Running a profitable international education program takes expert skill across many areas. Before you start writing your school’s new international education program, our top tips will help you on your way.
Give students a high quality international education experience
The most successful international education providers pride themselves on the number of repeat bookings they achieve. To remain competitive, you need to keep attracting international students year after year – and to do this, you need to give your visitors a high quality international education experience that leaves them wanting to come back. The international education experience that you deliver needs to showcase how awesome it is to be a student at your school in Australia. Start by focusing your efforts on developing a high quality short stay study tour program of up to five days in duration. Once you’ve run the short stay program a few times it will become obvious to you which parts of your program the students enjoy most. Keep tweaking your short stay program, and add some longer program options, to keep attracting students year in and year out.
Do the numbers ahead of time
Before you start writing your school’s first international education program, take a look at your school budget and work out how much you’re prepared to invest in getting the program up and running. Consider how much of your budget you will allocate to staff, marketing, travel and activities for your international students to participate in once they’re here. Next, divide your program budget by the number of students you are aiming to attract in order to work out your average cost per student. Once you’ve established your average cost per student, you are better placed to establish what your program fees need to be (average cost per student plus your best-case-scenario profit margin). Start by hosting small groups of short-stay students before ramping up to larger groups of longer-stay students to minimise the risk of blowing your budge … and this brings us to our next tip – testing new international markets to find out the cost per student before investing heavily in marketing.
Test new markets before investing heavily
As you are getting your international education program up and running, it’s likely that you will be operating on a limited budget while you recoup your start-up expenses and work your way towards profitability. During this critical start-up phase, joint venture marketing can offer you cost-effective entry to international markets by allowing you to share associated marketing expenses with a small group of non-competing schools. Our joint venture marketing events give you the opportunity to test the waters of new international markets before investing heavily in that location. If you’re interested in finding out about our upcoming joint venture opportunities, please get in touch with us.
Respect international customs and business etiquette
If you’re planning on running your school’s new international education department internally, it’s important that you educate your staff in the customs and business etiquette of the international market you’re targeting. Unfortunately it can take a long time to build up international goodwill – but it can be lost very quickly if you don’t understand your client.
Call in the experts
Building and running a profitable international education program takes expert knowledge across many areas. The top performing international education departments in Australia have years of experience in dealing with international customs and business etiquette, leveraging international currency rates to their best advantage, allocating their international marketing budgets to ensure maximum return on investment and running exciting international education programs that result in repeat bookings and referrals. Here at Australian International Student Tours, we work hard to cultivate excellent relationships with the best education agents and school leaders across the globe and have a proven track record in running profitable international education programs for our clients. If you need a little advice or support along the way, please don’t hesitate to call in the experts (us)!