Updated: Aug 19, 2018
So your school has embarked on the International Student Horizon and you are looking to attract as many international students as you can to your wonderful school. How does your school stand out from the rest? How do you sell the concept of your offerings in an ever increasing competitive market? What are students and families looking for in a school? What is your point of difference?
Wait a minute…
Before we launch ourselves onto the International Market we need to ensure we have systems in place to cater for those potential clients. Yes, of course the legal process and pastoral care code is in place, but before we can truly make genuine offerings we need to have the buy in of our host community, our teachers and our host families. We need to ensure we have had the training required to be good hosts. We need to ensure we have the buy in of all those teachers who will be at the coal face- the ones who day in and day out will be implementing the change, dealing with the issues head on and providing the service we need to deliver. In other words, we need to create the desire to welcome International Students into our school communities.
‘Sell’ the Benefits
Our students pay dearly to come to our country and we need to provide not just educational programmes but programmes that help them to cross the cultural divide, programmes that assist with culture shock and programmes that put student experience at the forefront. We also need to ensure our host community that the international student market will not have a detrimental affect on their own child’s learning- that teachers will not be spread even further with more expectations to be acceptable for those who ‘pay’ as opposed to those who do not.
Question Your Motives
It is tempting when schools embark on this journey, to have one predominant objective in mind- to use the international money to improve the resources of the school. Hang on a minute…our international students deserve to see the money they’ve paid put into their
education, teacher education, along with support and experience services. This is what will set your school apart from the rest. Motivate your teachers so they feel supported, by ensuring they are trained to cope with the new international student in their classroom.
This in turn will grow your international market beyond what you had ever dreamed of and your school will see the benefits of this amazing global experience.
Set the bar high and schools will rise to it. What is your point of difference? Quality educational opportunities supported by educational expertise in the international education market.