according to the latest Open Doors Report. In some cases, they are just scraping by. So the question becomes, how can you help your international students when it comes to budgeting?
When it comes to insurance, even the most well versed can sometimes struggle with their deductibles, copays, coinsurance, maximum out-of-pocket – and that is all before you start looking at the actual benefits. When you have students accustom to their healthcare system, that uses different health insurance terms, and add a language barrier to that, you have a situation that can be pretty complicated when trying to introduce students to the US healthcare system!