Greenville University doubled its enrollment of international students this fall, welcoming its largest incoming class of international students to date.
NAFSA: Association of International Educators reported a 10 percent drop in international student enrollment at the college level over 2017 and 2018. Contributing factors include fewer visa approvals, stricter scrutiny on immigration, and a lowered confidence overseas of safety in the U.S.
Despite these obstacles, GU’s international enrollment is growing. GU’s Dean of International Affairs Dr. Geet Vanaik (pictured above) credits innovative design in enrollment and student support processes for this robust growth.
“This is a campus that’s excited about international students,” said Dr. Vanaik.
Vanaik designed GU’s Office of International Affairs to address many of the obstacles students face in coming to a U.S. university.
GU’s user-friendly international admissions process guides students through the steps leading to enrollment, visa application, and immigration.
Personalized communication with GU staff puts families at ease about sending their sons and daughters abroad.
On campus, international students enjoy 24/7 staff support to ease cultural transitions, assist with problems, and prevent feelings of isolation.
Office of International Affairs staff cross-train one another on job functions so illness and vacation won’t interrupt office services.
Students are supported academically by the International Affairs staff through organized study groups and early intervention for poor grades.
A semester-long University 101 international course sets students up for success by introducing them to U.S. culture and Greenville University.
Vanaik believes such personalized care for students will allow GU’s international program to grow, regardless of national trends. She foresees 2019’s triumph as the start of a prosperous era in GU’s Office of International Affairs.