In recent years, colleges and universities around the United States have started to aggressively recruit international students. Auburn University Montgomery is part of this growing trend and values these students for the diversity and economic benefits they provide.
Investing in international recruitment allows AUM to market its academic programs, scholarship incentives, and campus culture to an international audience. Traditional recruitment strategies such as event-based overseas recruitment trips involve direct interaction with potential students. On-site recruitment fairs permit the Office of Global Initiatives (OGI) to promote AUM’s unique advantages such as its more than 90 academic programs, 60-plus student clubs and organizations, and a College of Business ranked in the top 1% in the world. AUM’s affordability, small class sizes, and supportive campus environment are also emphasized.
In 2016, the OGI sponsored on-site recruitment efforts to Mexico, Colombia, Ghana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Malaysia. OGI staff represented AUM in Mexico and Colombia during the summer months. In June, Dr. Denise Davis-Maye traveled to Ghana to visit Ashesi University and KNUST (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology). She also visited EducationUSA offices in Acra and Kumasi. In Kumasi, she gave four presentations on AUM programs to prospective students interested in studying abroad. Dr. George Schaefer and Dr. Cornell Foo traveled to Trinidad and Tobago in November. As part of activities there, Drs. Schaefer and Foo promoted AUM’s programs, including the College of Education’s kinesiology program. In Malaysia, the OGI depended on its local contracting agencies to market AUM.
Virtual college fairs are a recruitment tool that allows AUM to use traditional college fair presentations but in a forum that reaches a more diverse audience. During 2016, OGI staff members Gokhan Alkanat, Kristin Brymer, and Emily Shimaz, tag-teamed three virtual fairs as they talked in real- time with students from around the globe.
AUM is uniquely positioned to serve international students. AUM’s undergraduate and graduate programs continue to develop. Professors and staff go above and beyond to help our international student population succeed. AUM’s domestic students are reaching out to befriend and support this special group. The OGI fully expects that AUM’s opportunities to educate and serve international students will continue to grow in the next several years.
Story and Photo: Julie Berube
Pictured: Gokhan Alkanat, Kristin Brymer, and Emily Shimaz