GSIE Recruits Students, Discusses Partnerships During Nine-Day Trip to India

Andrew Van Lew (left) and Lindsey Aloia during a student recruitment fair in India.
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Andrew Van Lew (left) and Lindsey Aloia during a student recruitment fair in India.

Two members of the Graduate School and International Education’s leadership team – Lindsey Aloia, associate dean for international education, and Andrew Van Lew, graduate and international recruitment coordinator – traveled for two weeks in February to India. The goal of the trip was twofold. First, Aloia and Van Lew sought to recruit prospective graduate students from India to the U of A. Second, they aimed to form partnerships with educational institutions and organizations.

Aloia and Van Lew traveled to five south Indian cities, namely Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Kochi, Manipal and Coimbatore, as part of a trade mission through the Global Diversity Export Initiative of the U.S. Commercial Service. The U of A was one of 17 institutions traveling to India, where university representatives participated in student recruitment fairs and met with Indian institutions to discuss partnerships for student exchange.

The trip continued the university’s engagement with one of the world’s largest populations of prospective international students. Indian students also currently represent the largest international student population at the U of A.

“One of our goals in the Graduate School and International Education is to recruit top-notch international students to our university. International students enrich the culture of our campus. In addition, we facilitate high-impact research and creative opportunities for international students to impact on our state and world,” Van Lew said. “Not only do Indian students make up the largest population of international students on our campus, but they also provide many of the best. One need only look at how both Bentonville and its Indian population have both grown and flourished together over the past two decades as evidence of the powerful impact Indians have had on our region. This is certainly a relationship we wish to maintain and further cultivate for both our benefits.”

Van Lew and Aloia promoted the U of A to Indian students through country-specific marketing materials, as well as college-specific marketing materials. The trip also provided Aloia and Van Lew the opportunity to engage with specific Indian universities to discuss research collaborations and faculty and student exchange programs.

“The success of our university lies in recruiting the strongest students – students committed to enhancing our communities and building a better world,” Aloia said. “The students we were privileged to meet during our travels were dedicated to personal and professional growth through the transformational opportunities provided at the University of Arkansas. I look forward to welcoming such students to campus to nurture their creativity and encourage their discovery.”

They received “heartfelt welcomes” at their stops during the trip, which included flower garlands, bindis, gourmet food and “countless other forms of traditional Indian hospitality,” Van Lew said.

“At each stop, we typically received campus tours and information sessions on the school,” he continued. “We introduced our university and its selling points, met with school faculty and typically finished with two-to-three-hour long student recruitment fairs.”

Van Lew also noted the motivation, drive and thoughtful questions of Indian students during his interactions.

“One thing that has always impressed me about prospective Indian students is the practical and future-oriented nature of their questions and inquiries,” Van Lew said. “Internships, career outcomes and post-degree employment opportunities drive interest rather than university rankings or flashy, expensive facilities. Students embody the second of Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: ‘Begin with the end in mind.’ I’m confident that some of the several hundred impressive students we met will be roaming the University of Arkansas campus come fall.”

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