The road home: Orientation 2019 at INTO’s American partner universities

INTO Hofstra University’s inaugural class of more than 120 students from 13 countries

Over the past month, some 2,500 students from around the world commenced their studies at INTO’s 12 university partners in the United States.  Understanding the anxieties that accompany this journey, faculty and staff across INTO’s U.S. university partners and their respective INTO centers deploy a combination of pre-arrival communications, carefully curated orientation sessions, and online applications to familiarize students with their new university communities.  The result: a high-touch orientation experience that provides students a launchpad for a successful academic career.

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Symbiotic partnership: Supporting university mission through comprehensive internationalization

Following the second annual P3 – EDU Conference, hosted at George Mason University this past May, former GMU President Angel Cabrera posited that “the private sector holds the key to solving many of the challenges public and non-profit universities face.”  The success of such partnerships, he pointed out, depends on private sector parties’ capacity to support their higher education partners’ strategic goals, prioritize student experience, and protect an institution’s academic integrity and reputation.

Student success and campus enrichment lie at the heart of every INTO university partnership.  From our first with the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom to our most recent with Hofstra University in New York, each of our partnerships is predicated on supporting the university’s mission through comprehensive internationalization.  Collaborative initiatives led jointly by INTO Center staff and their university colleagues at GMU, Colorado State University (CSU), and Drew University exemplify the symbiosis INTO shares with its partners.

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When one size does not fit all: Tailoring student experience at INTO’s student services conference

Student experience matters.  When international students feel welcome and supported across all dimensions of their life at university, they contribute positively to their new communities and graduate at higher rates.

INTO’s 22 university partnerships deliver exceptional student experiences to students from around the world.  In fact, 92% of international students across INTO’s 12 university partners in the United States indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their experience in and out of the classroom in the INTO University Partnerships 2019 Annual Student Survey. 

In mid-July, alongside INTO’s academic directors’ conference, the student services teams that drive these incredible results convened at Saint Louis University for their own student services conference.  There, they shared best practices for student care and some of the dynamic co-curricular initiatives they have launched on their respective campuses to promote student success in tandem with academic faculty.

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Partnering for student success: Teaching and learning innovations at the INTO academic directors’ conference

INTO academic and student services faculty gathered at Saint Louis University.

While it is critical to grow international student enrollments in INTO’s university partnerships, it is equally important to retain those international students in degree programs, support their academic success, and ensure their timely graduation.  This is the complex task that academic faculty across INTO’s 12 university partnerships in the United States addressed over three days at the annual INTO academic directors’ conference at Saint Louis University (SLU).

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Do US Party Politics Matter to International Students?

Recently, some colleagues asked us whether there was any relationship between the political affiliation/control of states in the US and their success in attracting international students.  Armed with Gallup’s state political affiliation analysis, we had a look.

Gallup identifies five categories: Strong Republican, Lean Republican, Competitive, Strong Democratic and Lean Democratic.  Using those definitions we overlaid IPEDS data to identify the number of international students and the extent to which those enrollments have grown or declined between Fall 2015 and Fall 2017.[1]

In the maps below, the size of the bubble indicates the relative size of the international student population in the State and the color is aligned with Gallup’s definition of political affiliation.

So what are the findings?

  1. International students enroll everywhere but of the top ten most popular state destinations, six are either strong or lean Democratic,  three are designated as competitive (Texas, Ohio and Florida) and one, Indiana is designated as Lean Republican. This does not imply any particular political affiliation amongst students.   States with strong Democratic leanings are home to large urban centers with big concentrations of universities, including many of the Nation’s best known and highly ranked.  These large urban centers are also home to multiple language schools, large community colleges and generally offer strong employment opportunities.
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Global agent poll – a crystal ball for international education?

SEVIS, IIE, HESA, the OECD and Open Doors are useful tools for helping us understand the global distribution of students – and for establishing long term trends.  But they are not crystal balls.  INTO’s latest recruitment agent survey which polled more than 1800 counsellors across the world produces revealing insights into their assessment for future student enrollments in key destination countries. The survey, conducted in April 2019,  includes almost 500 responses from China, traditionally a blackspot for global polls of this nature – and making it the most authoritative China agent insight survey ever conducted.

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SEVIS 2019: How changing international student enrollment patterns affect some states more than others (Part Two)

The dip in international student numbers in the United States captured in the latest data from the Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is unsettling. A 3.1% decline in the number of international students in the US between December 2017 and December 2018 accelerates the 0.5% recorded in the SEVIS data from 2017.

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SEVIS 2019: Language training, associate degrees, and considerations of distortion (Part One)

The United States Department of Homeland Security recently released quarterly data from the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) that revealed a 3.1% drop in the number of foreign students in the US—the difference between 1.21 million in December 2017 to 1.17 million in December 2018—sparking widespread concern throughout the international education field. The data confirms that nine of the 10 countries that send the highest volumes of international students to the US registered fewer numbers of student visa-holders in 2018 than they did in 2017. Additionally, it shows drops in all but six states’ share of the total international student population.

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