The 2015-2016 school year is a record year for international student enrollment at Huntington University. There are a total of 47 international students representing 24 different countries. Of those, 23 students are new this year.
International students are considered to be any student coming from outside the United States. They may be students with international citizenship or students who are U.S. citizens living abroad.
International students help “broaden the worldview of our entire campus community,” says Daniel Solms (right), vice president for enrollment management & marketing. “Engaging with students from Europe, Asia, South America, etc. allows our students, as well as faculty and staff, to better understand the world we live in, helping us to become better at relating to others and assisting with world concerns.”
Shoshannah McKinney (right), as the international admissions counselor for the past three years, carries specific responsibility for international recruitment. Previously, international admissions was absorbed by other admissions counselors; no one person was focused on recruiting and supporting those students. “My sole region or territory is focused on international students, so I can give those prospective students a lot more focus and attention and walk them through the process, which is much different than that of a domestic student.”
During the past three years, she has seen a steady enrollment rise from 37 to the current 47 international students. She works part-time in that role, while also serving as associate director of the Institute for TESOL Studies.
Huntington University has gained international students through athletic recruitment, word-of-mouth from alumni, and the HU website. HU has also had a focused recruitment effort in China for the past three years, capitalizing on HU’s existing partnerships with schools and individuals in China, and on McKinney’s own experience living in China.
There were no Chinese student at HU during the 2011-2012 academic year, and hadn’t been any for several years. But over the past three years, HU has had:
- 8 fulltime Chinese students.
- 22 Chinese university students.
- 12 Chinese high school students visit HU for one month during January Term.
To better serve these students, HU expanded the international orientation program. They started an international mentor program and are exploring ways for students to practice English.
This year’s new Intensive English Program will enable HU to accept students who need additional tutoring and support with the English language before they begin their classes.
Having this international population, says McKinney, “brings the world to HU in a sense and allows our domestic students, faculty and staff a cross-cultural experience right here. This better prepares them to go into the world to be all things to all people and to be loving and compassionate representatives of Christ.”