Ahead of our upcoming agents fairs in Latin America this September, we thought to share some first-hand educator impressions about this market. As you know, successful recruitment of Latin American students has its own peculiarities and subtleties. Are you looking to make your first student recruitment steps in Latin America? Then, it’s good to know what works there best.
In today’s video, our Marketing Director, Renata Lorusso, talks with Jennifer Phillips, Assistant Director at WESLI – Wisconsin English Second Language Institute. WESLI is a small family run language school in Madison, US that chose to explore Latin America last year with ETN Focus Workshops. A year later, the school is reaping the benefits of having Latin American diversity within its student population. Why is it worth the effort recruiting Latin American students?
Watch the video or read the full transcript of Renata’s conversation with Jennifer below:
Renata Lorusso, ETN Focus: You’ve been exploring Latin America as a market for your recruitment goals over the last years. Would you kindly share with us your considerations about the candidates you found and your overall experience on this market?
Jennifer Phillips, WESLI: Yes, we’ve been looking at recruiting in Latin America for the last year pretty strongly. One of our biggest impressions is the overall quality of candidates. The agents and the students that we’ve met in the last year have been really, really good.
One of things I love about going down to Latin America and recruiting there is the warmth and energy that you receive from all the agents, students and their families. That’s one of the things that make the Latin American market a little bit different from other markets.
You feel like you’re a part of a family when you go there and meet with agents and go to their offices. We’ve had a lot more opportunity to have direct connections with students. Going to visit schools and talking to students has been a very positive way for us to try and enter the market and find out a little bit more about it. The students that we’ve had in general really understand what it is that they’re looking for. They’re drawn to quality programs and they want to feel connected. That personal relationship is really important for them. Not that a personal relationship isn’t important on all markets. But I think in Latin America especially meeting with parents and meeting with students and agents, and making those relationships stronger has been really important for us and has worked really well so far.
Renata: Why did you initially go for recruiting in Latin America and how did you start this process?
Jennifer: We’ve always had some students from Latin America just because the owner of our school is from Venezuela and we have some connections there. But in more recent years we’ve seen the number of students, especially from Colombia, increasing coming into the US for their studies. It seems that this is a good market for us. I also think that part of the reasons that we’re really looking at it is that our school, being a family run school, is something that these students are really looking for. They can be really connected with the school and the staff and the teachers.
We started by doing a couple of ETN Focus Workshops in South America. We did the Ecuador and Peru workshops and they were so wonderful that I got back a week later and signed up for Santiago as well. My experience there was really wonderful as well as the quality of agents we met and those connections that we made.
It was so much more than just a 15-20 minute meeting where you do a presentation of your school and move on. Being able to sit down and have lunch with the agents or go visit their offices was a really good experience for us.
For us as a small school it was a nice way to start and there was a lot of support. We don’t have a big recruitment team. It’s just me doing everything, so I really appreciated that sort of connection.
Renata: In your opinion and from your experience, what is the most effective way to recruit students from Latin America?
Jennifer: The most effective way to recruit in Latin America is all about making those connections and relationships. Going down and meeting the students, visiting their schools, visiting the agents in their offices and making connections. I think more than anywhere else just being there, on the ground, and meeting them is so, so important.
Explore Latin America this September with ETN Focus Workshops and diversify your student body in 4 strategic locations:
11-12 September Santiago, CHILE
14-15 September Lima, PERU
18-19 September Quito, ECUADOR
21-22 September Mexico City, MEXICO
If you wish to receive more information about these events, secure your place via the button below. A member of our dedicated team will get back in touch with you to tell you more about the agencies attending, discuss your individual needs and make a personalised offer:
Or simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions about Latin American markets and we will be happy to help!