Are all international students turning away from American schools?

We know that recruiting international students has become one of the biggest challenges for US based schools, especially for ESL programs. Recent studies show a  40% drop in new international student enrollment, and nearly 70% of recruiters are saying their job has become more difficult.

Political turmoil in the US is turning away students from the traditional international student markets like China and the Middle East. Students are concerned about what conditions will meet them as news spreads about their peers feeling unwelcome and unsafe, even on their school campuses. With this shift, admissions officers know that recruiting from Latin America is the strategic move that will keep their enrollment numbers up though 2020.

Although students from Asia and the Middle East are being lured by more politically friendly and geographically accessible countries like Australia, New Zealand, and Germany, the US remains the top choice for students from Latin American countries due to a variety of reasons:

Latin America’s proximity to the US and strong economic trade relations, means that American cultural influence is stronger in the region than any other continent.

In Latin America, 80% of employers prefer to hire workers with strong English skills and international experience, making study abroad in the US very attractive if not a necessity.

English is not an official language in any LatAm country, unlike in Southeast Asia (the Philippines, Singapore, India, Pakistan), creating an acute demand for ESL programs.

In countries like Colombia, one of our largest markets, the government has committed more spending on education than on military, creating a population that is eager to further their education. Demand for high quality programs is outpacing what is offered in the country, pushing students to opt for US programs where they can improve their language skills and gain international experience at the same time.


So what does it take to start effectively recruiting from Latin America?

Step 1 – Find the right students. The Intercambio Student Matchmaker Quiz helps schools easily identify qualified leads for their programs by providing 21 key data points on each student via the pre-application quiz.

Step 2 -Build rapport. Admissions officers can gain insight into their leads via the answers to the 21 questions covering academic, financial, and testing requirements, allowing them to engage in a meaningful conversation and make a strong first impression.

Is your school experiencing the decline in international students? Try Intercambio today to start recruiting from Latin America.