December 5th, 2014
I arrived in Miami this past Tuesday with Yolinisse Moreno, our Assistant Director of Marketing, for our first AIRC (American International Recruitment Council) Conference on a blustery night and rush hour traffic that made Los Angeles congested freeways pale in comparison. Our full days at the booth and afternoon receptions have left us little time and energy to explore the city. And, another full day on Friday at the booth before our flight back to Los Angeles in the evening means that we will not get to see the sights or taste the flavors of Miami. At least, not this time but perhaps next year, since Miami is AIRC’s designated venue for its annual conference
The goal of AIRC is to focus on the issues of international student recruitment and this conference offers multiple networking opportunities with recruitment professionals from US colleges and universities and private agencies. As the provider of international credential evaluations, ACEI hopes to bring awareness of its services to the AIRCE members and forge new relationships.
Hosting the annual conference on international recruitment in Florida is very appropriate given that according to 2014 IIE Open Doors, the State of Florida ranks #7 amongst the top destinations for study by international students. The institutions with the highest number of international students include the University of Florida (Gainesville), University of Miami (Miami), Florida International University (Miami), University of South Florida (Tampa), Florida State University (Tallahassee). The countries leading with the highest number of students studying in Florida include China, India, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil.
Though the number of attendees is smaller than those of other professional conferences, we find the intimate set up of the exhibit hall and its close proximity to meeting rooms conducive to connecting with college representatives and recruiters. Some of the conference session topics at AIRC include: Beyond the Rankings, Marketing ‘Right Fit’ to Chinese Students, Falsification of Educational Credentials, The Student Perspective-Agent Use and Services, Emerging Markets: Malaysia and Myanmar, to name a few.
In today’s rapidly changing international student landscape, with new emerging markets competing with the U.S. institutions of higher education, ACEI’s flexibility in providing comprehensive evaluations that include additional information to meet the unique needs of a college are seen as a plus. Our take away from the AIRC conference is that several institutions expressed their disappointment in having relied solely on the services a single credential evaluation service provider. They realize that their international students as well as their own institutions benefit by having options in choosing between a select and not one approved evaluation service companies. And, happily for us, they see ACEI as a preferred option.