Consultation for New Tour Members
To help your university understand the international student market and to improve your preparation for the tour, Linden requires a one-day, on-campus consultation for colleges and universities participating in their first Linden Tour. The agenda for the consultation, which is conducted by a member of the Linden Advisory Committee, is customized for each participant. In some cases, the itinerary is reviewed in detail to prepare you for all of the "windows of opportunity" that will present themselves. Other consultations involve the broader university community so the institution has realistic expectations about your recruitment efforts. The agenda is discussed with you in advance so the consultant can make the best use of his/her day on your campus.
Linden covers the cost of the consultant for universities participating in their first Linden Tour, but the university is expected to cover travel costs associated with the visit. You will be contacted shortly after selection regarding the necessary arrangements. In some instances, the Advisory Committee requires a consultation for new tour members from universities which have participated on previous tours. This is most often the case when the new tour member is not yet an experienced professional in international admissions. In these cases, the university is expected to cover the travel costs and pay the consultant his/her fee of $500.
Briefings by US Embassy officials and/or meetings with educational advisers are provided in each city on the tour. These briefings help you to remain current with political, economic and social conditions, and educational trends. Many Linden Tour members use the information gained at these briefings to determine their future recruitment strategy. Attendance at briefings is expected of all tour members. Think in advance about questions you will want to ask the speakers.
Introductory and Review Meetings
Every Linden Tour begins with an Introductory Meeting and ends with a Tour Review. The Introductory Meeting is a time for tour members to get acquainted and for the tour leader to review all of the scheduled activities. The Tour Review Meeting is an opportunity for participants to provide feedback to Linden, and to discuss improvements for subsequent tours. Attendance at both meetings is expected of all tour members.
Overseas Counselor Events
Success in international recruitment often depends upon an endorsement by an alumnus or the recommendation of a counselor. The importance of a local person confirming the value of your institution or the degree program cannot be overestimated. To build and strengthen relationships between the tour members and overseas educational advisers, guidance counselors, educational consultants and government officials, Linden arranges breakfasts, workshops and conferences to discuss current trends in US higher education and to exchange information with overseas contacts. Your tour leader will provide information about the events scheduled for your tour.
To facilitate international students' understanding of the US system of higher education, guidance counselors often request Linden Tour members to give presentations to prospective students during a school visit. The topics may include How to Select a US University, The Application Process, or What 10th and 11th Graders Should be Doing Now. Most presentations are scheduled in advance, and tour members volunteer to be presenters. For more information, see: Presentations.
In most cities, you will have the opportunity to visit local secondary schools, universities, placement agencies, advising centers, and English language centers. Our goal is to facilitate interaction with administrators and/or students in their local environment. These visits are entirely optional. Some tour members set a high priority on making personal contact with individuals who influence student choice, while others elect to schedule independent activities at that time.
As with school visits in the United States, the success of the visits will vary. The formats include meetings with the counselor, a presentation to students, and/or a college fair during the students' lunch hour. The number of students also varies, from none to over 200. The available visit choices are listed on the itinerary and information about past visits is provided in the school visit information section for each city.
The US University Fair is THE major event in each city for meeting prospective students. The fairs give students and parents an opportunity to learn about the US system of education, and enable tour members to talk to students about the academic programs and student services available on their campuses. Fairs are publicized through flyers, programs, posters, email messages and newspaper advertisements. The public is invited to attend free of charge.
Physical Layout of the Fair
The University Fair usually takes place in a hotel ballroom. University representatives are seated at tables around the room in alphabetical order by institution. As students arrive, they receive a copy of the tour brochure listing basic information on each of the institutions on the tour. In some cities, attendance at the first hour of the fair may be restricted to undergraduate students or certain high schools in the area.
At your table, you should have:
At the fairs, we follow the NACAC guidelines of giving students only information, so please do not bring T-shirts, candy, or other give-aways for students.
Additionally, it is really important to remember to stand behind your table at all times so as not to enter into your colleague’s space. For a complete list of the guidelines, please go to the NACAC site.
Registration of Students
At all of the Linden University Fairs, students will be required to register before entering the fair. In exchange for completing a short information card, students receive a name badge and a registration number. Tour members simply need to note the students' registration numbers, which are then cross-referenced on a master list of all registered students following the fair. The registration process enables representatives to focus on more meaningful conversations during the fairs, rather than spending students' time completing inquiry cards. Data is shared with tour members approximately two weeks after our return. Please note that this procedure may not apply to University Fairs co-sponsored with other organizations (e.g. IIE, IEF, CIE, etc.).
Power Point Presentation
A Linden-produced power point presentation is generally shown during the first hour of the Linden U.S. University Fairs. This presentation explains the Linden Tour, outlines the U.S. system of education, provides information on choosing a university, applying to universities and visa procedures. It is designed for international students and is used to prepare students to make the best use of their time at the Fairs.
Working with Alumni
Working with alumni (and meeting with the parents of current students) is personally rewarding and a very effective international recruitment tool. In fact, students are often your best recruiters. Alumni are excellent models of people who have traveled to the United States, graduated, and returned to their home countries. Not only can they answer questions about the academic programs, they can talk about other issues of concern to students, such as safety, food, racism, dating, and money, based on their own experience. Most alumni love being reconnected with someone from their alma mater and like to recommend other students.
Helpful Hints for Working with Alumni
After the tour, a detailed report describing the tour, a list of the schools and colleges visited, and the number of students seen at each event will be posted on the Linden website. You will also receive the names and addresses of the counselors and government officials contacted during the tour.
Evaluating the Tour
We value your opinions and feedback about each tour. Every year, we respond to specific suggestions from our participants, and identify new ways to improve our programs. A written evaluation form is distributed at the beginning of the tour so you may share your ideas, opinions and comments as the tour progresses. The evaluation form is collected at the Tour Review Meeting, where we also discuss specific issues and recommendations that have been identified during the tour. Tour members' comments are always welcome and encouraged.