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08.15.19

3 Media Tips for Targeting International Students for Your University

Tom Koeller

International students make up an important part of the culture and academics at your school. They also have hundreds (and maybe thousands) of options when it comes to choosing a school in the United States.

With such a competitive higher education landscape, how can you ensure that you’re targeting the international students most likely to choose your school?

1. Promote Your Comprehensive Online Resources

International students have a wealth of information at their fingertips when it comes to deciding on a college. Put money in high-funnel tactics (like paid search or helpful content) to be present when they are doing research. Use your engaging and intuitive website, along with paid digital efforts to provide the answers they are searching for right when they start their college-decision process.

2. Market Your School’s Strengths

Knowing your school’s strengths is a good place to start when it comes to enticing international students to choose your university. It’s important to flaunt what sets you apart when targeting potential international students. Create a media campaign around what your university provides that can set up international students for academic and social success at your school. These can be things such as plans to graduate in three-and-a-half years, graduate enrollment, on-campus employment, tuition freeze, etc.

3. Implement Retargeting Based on Program Interest

Once students are interested, it’s time to get more specific. Based on pages visited, show the potential students creative inspired by the specific programs that your school offers. If a student has shown clear interest in a particular program, you can share success stories of the program’s past alumni. If possible, you can even put them in touch with a potential advisor to help educate them on what they can expect by attending. Keep in contact through the application process using marketing and outreach.


When it comes to using your paid media to target potential international students, it’s important to remember they have different priorities compared to many domestic students. But if you address those priorities and provide an ad experience that is helpful in an international student’s college search, the results will serve your school well.

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