Envisage International Corporation
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Tuesday February 12th, 2013 - Issue #17
International Education News

Google PlusIn last month’s newsletter we told you about the Envisage social expansion into Google Plus and some of the exciting features this relatively new social network provides. Timing is everything - a few days later Facebook announced their new Social Graph search function, mimicking much of what Google Plus can do. You can read more about it in the Industry Highlights section below.

One thing we know for sure, social networks will continue to play an expanding role in our lives and keeping up with the latest technology will become both more complicated and more critical…which is why today we launch our new Tech blog.

The Envisage Tech blog will address the latest and greatest in emerging web technologies, search engine optimization, social media, and how to leverage it all to best reach and service international students. These topics have been a primary focus of ours
for over a decade and it’s finally time for our tech team to spill the beans.

Please feel free to contact us if you have ideas for future newsletters, any comments, questions or concerns.

Envisage International Corporation

Envisage International News
Introducing our New Tech blog

In our new tech blog we hope to showcase some of the work we do to enable a worldwide audience access to our services and information. We also want to talk about how we use web visitor analytics, back-end architecture, software design and more.

Envisage International’s first technical objective in 2013 was to migrate our legacy email system from a dedicated email server to the Google Apps infrastructure. Maintaining a secure and speedy mail server while allowing access from anywhere in the world was becoming more and more challenging and extremely time-consuming. These administrative tasks seemed to be never ending and took time away from other more exciting projects we wanted to focus on. We decided to switch to the Google Apps for Business and use the Gmail infrastructure for our email needs, which has reduced
email maintenance time by 75%

Read more in the Envisage Tech blog.

International Insurance News
Student Insurance: Staying Compliant, Staying Student-Focused in 2013

With the complex and ever-changing world of insurance regulation, it can be hard to stay compliant while still ensuring that you best serve the interests of your international students. In the first part of a two part blog series, our insurance team discusses the main insurance options that schools have available to them in the marketplace.

First we will focus on individual insurance plans, an excellent option for many students and schools. We will discuss how individual student insurance plans are being impacted by reform and what to look out for when searching for the right plan for your students. In the second part of the series, due in the third week of February, we then focus our attention on group insurance plans, those plans that have been hit hardest by reform over the last 12 months - and will continue to change over the next 24 months.

The series is designed to arm you with the information to make an informed decision about which option is right for your school and your students over the next 12 months, regardless of the carrier you choose.

International Financial Aid News
Want to help your students budget responsibly?

Budgeting for any student can be challenging; even more so for international students who have little access to aid and incur additional expenses by being so far from home. From a financial standpoint, the key to a successful education overseas is making sure that that your students have planned appropriately and have the ability to cover their costs throughout their stay in the USA.

Admission officers and advisors play a critical role in providing key information to make sure that students are well prepared even before they step foot on campus. Whether you
help international students before or after they arrive, check out one of our most recent
blogs on 5 Ways to Help Your Students Budget Responsibly.

Here you can learn more about ways to handle and discuss budgeting with your students, important factors to include when developing material on budgeting, and more. Contact Jennifer Frankel for more information.

International Student Recruitment News
Your Website vs. Your Web Presence

Later this month, Don Sears will be in Hattiesburg, MS for the annual StudyMississippi and MAIE conference. Don will present the session titled, “Online Marketing - Your Website vs. Your Web Presence”. A summary of what he will be presenting is below as well as a link to our blog on the topic.

Every school has a website, an important tool that gives prospective students information about your school, your programs/degrees offered, important dates, etc. But how can you expand upon your website and reach students that might not be looking for you, but looking for what you have to offer them? How can they find you online when searching for programs you offer? The answer is through going beyond a website and creating a comprehensive web presence.

Building an effective web presence will allow millions of students to find your school online. This could be through search engine optimization and marketing, commitment to social media as well as through other sites that you partner with. An effective web presence will allow you to connect with students and put your school’s brand, strengths and programs in front of students that would not have found your website.

We hope to see you in Hattiesburg. If we don’t, please contact Don Sears if you are interested in learning how to expand your own web presence.

International Education Top News
Pick of the Week - Weekly Industry Insights

You won’t want to miss the weekly Envisage Pick of the Week, profiling industry news and other marketing or social media news that could impact international education. One story that really jumps out from the past month is when Facebook announced Graph Search, their equivalent of the Google search function. The new search feature promises to be much more powerful than the current Facebook search function and could open up new opportunities for marketers and schools. For example, with the new search function, users could search for schools, and while searching see if any of their friends or their friends’ friends have been to that school, or have contacted that school in the past. It could be a very insightful tool and we look forward to its public launch later this year.

Be sure to subscribe to our blog and take in all our industry insights in the Envisage Pick of the Week!

Upcoming Industry Events
Conferences

Here are the upcomming conferences we will be attending:

  • AIEA – Association of International Education Administrators, Feb 7-20 - New Orleans, LA
  • Study Mississippi (MAIE), Feb 21-22 - Hattiesburg, MS
  • FAIE, Feb 21-22 - Gainesville, FL
  • WETM/ IAPA - March 13-15 - Rome, Italy
  • LeadsCon West, March 18-20 - Las Vegas, NV
  • AAIE - Alabama Association of International Educators, April 4 - Auburn, AL

Contact us and schedule an appointment if you are attending any of these events, as we would love to see you.

*Photos courtesy of Shutterstock