Key Factors Influencing Students’ Decision To Study Abroad

Student Study Abroad Decision

Education Agents who have been relying on a single marketing strategy to appeal to international students looking to study abroad need to rethink their approach.

A report, based on a survey of 35,000 students from 94 countries, indicates that your marketing approach should appeal to the actual motives of students in the regions you operate.

The ideas discussed in this blog is for the most part based on a survey conducted in 2015 by student fair organisers FPP EDU Media and digital marketing firm International Education Advantage (Intead).

Students’ views about what are the best places to study abroad are shaped by several factors. So it is important for Education Agents to pin down causes that have a greater say in their study abroad decisions.

Such insights help you utilize your marketing budget more wisely and effectively.

Who Your Prospects Prefer Most For Study Abroad Advice

It is unwise to judge a book by its cover. But it turns out students do tend to evaluate advice based on who is giving it.

The study found that students from South American countries rely on Admissions Representatives from partner institutions.

Asian students, on the other hand, trust local Education Agents who are more connected to their community lingually, geographically and culturally, more than ‘foreign’ representatives.

Advice from Fellow Students enrolled in universities in the destination countries also heavily influence prospective Asian students.

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Tips: In each of these countries, Education Agencies must find ways to engage people who students trust more as much as possible. For example, in Asia, where prospects trust fellow students more, Agents should make generous use of student testimonials for effective marketing.

Influencing Students Decision
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Have Your Prospect’s Traveled Abroad

Of all your prospects, always make sure to give top priority to those who have traveled abroad. Abroad visit is one of those things that leaves people feeling ‘once is not enough’.

Since these students come with a very strong motivation to go abroad, they are your “most promising targets.” As per the report, 74% of students said their desire to study abroad was influenced by their experience of having travelled to other countries.

Just as store workers are taught to pay more attention to shoppers with shopping bags in hand, your counselors would do well to give more priority to students who have previously travelled abroad, the report’s authors note.

Tips: You can find whether a prospect has traveled abroad by putting a related question in the forms that you ask them to fill out. You can also get them to like your social media page and be friends with them. That will allow you to check out their posts, where they are likely to share experiences and prominently display snaps from their travels.

What Are Your Prospect’s Personal Goals

Find out what motivates your prospects at a deeper level. Categorize them based on their personal goals and then tailor your marketing strategy accordingly. Broadly, students are likely to fall under three categories: Idealist, Realist and Free Spirit.

Tips: You can target Idealists with messages like: “Let your research save the environment.” To attract a Realist, your campaign should use lines like: “Get a degree that will lead to a well-paying career.” A Free Spirit, on the other hand, would be drawn to your call if it says something like: “A qualification that will open doors to a global career.”

Who Is The Decision-maker

All businesses know why it is important to treat decision-makers with a certain respect. The study found that prospects worldwide want to be addressed as decision makers.

Tips: When planning your marketing, focus on crafting messages that directly addresses the prospects rather than their parents. For example, your advertisement shouldn’t say: “Want to help your children earn an International Degree?” Make sure that your ad speaks directly to the students: “Want to earn an International Degree?” It is important for your counselors to make students feel important and provide all the necessary information to them and not hold back any information until they bring their parents.