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Market Research on International Students

Situation: One of West Virginia University’s goals is to become a truly global institution. Given that, the university wanted to understand the factors that were important to international students in choosing to attend WVU, as well as understand if WVU is effective in creating a culture of internationalization.

Results: A total of 24 one-on-one interviews were conducted with undergraduate and graduate students (and a few exchange students) from those countries the University is most interested in targeting. These interviews helped identify what drove these students’ decision to attend WVU, as well as understand their preconceptions before coming here vs. their actual experience with social and academic aspects of their life at the University. Overall, the university was able to understand what it does well in embracing and acclimating international students and identify key areas for improvement, as well as develop recruiting messages likely to resonate with internationals.