Today, I participated in a five-hour fair in Ankara, Turkey. It went very well!
The turnout was higher than at the first two cities–including Istanbul, surprisingly enough; however, the traffic was not so overwhelming that we lost the ability to have quality conversations with the potential students.
What I liked the most about the fair was the range of academic interests of the students who attended. Half of the people we spoke with wanted graduate programs, a quarter of them wanted undergrad degrees, and the last quarter wanted ESL.
There was also terrific variety among the people who wanted graduate degrees. While we were asked about the usual degree programs (i.e., MBA, Engineering), several other degrees were in demand, including MA-TESOL, Computer Science, Exercise Science, Urban Affairs and Public Policy, International Relations, and even one of our dual degree programs. It was fun to be able to highlight the variety of degrees offered at the University of Delaware. We felt quite proud about that fact.
Interestingly enough, the majority of the people we spoke with today, whether for undergrad or graduate, would have to be conditionally admitted to the university due to their basic- to intermediate-level English skills. Most of this group would need around 6-8 months of study, as well. In my opinion, in situations like that, everyone wins–especially the students, since we give them the confidence and the skills to communicate intelligently in academic settings before they begin their university studies.
Three cities down, one more to go: I’m off to Izmir tomorrow.