A Guide for Universities to Attract International Students

By Published On: May 27, 2024Categories: Content MarketingViews: 57

The competition among universities to attract international students has increased immensely in the post-COVID era. Are you too wondering how to attract international students?

With the demand for global education post-pandemic, now is the perfect time for higher education institutions to revisit and enhance their international student recruitment strategies and processes.

Here are some effective and resource-efficient approaches to boost your institution’s appeal to international students.

1. Foster a Global Culture

One may wonder how to attract international students in India. In this case, it’s essential to showcase your commitment to global education.

This can be done in the following ways:

  • Strategic Partnerships: Forge alliances with international organizations and study abroad programs.
  • Global Branding: Communicate your internationalization goals clearly and position yourself strategically as a global university.

2. Showcase your Institution’s Campus Virtually

Highlighting your institution’s campus advantage is as crucial as showcasing academic excellence. Many international students will not visit the actual campus before enrolling, so providing a virtual sense of the learning environment is vital.

  • Cultural Insights: Share detailed information about local culture, customs, and lifestyle. Most universities dedicate a section of their website to offering insights into relocating, living costs, and local culture.
  • Social Media Showcases: Use social media marketing platforms like Instagram and Facebook to give virtual tours and highlight unique aspects of your campus.

3. Provide Flexible Study Options

Flexible learning options can significantly attract international students by accommodating their diverse needs.

  • Online Courses: Offer online programs that allow students to study from their home countries.
  • Flexible Timetables: Make sure students can balance work and study more effectively, making your institution more appealing to a broader audience.

4. Embrace Work Placements

High-quality work placement opportunities can be a significant draw for international students.

  • Internships and Exchange Programs: Offer exchange programs and internships, enhancing the practical experience of their students. These opportunities make the institution attractive to international students seeking hands-on learning.

5. Create a Supportive Environment

Providing a supportive environment is crucial for the well-being and academic success of international students.

  • Well-being Resources: Develop comprehensive well-being resource hubs that connect students to essential services.
  • Psychological Support: Offer psychological services specifically for international students

Beyond all of this developing a robust marketing strategy to attract international students is essential. Effective international education marketing and study abroad advertising ideas are vital for attracting international students.

Implementing creative study-abroad recruitment strategies can further enhance your institution’s appeal. So here are some of the marketing approaches that will help you answer – how to attract international students to university

Marketing Strategies that will Help you Attract International Students

1. Optimize Your Website

Your website is often the first point of contact for prospective international students, making optimization critical.

  • Multilingual and Market-Specific Sections: Create dedicated sections in different languages and tailored for various markets. Options include top-level folders, subdomains, or micro-sites, each with its benefits depending on your institution’s needs.
  • User-Friendly Design: Ensure your website design is easy to navigate, visually appealing, and rich in content that answers potential students’ queries.

2. Performance Marketing

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be an effective way to reach prospective students globally.

  • Targeted Advertising: Focus on specific markets and demographics, tailoring your messages to different cultures and languages. This targeted approach can help you identify what keywords and messaging resonate best with various audiences.

3. Email Marketing

Email marketing remains a powerful tool for engaging with prospective students.

  • Automated Workflows: Use email automation to manage inquiries efficiently. Personalized workflows can send relevant content based on the prospective student’s actions, such as sending a prospectus after an inquiry.
  • Segmentation and Personalization: Customize your email campaigns to ensure they are relevant and engaging, increasing the likelihood of applications and enrollments.

4. Experience Virtual Arenas

Virtual tours and online events are increasingly important in the recruitment process.

  • Virtual Tours: Offer 360° virtual tours of your campus to give students a sense of the environment from afar. These tours could include time-lapse footage and narratives etc.
  • Virtual Open Days: Host virtual open days and information sessions to reach students who cannot travel to your campus.

5. Video Marketing

Video marketing is an engaging way to communicate with prospective international students.

  • Campus Life Videos: Create videos that showcase campus life, academic programs, and student testimonials. According to Social Media Week, 78% of people watch online videos weekly, making it a powerful medium to reach your audience.
  • Authentic Communication: Use videos to convey your institution’s brand authentically and engagingly, helping students visualize their potential future at your university.


Attracting international students requires a multifaceted approach that fosters a global culture, promotes your location, offers flexible study options, and creates a supportive environment.

Your institution can effectively enhance its international recruitment strategy by optimizing your website, exploring performance marketing campaigns, leveraging email marketing, going virtual, and harnessing video content. Implement these resource-efficient approaches to meet the growing demand for global education and stand out in the competitive higher education landscape.


Implement a robust digital marketing strategy, foster global partnerships, offer flexible study options, and provide strong support services.

The United States attracts the most foreign students, known for its diverse educational offerings and prestigious institutions.

Utilize social media, targeted PPC campaigns, email marketing, and engaging video content to effectively reach and attract international students.

Recent Posts