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### GSIE Recruits Students and Explores Partnerships on Nine-Day Journey in India

March 14, 2024

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During a student recruitment fair in India, Lindsey Aloia, associate dean for international education, and Andrew Van Lew, graduate and international recruitment coordinator, were captured in a photo together.

In February, the Graduate School and International Education’s leadership team embarked on a two-week journey to India. The primary objectives of their trip were two-fold. Firstly, Aloia and Van Lew aimed to attract potential graduate students from India to the University of Arkansas (U of A). Secondly, they endeavored to establish partnerships with educational institutions and organizations in the region.

As part of the Global Diversity Export Initiative of the U.S. Commercial Service, Aloia and Van Lew visited five cities in southern India: Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Kochi, Manipal, and Coimbatore. This trade mission included representatives from 17 institutions, including the U of A. The university delegates engaged in student recruitment fairs and held discussions with Indian institutions regarding potential collaborations for student exchange programs.

This initiative further solidified the university’s connection with one of the world’s largest pools of prospective international students. Currently, Indian students constitute the largest group of international students at the U of A.

Andrew Van Lew expressed, “Our aim within the Graduate School and International Education is to attract exceptional international students to our institution. These students not only enhance the diversity of our campus but also contribute to impactful research and creative endeavors that influence our local and global communities.” He continued, “Indian students not only form the largest segment of international students on our campus but also exhibit excellence. The symbiotic growth between Bentonville and its Indian community over the past two decades exemplifies the significant influence Indians have had on our region. Maintaining and nurturing this relationship is paramount for mutual growth.”

Through various marketing materials, including college-specific resources, Van Lew and Aloia effectively promoted the U of A to Indian students. Additionally, the trip facilitated discussions on research partnerships and student/faculty exchange programs with specific Indian universities.

Aloia emphasized, “The success of our university hinges on attracting motivated students who are dedicated to enhancing our society and shaping a better future.” She added, “The students we encountered during our journey demonstrated a commitment to personal and professional development through the transformative opportunities available at the University of Arkansas. I eagerly anticipate welcoming these students to our campus to foster their creativity and support their explorations.”

The warmth of their reception in India was evident through gestures such as flower garlands, bindis, gourmet meals, and various traditional forms of hospitality. Van Lew shared, “During our visits, we were typically greeted with campus tours, information sessions, and engaging interactions with school faculty. We presented the strengths of our university, engaged with faculty members, and concluded with extensive student recruitment fairs.”

Van Lew further noted the proactive nature and insightful inquiries of Indian students. He remarked, “I have always been impressed by the pragmatic and forward-thinking questions posed by prospective Indian students. Their focus lies on internships, career prospects, and post-graduation opportunities rather than university rankings or extravagant facilities. These students embody Stephen Covey’s ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Begin with the end in mind.’ I am confident that many of the exceptional students we met will grace the University of Arkansas campus in the upcoming academic year.”