Open Doors Report 2013, Boosting a Facebook Post, International Students Exempt from the Individual Mandate Under the ACA
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Tuesday November 12th, 2013 - Issue #26
International Education News

Happy International Education Week! This is a big week around here, with the 2013 Open Doors Report released yesterday, the culmination of our annual Travel Video Contest with the winners' announcement on Friday, and the conclusion of our whirlwind NAFSA regional tour this week in Pittsburgh.

It has been a great year and it was nice seeing you at all of the NAFSA regionals. We will have all of our presentations up live on our site so check out our Shaking the Money Tree, Keeping International Students Healthy and Web Presence: Beyond the School Website presentations online and feel free to share with your colleagues. Thanks again, and we wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

The Envisage International Team

Envisage International News

The Institute of International Education released its annual Open Doors Report yesterday, showing a 7% increase in the number of international students in the USA - 55,000 more students than last year - to an all-time high of 819,644. We look forward to really digging into the latest data, but a couple of things jump out. While China and India continue to be the two largest senders of students to the US, large increases came from countries with 1) a high-growth economy and 2) significant home government scholarship programs. China solidified its position as the top sending country with a 21.4% increase over last year and a large lead over the second-place India. Brazil, a high growth country that has also rolled out a significant scholarship program, saw an increase of 20.4% international students compared to last year. Other home government programs are impacting the landscape of international higher education as evidenced by Saudi Arabia's increase at 30.5% and Kuwait's increase of 37.4%.

For more discussion of the 2013 Open Doors Report, visit our blog.

International Financial Aid

Regardless of the financial resources available to international students at your institution, there are a number of resources in your own backyard that can help provide support to your student population. A growing number of schools are looking at their community to see what support they can coordinate; many of them are developing scholarship programs, creating emergency funds, and forging relationships that could lead to off-campus employment opportunities. Looking at your community and building relationships should be part of your funding arsenal when it comes to helping your international students. Check out our recent blog on the top 5 stakeholders that can help your international students and learn more about the benefits.

Online Marketing

For schools looking to increase their international enrollment, boosting Facebook posts can be an effective way to increase your Facebook presence to a much larger audience than your existing likes. This newer offering from Facebook, like their ads, allows you to target your post based on a lot of variables such as age, location and your budget - a recruiter's dream! This can be a very cost effective way to get your message and brand out there as well as grow your reach and engage with your fans.

Take a look at our blog to learn more and to see how Sarah Heminger from Study Western Mass has seen success boosting posts.

International Student Insurance

There's been a lot of confusion surrounding the Affordable Care Act and how the individual mandate will apply to international students. Fortunately, the IRS has recently released new info clarifying that international students (on F, J, M and Q visas) are exempt from the individual mandate during their first five years in the US. This means that international students are free to choose an international student insurance plan that is custom-built to meet their needs, and not be forced into a more expensive but inappropriate coverage option.

Although international students may be eligible for plans on the state exchanges, the exchanges won't include benefits that international students should have, like emergency medical evacuation, repatriation of remains, language support, international claims support, bedside visitation and other benefits that are standard in a an international plan. International students will still need to meet the US Department of State (J visa) insurance regulations and their school's insurance minimums.

For the full analysis on the individual mandate and international students, please read our blog.

Technical Talk

One of the recent improvements we've made to our network of sites is to decrease the amount of time between when a site visitor clicks on a link to us and when the page is rendered and displayed on their browser. There are many factors involved in optimizing web traffic and one of the easiest and most comprehensive tools we've started using is the PageSpeed module from Google.

Read more about how we optimized our network.

Upcoming Industry Events
  • NAFSA Region VIII - November 13-16, Pittsburgh, PA
  • ICEF North America - December 9-11, Miami, FL
Contact us and schedule an appointment if you are attending any of these events, as we would love to see you.
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