International student guide to taking that leap overseas
OTM Intern, Lauren Tucker is working with OTM over her summer break from a four year degree in the USA. Being an international student in a foreign country can be exciting, it can also be daunting though. Lauren shares a few insights with us on how she sourced her information before jumping on the plane…it truly is an online world and as marketers we need to make sure we know how our audiences are finding their information! In this case, if you’re marketing to international students, you absolutely MUST be active and effective online…that means SEO, social media and digital marketing on the channels they use and with content they want (think video, photos, stories and more). Anyway, enough from me, here is Lauren’s account:
Not physically visiting my current university before signing a contract was a massive risk. In fact, Google was one of two ways that I knew about Burlington, Vermont USA. The other way was word of mouth from my hockey coach. To be perfectly honest, Google was all I needed. I found out absolutely everything that I needed to know about the University of Vermont and their academics, clubs and campus. The array of Google images set the scene of the beautiful city and university facilities. I knew exactly what the buildings and surroundings were like but it was hard to catch a glimpse of the people. That is when my coach became involved. Having a point of contact helped the process enormously and gave me great insight into my coaches, teammates and fellow athletes. Google is the greatest resource, however, not the only one that should be used.
Throughout the choosing process there were many locations in the United States that caught my eye. East Coast was always a priority to me. I wanted to experience a completely different surrounding to Australia. The cold and snowy winters definitely surprised me but thankfully I was able to adapt quickly. Before departing for Burlington, I noticed an online ranking article displaying the United States’ most beautiful cities. To my surprise Burlington was right up there. I initially had no idea how different Burlington was from other cities. Again, Google provided me with an excellent idea.
The most important thing about moving overseas is being open minded. Being willing to try everything and not being afraid to fail. When I’m overseas I feel like I have absolutely nothing to lose. I truly believe in making the most of every opportunity. I always remind myself when I’m in boring or hard situations, ‘it’s what you make of it.’ If you aren’t enjoying something, or somewhere I would say, ‘you’re not trying hard enough.’ Grab things by your hand and take them under your wing. I travelled half way across the world to start a 4-year degree and play division 1 field hockey at a university I have never been to. What’s the worst that could happen?