Strategies to Improve International Alumni Engagement

June 13, 2017 Kathy Edersheim

Hello World! Markets are global, education is global, and so alumni relations should be global. While most institutions have the majority of their alumni clustered close to campus or within their home country, there is a rapidly growing population of “international alumni” – graduates who returned home from studying abroad or graduates who are working outside their home country. Educational institutions and the alumni relations team might consider paying special attention to this group as they are likely to be innovators and connectors. After all, they took the initiate to travel overseas either for education or for work opportunities. Also, anecdotally, it seems that alumni farther away from campus are often the ones most intent on staying connected to the institution and other alumni. For alumni based far from home or even from their recent school, the alumni community provides a ready-made social group that has shared values and, possibly, helpful connections. A robust alumni network with engaging programs can create a very appreciative alum with a strong bond back to the school. How do you foster that international network and the stronger alumni community farther from campus? It needs to be a collaborative effort of the school and the alumni to ensure that international alumni have the support and the sense of connection that makes for the mutually beneficial lifelong relationship. Please share your strategies for international alumni engagement. I will be sharing mine in an Academic Impressions webinar on October 17. (And these ideas can be useful for international exchange programs as well.)

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