Attracting international students means speaking their language

Every consumer brand from Amazon to Ikea knows that people prefer buying in their own language. It’s no different for international students and their parents looking for the right university abroad.

The cost of university tuition has sky-rocketed in North America and beyond – in some places you can buy a modest house for the price of a four-year college education. This trend hits international students even harder since they pay full tuition and spend big on housing away from home. In 2014-2015, international students contributed more than $30 billion to the US economy. With research showing the benefits of global perspectives for domestic students, it’s no wonder universities are trying to attract students from all over the world. Speaking to them in their language can certainly help.

The status quo

The three sources that international students most often rely on for important information about overseas universities are:

  • Wikipedia or similar encyclopedia pages
  • University/college review sites
  • Google Translate

None of these options are ideal for either party since universities have no control over the content, and students may receive outdated and false information. As for Google Translate, it’s unlikely that an awkward translation – that sounds unprofessional at best, comical at worst – will persuade anyone to commit tens of thousands of dollars.

Benefits of translated support

As a former international student, I’ve been through it all. From figuring out which universities offered which courses and why one college was better than another, to persuading my parents that Boston was the place to be, all the way to explaining essential monetary and logistics information to them – I know the frustration and uncertainty well, especially when I wasn’t 100% sure about the details myself.

That unsettling feeling could have easily been overcome with a brochure or webpage in Chinese. Questions and doubts would have been resolved earlier, and my parents would have felt a sense of trust during the research process. The value translation adds to the institution’s image in the prospective student and family’s eyes is incalculable because even if the student is proficient in English, their parents may not be. And let’s face it – they’re the ones advising their children to study abroad, helping them choose between schools and – most importantly – paying the tuition.

Higher ed calling

The familiarity of the native language connects the most mission-critical information to the decision makers. Translated content also has the added benefit of higher SEO rankings, which gives the university higher visibility overseas. Supertext works with renowned universities in the US and abroad to help build a good international reputation and increase enrollment. With high-quality translations that resonate with an academic audience. Students from all over the world are filling out applications for colleges as we speak – the best time to start translating is now!

Image via Pexels (CC0)

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