Blog 🏛️ University 30th June 2023

How BridgeU Is Helping Universities Create More Localised Events for International Students: Middle East & Africa

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Profile image of Zahra Onsori
Zahra Onsori University Content Writer
We’ve been working with universities to deliver more specific and relevant events for international schools in Africa and the Middle East. 

Curating a successful event that will have maximum impact for your international student applicants isn’t easy (and we speak from experience here at BridgeU). 

As we explored in our updated International Schools Strategy Guide, the international schools market is diversifying quickly, and students in every region of the world will have their own wildly differing questions about the admissions process when applying to university. 

If there’s one thing that the counsellors and teachers working in our international schools tell us time and again, it’s that students will no longer settle for a one-size-fits-all presentation from a university

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Learn how BridgeU can help you align your enrolment strategy with your international student audience.

That’s why our Enrolment Services team here at BridgeU have been working with our partner universities to design a series of more curated events for international students in selected regions. 

 Our ‘Admissions Bootcamps’ are designed to help universities better engage with international schools where students might be interested in studying at their institution or in a certain country. 

So rather than simply holding a virtual fair and having international admissions teams give a presentation about their university, our Enrolment Services team designed a series of smaller events with a more tangible goal – to make the international admissions process simpler and clearer for students at BridgeU schools. 

With this in mind, we created sessions for our international students that were organised around some key themes and challenges that we know they face every day, no matter which part of the world they happen to live in.

  • Researching the higher education system in a selected destination country. 
  • Understanding more about essay writing requirements at a particular higher education institution. 
  • Hearing from their international student peers who are already studying at  university. 

As well as grouping our events into these key themes, we also grouped our sessions by destination country, allowing international students to gain a better understanding of how the admissions process can differ internationally. 

So let’s take a closer look at these different events in a bit more detail…

Application & essay prep

The US, UK and Canada are the three most popular destinations for international students at schools in the Middle East and Africa. So it’s understandable that questions about the university application systems of these countries come up a lot. 

It’s often the case that international students and counsellors struggle to get their heads around how the requirements of these various university systems. For example, how does a more centralised system like UCAS compare with a system like Canada, where application criteria can differ by province and by institution type? 

For these themed sessions, BridgeU partner universities ran a series of tutorials on the UCAS Personal Statement and Common App application requirements. We were also pleased to be joined by Western University to talk students through the nuances of the Canadian system. 

An Introduction to UCAS with Durham University

Personal Statement Workshop with Nottingham Trent University

Introduction to the Common App with Syracuse University

Common App Essay Writing with Syracuse University

Application Essay Writing with Western University

Understanding financial aid & scholarship opportunities

Scholarship and financial aid opportunities can have an added layer of complexity for international school students.

 Not only do scholarship opportunities differ across countries, but there are often very different rules for international students when compared to their domestic counterparts. 

Once again, we were delighted to be joined by a selection of universities to help students from across Africa and the Middle East to navigate the complexity. 

Applying for financial aid in the UK with the University of Exeter

Applying for financial aid in the USA with Macalester College

Applying for financial aid in Canada with Western University

Studying in the USA as an international undergraduate

Read any survey or piece of thought leadership on the current state of international higher education and you’ll often hear that, now more than ever, peer-to-peer feedback or insights on a university are absolutely essential for international applicants. 

With this in mind, we were delighted to be joined by Paul Salawu, a current undergraduate at Christian Brothers University, to discuss life on campus as an international undergraduate.

International student Q&A with Christian Brothers University

Navigating admissions interviews

In some ways, admissions interviews are one of the application obstacles that BridgeU international students are the most likely to struggle with. 

The reason is simple. The interview process at almost every university around the world can be frustratingly specific to a single institution (with the possible exception of universities such as Oxford and Cambridge in the UK). 

And resources on this topic can be surprisingly hard to come by (we should know!). So when Bennington College offered to run a session on admissions interview prep for this bootcamp, we couldn’t say no.

Admissions interviews with Bennington College

We’ll be sharing highlights from our other admissions bootcamps in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. 

In the meantime, you can now download the latest edition of our International Recruitment & Admissions Calendar! It’s packed with essential information that every international admissions team needs in 2023, including: 

  • Term and holiday dates for international schools in key markets
  • University application deadlines for universities in competitor countries. 
  • Exam & standardised test dates for international students.

Get in touch

Learn how BridgeU can help you align your enrolment strategy with your international student audience.