Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Are you listening?

I'm very pleased to present this guest post by Nicolle Merrill from Global Campus.  I've gotten to know Nicolle via various social media networks and I'm a big fan of what she is doing in the field of international education.  Here is Nicolle's post:

"Join the conversation” has been shouted from the virtual rooftops of thought leaders, bloggers and online communities throughout the social media landscape. Facebook tells us to stay connected. Twitter asks us what we’re doing. LinkedIn tells us relationships matter.

If you’re reading this, you already know social media is a hot topic in US higher education. Recently, I came across a brilliant find on mycollegeguide.com: a list of over 200 universities and colleges using Twitter and Facebook. While comprehensive, the focus is mainly on domestic outreach for US universities and colleges with no representation from institutions abroad. The list left me wondering, where is the conversation for international higher education?

The upcoming NAFSA (#nafsa10) annual conference will feature two workshops on social media use in international education. If previous higher education conferences in the past year are any indication, many will be attending these sessions.  It would be beneficial to those of us in international higher education to start the discussion before we get to NAFSA.

The best way to learn about social media is to observe others in your field. Twitter and Facebook are different tools with different audiences. As we grow to understand social media and its uses for international education, we should be paying attention and “listening” to each other.

In an effort to jumpstart the social media for international higher education, I’ve started a list. Using Google, Twitter and Facebook targeted searches, I found 53 schools with international departments on Facebook and 32 on Twitter. Many departments on the two lists are international admissions, though some are International Student and Scholars Services, international programs and study abroad. Some of these institutions are located outside of the US. Searching for international departments on social networking sites is challenging. Organizational structures and communication responsibilities vary by institution and often international outreach takes place on a single Facebook or Twitter account. However, as this list shows, some international departments have branched out on their own.

Check out this list. See what others in international education are doing. How do their social media activities compare to yours?

Not on this list? Leave a comment below with your university’s international social media accounts (Twitter and/or Facebook) and we’ll add it to a list to share with the international higher education community.
International departments and programs on Facebook:

International offices and programs on Twitter:

Nicolle Merrill helps universities and colleges run global online recruiting campaigns on GlobalCampus. She spends a ridiculous amount of time running two Twitter accounts, @pdxnicolle and @GlobalCampus, and loves #hashtags.

Photo credit: webtreats


  1. When you say international departments and programs, I'm not sure if you're only focusing on international student offices or also on study abroad, but here are all the social media pages for our different areas:

    Miami University Study Abroad:

    Miami University International Students and Scholars:

  2. Hello!

    The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has Facebook and twitter as well


    (Or Search 'Illinois Study Abroad')


  3. Hi,
    Penn State Altoona's Office of Education Abroad also uses Facebook and Twitter.



    Nice list!!

    There are also some great resources people could use too that have great information. But maybe that is another post!!

  4. The European Humanities University's Facebook page can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=185092199681#!/pages/Vilnius-Lithuania/European-Humanities-University/113200808699040?ref=ts.

    Thanks for the great article!

  5. The European Humanities University's Facebook page can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=185092199681#!/pages/Vilnius-Lithuania/European-Humanities-University/113200808699040?ref=ts

    Thanks for the great article!

  6. Greetings,

    EducationUSA has great social media options to help promote your institutions.

    Accredited U.S. higher education institutions can showcase their campuses to over 400 EducationUSA advising centers in 170 countries
    each week through the EdUSA Weekly Update.

    -- Twitter: U.S. institutions can submit Weekly Update twitter content online. Request a free log in via www.educationusa.info/secure/login.php (Sample: http://twitter.com/edUSAUpdates)

    -- Facebook: U.S. colleges and universities can
    connect to EducationUSA Advisers through www.facebook.com/EducationUSA. If your institution has a Facebook Page or Group for your prospective or admitted international students or alumni, link it to EducationUSA!

    See you at NAFSA!