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Video highlights CSC's advantages for international students

April 11, 2016

Zakaria Ben-Cheikh of Morroco is filmed for the video by Daniel Binkard, Chadron State College digital graphic designer. (Courtesy photo by Yohannes Berehanu) Zakaria Ben-Cheikh of Morroco is filmed for the video by Daniel Binkard, Chadron State College digital graphic designer. (Courtesy photo by Yohannes Berehanu)

CHADRON – Friendly people. A safe environment. Close contact with professors. High- quality classes. Helpful staff.

Those are among the qualities students from 18 different nations say they have found at Chadron State College in a video recently posted on the college’s website and promoted through social media platforms.

“We are Eagles: The International Student Experience,” is a six and a half minute video aimed at attracting foreign students to CSC. The short film was the brainchild of a team of International Student Ambassadors who were asked to come up with an online recruiting concept, said Danielle Lecher, director of market development.

“I asked the students to think about a video concept we could use for recruiting purposes on webpages and social media,” Lecher said.

After gaining approval from Lecher, Sherry Douglas, associate vice president for student services, and Daniel Binkard, digital graphic designer, the six-member international student team set to work.

“The international students went around campus to find locations they liked (for the interviews),” Binkard, who shot the video footage, said. “They contacted students to interview, arranged times, and in most cases conducted the actual interviews.”

The team’s work was invaluable, because creating a video is a complex process, said Binkard, who produces many promotional videos for the college and directs the live streaming of athletic contests and other campus events.

“A large video production like this takes time and the effort of many people,” he said.

The interviews yielded hours of raw film, which Binkard and Lecher edited into short clips for the final product. With the addition of stock footage of campus and student activities, background music and titles, the video was ready for posting on CSC’s international student webpage, as well as Facebook, Instagram and Weibo, a Chinese site similar to Twitter, Lecher said.

“Our followers on social media have increased and it is our hope that the video and our other posts will be shared among friends all over the world,” she said. “We also plan to refer to the video in our communications with students about the student experience at CSC.”

CSC has put more emphasis on attracting international student in recent years, as part of a broader effort to increase enrollment, Lecher said. Insights from more than 60 international CSC students have helped focus recruitment efforts, she said.

“We have gleaned so much information from international students about how they found CSC, why they chose CSC and why they stay,” Lecher said.

Students who appear in the video hail from countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, North America and several island nations. They all describe Chadron State as a quality school with helpful staff and accessible professors in a warm and welcoming community.

Online and social media marketing tools like the video highlighting positive characteristics students find at CSC will help increase international enrollment, Lecher said.

“We are more clearly showcasing the type of lifestyle they can expect to find in Chadron,” she said. “We make it easy to get started, help them along the way and welcome them with open arms when they get here. Really, who doesn’t want that in a college experience?”

The International Student Ambassadors who worked on the video are Yohannes Berehanu and Medina Adem of Ethiopia, Maria Evtodieva of Russia, Cheng (Kevin) Zhang of China, Natnicha (Sophia) Songthangtham of Thailand, and Natsuki Sato of Japan.

The video can be viewed at csc.edu/international/life/.

—George Ledbetter

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